Saturday, July 20, 2013

In review--Big, Big Beat

Maracatu New York 
Baque Do Brooklyn 
Nation Beat Music

There’s nothing quite as enticing as Brazilian poly rhythms married to New Orleans jazz and that’s the best way to describe Maracatu New York’s CD Baque Do Brooklyn.  This soulful stew of Afro-Latin grooves gets the heart pumping and the feet dancing.  The music feels like a samba parade entered the room followed by a Mardi-Gras band.  The opener, Roda Baiana sounds pure carnival with New Orleans brass kicking into full gear.  With Samba Lê Lê Brazil beats and vocals meet New Orleans brass and we feel Yoruba gods hanging around.
American percussionist Scott Kettner and his crew of horn players, drummers, and vocalists introduce listeners to the delicious world of drum jam sessions such as on Parada with its power samba drums.  We’re off to the Bayou on Voo Doom with Mark Marshall on slide-guitar.  And we hear a Yoruba chant backed by oomph pa of a tuba on Quem Vem Lá.  I’m reminded of the the Gangbé Brass Band and even African funk to some extent.  The only track I don’t like is the Led Zep cover Over the Hills and Far Away which interrupts the flow--loud and abrasive (except for the opening which sounds Appalachian).  I skip over it.

July seems like the right time to release this CD, during the height of summer heat and celebrations.  Catch this band live on the street if you can.  I can only imagine from my corner of the world the fabulous show this band puts on, but judging by the power beats on the titular track, it’s time to get uninhibited and groove, baby.

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