Sunday, October 7, 2012

Augi Citizens of the World Diapason West Records. 2012

Dwayne Augustine otherwise known as Augi is one of those truly rare Renaissance men of jazz. While his forte is Afri-Latin Jazz, his skill transcends one specific genre and his latest Citizens of the World carries a more universal sound skillfully blending Afri-Latin, Smooth, World, Funk...well, I think you get the idea.

A multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, producer and engineer, Augi's talents run the entertainment table with relative ease. It also does not hurt to have legends such as Kenny Burrell, Gerald Albright and Patrice Rushen on record as enjoying this particularly diverse outing.

"Just Do It!" is a welcome introduction to Augi's more whimsical side while never losing the virtuoso approach that be brings to his craft. "Holiday" takes the infectious Latin/Brazilian road less traveled by those of lesser talent and while bordering on the smoother vibe, showcases his most prolific talent. Kenny Burrell is on record referring to this particular tune as a "Hit! Hit! Hit!" and with an endorsement such as that you certainly can't go wrong. A particular piece is a solo bass composition entitled "Sentimental Heart" which finds a odd happy place somewhere between wistful and melancholy but showcasing the depth and feeling with which Augi brings as a composer. In major league baseball Augi would be a highly paid utility infielder as there does not seem to be one aspect of the recording business that he either has not mastered or at the very least is showcasing his adaptability as what I refer to as a musical sponge. While Augi is virtuoso instrumentalist playing congas, guitar, steel drums get the idea, from a vocal perspective a second career as a vocalist would certainly not be out of the realm of possibilities.

The bass field is a crowded field, much like some trumpet players we find a great many one trick ponies and very few multi-dimensional artists. Dwayne Augustine is the real deal, a legit player and vocalist whose only limitations may be the limitations he might place on himself. I just don't see that happening. An incredibly entertaining release full of organic intimacy, a bright sonic color palette and a textured sound that transcends genre.

Tracks: Diapason; Travel The World; Burn It Down; As The Day Goes By; Just Do It!; Don't Ask Why; Holiday; Citizens of the World; Travel the World (Mediterranean Seaside Mix); Sentimental Heart; Just Do It (Thought For Today).

Personnel: Dwayne Augustine (Augi): upright bass, bass guitar, all keyboards, vocals, congas, guitar, acoustic guitar, auxiliary percussion, djembe, bongo, steel drums; Mark Massey: electric piano solo; Al Daniels: electric piano solo; Serge Kasimoff: salsa piano track (5); Joey Heredia: drums; Greg Brown: snare, hi-hat; Juanito "Long John" Olivia: bongo; Gilberto Torres: Spanish ad-libs, vocals, flute; Scott Martin: soprano, alto, tenor sax; George Harper: soprano sax, flute; Gary Bias: soprano sax; Louis Van Taylor: alto sax; Ray Davis: background vocals.

AVAILABLE 11/20/12