Guitarist Kevin Breit and percussionist Cyro Baptista form an expressive duo that finds room in their performance for country & western, funk, folk music, and a lot more. Parts of the album are New Age, and all of it is forward-looking contemporary. A few quick looks at Duke Ellington fold in the familiar, but most of their program is highly original.
Using impressionism as a basis, the two talented artists dish out generous portions of overdubbed music. For the most part, Breit offers the melody on guitars and mandolins. Overlaid electric guitars provide a strong harmonic layer. Baptista colors with various impressions. Thundering drums introduce "Home on the Range." A talking drum and overlaid backbeat drum set offer some clues to the persona of "Johnny Cactus." Shakers and a conga-like drum make "A Sigh and a Shiver" seem happy and light in places, although Breit’s minor mode mandolin and guitorgan sections suggest melodrama and romance. Somewhat resembling the sound of an accordion, the guitorgan fills in quite well. A terrific "old school" blues on "Caravan" moves in one direction, while the theme from television’s long-running sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show leans in another.
Cassandra Wilson sings the traditional "Home on the Range" with the very same natural appeal found on all her projects. Pure and simple, Wilson’s vocal refrains are intended to remind the listener that music is a universal language. Whether working as flexible sidemen or as a duo on their own album, Baptista and Breit offer a little something for everyone.
| Year Released: 2000
| Record Label: Blue Note
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.