André Bourgeois

Alta Fidelidade

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Among Brazilian cities, São Paulo is uniquely international and multicultural in character. The city's cosmopolitan vibe is nicely reflected in the music of Swiss transplant André Bourgeois and local boy Mano Bap, whose modus operandi consists largely of recording musicians from various Brazilian traditions and tweaking the recordings on an iMac. In a live setting, their eight-piece ensemble uses these recordings as a basis for improvisation; on this album, they are raw material for carefully constructed rhythmic and melodic collages. The resulting sound is a warm and inviting crazy quilt of Latin and Euro-American sounds and rhythms created with interweavings of live and prerecorded sounds. Everything has a more or less jazzy flavor, though "Falador Passa" partakes of an explicitly reggae spirit, "Aquarelo do Brasil" leans toward a sort of bossa nova/drum'n'bass fusion, and "5 AM" is a disarmingly elegant combination of heavyweight and slightly harsh trip-hop breakbeats and gentle nylon-string guitar. The program ends with a lovely setting of the Baden Powell song "Berimbau." The occasional touches of synthesized turntablism and the great trumpet solos are icing on the cake. Very nice.

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