Paul Beaudry & Pathways – Americas (2012)
Soundkeeper Recordings, SR1004
Paul Beaudry – bass, Tim Armacost – tenor saxophone, Bennett Paster – piano, Tony Jefferson – drums
Playing musical prospector can be fun while you have to sift your way through a great deal of sonic sand and silt the occasional gold nugget makes an appearance and the latest from Grammy winning Paul Beaudry & Pathways certainly qualifies. This sophomore effort for Beaudry & Pathways walks the musical tightrope of world music but with incredibly diverse jazz sensibilities.
While the release is somewhat of an end result of music they heard while on their 2010 Latin American tour, the music featured here is from Trinidad & Tobago, Nicaragua, Cuba, Brazil and...Brooklyn? "Harmonia Mundi" is the only Beaudry original and is the only North American influence featured here. An incredibly organic all most live in studio feel to this funk infused jam fits perfectly within the more South American and Caribbean influences found here. Word of mouth can make or break many a career and on the recommendation of Brazilian trumpet master Claudio Roditi the tune "O Que E Amar" written by Johnny Alf makes a welcome addition to the flavor and dare I say "fun" of this delightful release. Alf was a tremendous influence to the great Antonio Carlos Jobim and considered by many including writer Ruy Castro as the true father of the bossa nova. A steady and infectious groove with strong lyrical development there is simply missed steps through this well thought out and incredibly well paced outing. Trinidad pianist Clive "Zanda" Alexander taught the Beaudry & Pathways the Olive Walke Trini folk song "Every Time Ah Pass" which the band continues to play live including the arrangement they literally learned on the fly.
A rock solid 4tet does what many have tried and with mixed results at best, transcending what may be considered more world and Latin flavored genres into a more modern jazz setting without losing the appeal or authenticity of the music in their translation.
A superlative effort. Latin music fans will find a great deal to enjoy on this superior release.
Tracks: Maria, Harmonia Mundi, El Bananero (The Banana Vendor), O Que É Amar, El Pañuelo De Pepa, D’leau, Every Time Ah Pass, Zamba Alegre, Nicaragua Nicaraguita