323

Norman Hedman's Tropique: Garden of Forbidden Fruit

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Norman Hedman's Tropique: Garden of Forbidden Fruit Norman Hedman is definitely not your typical Latin jazz percussionist. Well into his third decade as a professional musician, Hedman clearly got his start in the world of salsa rhythms and grooves from the Afro-Cuban tradition. Hedman got his start playing with percussionists including Olatunji and Chief Bey. But he's also worked in a variety of other musical styles, from his early recordings with avant-garde jazz artists Chico Freeman and Arthur Blythe to session work with R&B bands including Earth, Wind & Fire and The O'Jays, and contemporary hit makers like Alicia Keys and Des'Ree.

Hedman's own musical vision begins from that Latin foundation, but on Garden of Forbidden Fruit he spices things up with a definite smooth jazz vibe. The result is a sound that lives up to the name of Hedman's band, Tropique. There are plenty of interesting Caribbean rhythms mixed in with more than a touch of R&B throughout. In addition, Hedman and the members of Tropique—Willie Martinez on timbales, Ron Monroe on bass, Misha Tsiganov on piano and keyboards, Alexei Tsiganov on vibes, Craig Rivers on flute and Sam Furnace on alto sax—create a full, nicely textured sound with enough instrumental versatility to move in a number of interesting directions.

The smooth, airy groove of "Rundadar Dance and the island rhythms on "Island Spice are prime examples of Tropique's more Latin-oriented sound. Hedman and the band's R&B side comes into play with the support of vocalists Ada Dyer ("Closer ), James "D Train Williams ("Angel of the Night ), Dani Stevenson ("Garden of Forbidden Fruit ) and Kendra Shank ("Wherever U R ). Alternating vocal tracks with instrumentals over the CD's first eight cuts, and using four different vocalists, adds plenty of variety to the music.

All in all, Garden of Forbidden Fruit is a strong effort by Norman Hedman and Tropique—one that ranks up there with previous recordings like Taken By Surprise (Arabesque, 2000), Healing Hands (Monad, 1996) and Flight of the Spirit (Monad, 1994).

Track Listing: Rundadar Dance; Closer; Cuttin'; Loose; Angel of the Night; Because I Can; Garden of forbidden Fruit; It's Just Not the Same; Wherever U R; Walk In the Moonlight; Feeling my Way; Wait & See; Island Spice.

Personnel: Norman Hedman: congas & percussion; Willie Martinez: timbales; Ron Monroe: bass; Misha Tsiganov: piano & keyboards; Alexei Tsiganov: vibes; Craig Rivers: flute; Sam Furnace: alto sax; Ada Dyer: vocals; James

Title: Garden of Forbidden Fruit | Year Released: 2007


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Three Miles From Avalon" CD/LP/Track Review Three Miles From Avalon
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Going North" CD/LP/Track Review Going North
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Alfa" CD/LP/Track Review Alfa
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Fly or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh" CD/LP/Track Review Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Smokin’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)" CD/LP/Track Review Smokin’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 14, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!