Brazzaville

2002

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

What do Fiona Apple, the Blasters, Cibo Matto, the Creatures, Divinyls, Jewel, Ben Lee, Sean Lennon, the Lemonheads, NOFX, Michael Penn, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, and Victoria Williams have in common? Well, besides being a representative sample of the most influential projects and artists of the last two decades, all these names are on the collective resumé of the septet Brazzaville. Put together by saxophonist David Brown (Beck), Brazzaville boasts slinky, spy-at-the-beach sounds that suggest exotic, tropical vacations courtesy of the Federal Witness Protection Program, or an invitation into dangerously cool Yakuza hangouts where nobody knows your name until all the doors are locked. World traveler Brown gathered his journeyman musician friends together to create music fusing his Far East and South American influences. The result, which has room to reconcile both West Coast cool jazz and New York City hip-hop flavors, also allows room for some vivid spoken word in the gritty "Sewers of Bangkok" and "Ocean," featuring Joe Frank (National Public Radio). Eclectic arrangements that successfully synthesize a multiplicity of genres rich in percussion, while incorporating organ, turntables, piano, and more, give every track a unique and exotic feel. This self-titled debut is one of those rare albums that more than fulfills its promise. (Brazzaville was retitled 2002 when picked up for wider distribution.)

blue highlight denotes track pick