Thursday, November 19, 2015

CD Review: Raya Brass Band's 'Raya'

Raya Brass Band

The New York-based sextet, Raya Brass Band, brings to life the music of Eastern Europe and Balkan regions on their latest release, Raya. The sax, trumpet, accordion, keyboards, tupan, snare drum, and assorted percussion are all the Raya Brass Band needs to produce great, instrumental music. The horns, tuba, and percussion are quite varied and innovative, but nothing too far from historical traditions. The nine-track album features a rousing mix of sounds emanating from a variety of instruments that work harmoniously together to create an engaging and upbeat result. Though, the album is under forty-minutes in length, there is plenty of music to cheer about. The punchy, jazz-laden tune, "Sugar and Salt," adds a swirling mix of heady horns and great percussion for a slightly Gypsy/neo-classical approach that would be equally-at home on the classic Seven Brides For Seven Brothers film soundtrack. Overall, the music is diverse enough to capture the ears of listeners everywhere. Fans of brass bands, Gypsy music, instrumental tunes, world jazz, and fusion will find Raya very raya-mazing! ~ Matthew Forss

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

CD Review: Argentina's Gabriel Palatchi Releases 'Trivolution'

Gabriel Palatchi

Argentinian pianist and synth player, Gabriel Palatchi, is joined by Kerry Galloway on electric bass and Jose Maria Gonzalez on drums and percussion. Trivolution is a work of three band members that are not alone, as a few additional performers are added to the mix. The down-tempo, psych-driven grooves are jazz-infused and South American-tinged. The synths create a fluid, smooth jazz feel at times. On "Sefarad Roots," the music takes a Klezmer turn with a Gypsy-esque beat and melody. In fact, 'sefarad' suggests a Ladino presence with Old Spain. The funky sounds of "What Da Funk" contain a few vocals by David Gall. "Vive" is the only other track with vocals. Some of the songs are ripe with Latin brass and heavy percussion, while not straying too far from their South American jazz roots. The punchy and varied beats are a must-hear for fans of world jazz, South American music, and psych-funk concoctions. Trivolution is an excellent album. Join in the fun! ~ Matthew Forss