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For a duo collaboration effort known as Supergenerous, less is more than enough. Canadian guitarist Kevin Breit and Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptiste teamed with producer Craig Street (the mind behind Cassandra Wilson’s successful Blue Note albums) to tailor a minimalist jazz/country/folk/funk session. Baptiste, and Breit who supplied the sparse sounds behind Wilson’s New Moon Daughter, recreate a similar atmosphere stirring a found sounds soup of postmodernism. Baptiste a percussion legend in Downtown circles, has worked with John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Derek Bailey, Javon Jackson, Geri Allen, and Geoff Keezer. His album of Villa Lobos music Vira Loucos (1997) on the Japanese Avant label is well worth searching out.
The music from this duo is a modern garage recording (except the engineering is perfect) with Baptiste tossing in (playing) the kitchen sink for good measure. They recast the familiar in the language of Canadian/Brazilian confluence. Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” might have been part of a soundtrack to a spaghetti western and “Take The A Train” invites you to chill instead of boogie. This stuff is coming straight out of the recipe book from which producer Street cut Cassandra Wilson’s last 3 recordings. Wilson makes an appearance on “Home On The Range” with Baptiste pounding a bass swell (is it thunder or buffalo stampeding?) behind Wilson’s acappella beginnings. Breit joins the duo, and we crawl out the remainder. Between sometimes painfully hip tunes and out-and-out lounge-ish echoes “God’s Parking Lot” Supergenerous supplies a hit-and-miss bag of music. Where the sparseness of “Steinbeck” clashes with the B-52’s sound of “Marisa O’Brian,” patience is tested. Today I love half this record. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll only listen to the rowdy tracks. Besides, any record that covers the theme from the Mary Tyler Moore Show is one I have to have.
Track List:The Legend Of Johnny Cactus; Sao Paulo Slim; Dreamin’ Of A Train/ Take The A Train; Home On The Range; God’s Parking Lot; Steinbeck; Marisa O’Brien; Brohemia; Pelicula; Caravan/Camel Sand And Caravan; A Sigh And A Shiver; Love Is All Around; Whistling In The Rain.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.