Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Felipe Salles Ugandan Suite Tapestry 2014

An improvisational safari in search of the lost chord...stunning!
Brent Black /
Ugandan Suite reinvents the concept of a hybrid sound. Brazilian saxophonist Felipe Salles has not simply tossed together a convenient mash up of classical, African and western improvisational music. Salles has meticulously constructed a work that has a spatial harmonic journey with a unified ebb and flow quietly moving through each element with a sophisticated grace and elegance. This is not an unusual work as numerous artists have attempted similar global fusion attempts that are lyrically disconnected from any tangible thematic development. Felipe Salles has created the perfect vehicle for three distinct styles of music to come together with a cohesion that is simply amazing.
The African influence would be Ugandan musical idioms used in a more traditional improvisational setting. The opening movement "The Buffalo" is perhaps the best example of this inspired rhythmic infusion into a piece that takes off with an organic heartbeat. The second movement "The Leopard" while more accessible to those favoring western improvisational music thanks to the deft touch of pianist Nando Michelin continues the journey by transforming into soundscapes of nuanced texture. Attempting to describe music that has never been performed or made accessible to a western audience in this format is like trying to bail out the Titanic with a Dixie cup. Some music has to be experienced on a highly personal level. Natural, free-flowing, and organic only scratch the surface of Ugandan Suite.
Personnel: Felipe Salles; Tenor and Baritone Saxophones, Flutes, Bass Clarinet, Handclaps; David Liebman: Wooden Flute, Soprano and Tenor Saxophones; Damascus Kafumbe: (O)Mugalabe, (E) Ngom'enene, (E) Nduumi, Kadodi, Inemba, Indonyi, Mbuutu, Mpuunyi, Atin Bull, Min Bull, Ngalabi Drums, Ndingidi Tube-Fiddle, Adungu Bow-Harp, Nsaasi Gord Shakers, Madinda Xylophone; Rogerio Boccato: All Other Percussion, (E) Nduumi Drums, Handclaps; Nando Michelin: Piano, Handclaps; Keala Kaumeheiwa: Bass, Handclaps; Bertram Lehmann: Drumset, Atin Bull Drums, Handclaps; Lucas Apostoleris: Handclaps.
Tracks: Movement 1 - The Buffalo; Movement 2- The Elephant; Movement 3 - The Leopard; Movement 4 - The Rhinoceros; Movement 5 - The Lion.