All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Felipe Salles: Uganda Suite

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
In 2008 saxophonist/composer Felipe Salles offered up the superb South American Suite (Curare Records). The highly rhythmic ode to his home continent seemed a natural for Salles, who hails originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He now moves his focus to the east, across the Atlantic for the gorgeous Ugandan Suite, a collection brimming with surging rhythms and fluid reed work.

The use of the "geographical suite" in jazz, going back to composer/band leader Duke Ellington with his suites for Far East, New Orleans, Latin American, might be seen as a effort to bring more gravitas and respect to the jazz genre as "America's classical music." And it does exactly that. Ellington's suites are his finest artistic works, and like Ellington, the Felipe Salles suites bite into a regional themes and roll with them, soak in the sounds of specific territories and bringing a jazz sensibility to them.

With the leader sharing front line with saxophonist Dave Liebman, the sound gleams with a sharp edge-these are two unfettered reed men. And featuring dense panoply of percussion the polyrhythms pop, rumble rattle with an orchestral momentum. Supported by a Whittington Fellowship Grant, Salles traveled to Uganda in 2011 to experience the music, the country's wildlife and to visit the major Universites of the East African nation. The result is a music drawn from Africa but conveyed through Salles South American heritage and American musical experience.

Each section of the five part suite features is named for one of Africa's native animals: "The Buffalo," "The Elephant," "The Leopard," "The Rhinocerous," "The Lion," etc. The Buffalo" features a bass drone beneath a floating flute. The rhythmic mix features Ugandan percussion instrumentation, the exotically (to American ears) named mpuunyi, ngali drums, inemba, and at least a dozen more throughout the disc. The sound stirs African tribal rhythms, Congolese rhumba, lilting Brazilian and Caribbean beats.

"Movement 2—The Elephant" opens with the frictional whine of an African fiddle, and features Salles on baritone sax alongside David Liebman's soprano sax. "Part 3—The Leopard," begins with a gorgeous piano solo by Nando Michelin, connecting African themes with Brazilian baiao, as the leading into Liebman's sinuous soprano sax lines followed by Sales tenor sax backed by adunga bow harpsplayed by Damascus Kafumbe.

Shape-shifting tunes, influences from all over the globe, superb musicianship, layered percussions, an inspired two reed front line rising up from those ebullient layerings, and an ensemble groove of the highest order makes Felipe Salles's Uganda Suite one of the year's highlights.

Track Listing: Movement 1--The Buffalo; Movement 2--The Elephant; Movement 3--The Leopard; Movement 4--The Rhinoceros; Movement 5--The Lion.

Personnel: Felipe Salles: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, flutes; bass clarinet, handclaps; David Liebman: wooden flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Damascus Kafumbe: (o)mugalabe (e)ngom'enene, (e)nduumi, kadodi, inemba, indonyi, mbuutu, mpuunyi, atin bull, ngalabi drums, ndingadi tube fiddle, adunga bow-harp, nsaasi gourd shakers, madinda xylophone; Rogerio Boccato: percussion, (e)nduumi drums, handclaps; Nando Michelin: piano, handclaps; Keala Kaumeheiwa: bass, handclaps; Bertram Lehmann: drum set, atin bull drums, handclaps; Lucas Apostleris: handclaps.

Title: Uganda Suite | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Tapestry Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Movement 3 - The Leopard

Movement 3 - The Leopard

Felipe Salles
Ugandan Suite

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Varanda

Varanda

Tapestry
2017

buy
Uganda Suite

Uganda Suite

Tapestry Records
2014

buy
Ugandan Suite

Ugandan Suite

Tapestry
2014

buy
 

Departure

Tapestry
2013

buy
South American Suite

South American Suite

Curare Records
2008

buy
Mind Motions

Mind Motions

Blue Moon
2003

buy

Related Articles

Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Love Wins CD/LP/Track Review
Love Wins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 19, 2018
Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Mutt Slang CD/LP/Track Review
Mutt Slang
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Prisma CD/LP/Track Review
Prisma
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read "Early to Late" CD/LP/Track Review Early to Late
by John Eyles
Published: March 29, 2018
Read "Atody Man" CD/LP/Track Review Atody Man
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "Unfiltered Universe" CD/LP/Track Review Unfiltered Universe
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "Dust Shines" CD/LP/Track Review Dust Shines
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow" CD/LP/Track Review Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "OR" CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018