An air of lush romanticism and tropical melancholy pervades the music on KICKING CANS. Brazilian film composer Dori Caymmi has assembled here a cast of Brazilian musicians and American jazz stars such as Branford Marsalis and Herbie Hancock.
The mysterious wordless vocal of "Migration" unfolds over a backdrop of Brazilian percussion and Caymmi's assertive chord work on nylon string guitar. Caymmi's hesitant tenor vocals add to the plaintive tone--he's a guy with a lump in his throat and his heart on his sleeve. There is urgency in this music, and a hint of menace, too. The shifting time signatures and skewed melodies conspire to keep the listener comfortably off balance--the music goes where it has to go, like a river meandering lazily through a rain forest. The centerpiece is the sultry re-working of "Brazil," featuring a reflective and dazzling performance by Herbie Hancock. With its yearning melody and sensual guitar, "My Countryside" captures the overall cinematic feel of this CD. It throbs, and sobs.