2

Felipe Salles: Uganda Suite

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Felipe Salles: Uganda Suite 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.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Tapestry Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read One Minute Later CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800° CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Ephimeral CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Fly or Die CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Heads & Tales Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Heads & Tales Volume 2
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Free World Music" CD/LP/Track Review Free World Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Time Out" CD/LP/Track Review Time Out
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "Super Petite" CD/LP/Track Review Super Petite
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "We Are The World" CD/LP/Track Review We Are The World
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!