316

Felipe Salles: South American Suite

By

Sign in to view read count
Felipe Salles: South American Suite Modern jazz is a virtuoso's art. More often than not, it's the capacity of the soloist that we listen for. And even though jazz is fundamentally about communication and the assemblage of sounds that forms a band, listeners get caught up in what the single voice can accomplish, whether it's a sax, guitar, or vibraphone.



As a result, it's sometimes a true pleasure to fall into a lush fabric of sounds. It's what Duke Ellington does for some. Although he writes in a very different vein than. Ellington, Felipe Salles also supplies this same form of aural enjoyment on South American Suite.



Originally from Sao Paulo, saxophonist Salles has been based in New York for nearly fifteen years, gigging up and down the East Coast with his quintet. Having accrued a team of like-minded musicians over the last decade, he now puts them to work in a rich environment, evoking the breadth of music that emanates from Brazil. South American Suite derives its strength from the quality of this ensemble sound, and the way the octet plays into Salles' particular style of composition.



But that needn't suggest the players are not fully expressive. They're are as competent in their own right as they are familiar with Salles' musical inclinations. When Jacam Manricks is on flute, he fills the upper echelons of the band's sound with an almost classical grace. Joel Yennior's trombone brings both support and fluidity to the harmonies, and one can hear the influence of his work with Boston's Either/Orchestra in this ensemble.



When examined individually these musicians entertain, but the blend is even more exquisite—as in the opening three-part counterpoint on "Unborn Choro." Salles has acknowledged that one of his greatest joys in composing and arranging this material this is the opportunity to write with the particular voices of his musicians in mind. His aplomb with this kind of personalized orchestration is readily apparent.



However, while Salles' writing is playful and expansive, at times it can feel intractable. Using such a broad palette of colors inevitably means that they won't all be significant. There are moments on "Family Ties" and "Three Views" when the sudden shift between parts of the form are disorienting, without a sense of justification for the harmonic switchback.



Listening to the exciting blur of Brazilian rhythms and forms, Salles could easily be seen as the puppeteer, silently presiding over his musical playthings. But on the brief occasions when he makes his own voice heard exclusively, we remember that Salles is not only the mastermind here; he has equal gravitas as an authentic, original voice. His obligato at the close of "Crayon" testifies to that fact, as does the final track. Even beyond its title—a reference to three variations on the samba rhythm—"Three Views" shows Salles as an unrelenting composer seeking out every sound that he can elicit. But the album closes with only Salles' tenor ringing out, now in the hoary, exhaustive voice of an artist who presents the full gamut of musical possibility.


Track Listing: Seven Days; Unborn Choro; Family Ties; Somewhat Frevo; Crayon; Xote Manco; Three Views.

Personnel: Felipe Salles: woodwinds, saxophones; Jacam Manricks, flutes, alto saxophone; Laura Arpiainen: violin; Joel Yennior: trombone; Nando Michelin: piano; Fernando Huergo: bass; Bertram Lehmann: drums; Rogerio Boccato: percussion.

Title: South American Suite | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Curare Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Pandora's Bag CD/LP/Track Review Pandora's Bag
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 25, 2017
Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Of The Night" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Night
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Natural Perception" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Perception
by Edward Blanco
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "J.I.G.E.N" CD/LP/Track Review J.I.G.E.N
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "Billows Of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016

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!