CD Review: Aurelio, Laru Beya

Sub Pop/Next Ambiance/Stonetree Records, 2011
www.stonetreerecords.com

First, an important reassurance: this album has nothing whatsoever to do with that ambiguous but dreaded genre “ambient music.” Why it’s associated with a label called Next Ambiance, I have no idea; this is deeply felt, honest music, with strength and form and purpose and movement and emotion and intellectual appeal. Nothing ambi-pamby about it.

Nor is there anything aggressive about it. Arising as it does from the Garifuna culture, like Andy Palacio’s acclaimed album Watina a few years ago, this is gentle music in the very best sense. Its melodies are sweet and lilting; its Caribbean grooves will guide you swaying and dipping smoothly across the dance floor; its instrumentation and vocals are varied but always balanced; its arrangements are inventive but never intrusive. Recorded partly in Honduras and Belize and partly across the ocean in Senegal, this album is a fitting follow-up to what Palacio had started (and is dedicated to his memory), further illuminating the rich musical values and rhythms of the Garifuna people.

Of interest to Jahworks.org readers will be the very close link between these rhythms and those of reggae; you’ll be drawn immediately to the rocksteady, one-drop and even nyahbinghi-style beats that are all over the place, interspersed with various propulsive Latin and African sounding polyrhythms. Similar dexterity and variety show up elsewhere too. Although he’s a talented singer himself, Aurelio shares the vocal spotlight with several guests from Senegal (Youssou N’Dour, Njaaya – what a beautiful voice she has! – and a couple of the Orchestra Baobab lads), not to overlook the spirited backing provided by a group of village women back in Honduras.

Without deflecting credit from the wonderful performances or from the raw material, it’s clear that much of the success of Laru Beya is due to the inspired arrangements by Ivan Duran and Aurelio himself. Notwithstanding the variety of drums and other percussion, the electric and acoustic guitars, the kora, saxophone, trombone, electric piano, organ, and more, the sound never suffers from overload or overproduction. There’s always space, always fresh air, no matter how much is going on. This is gorgeous music; Andy Palacio would be very proud to hear what he has inspired.

Purchase CD here.



About Ted Boothroyd :

Ted has enjoyed music all his increasingly lengthy life. He has gone through various favorite artists along the way, from his mommy crooning lullabies at crib side to his dad singing folk songs on car trips to The Everly Brothers to Ian and Sylvia to The Dave Brubeck Quartet to The Lovin’ Spoonful to The Kinks to The Miracles to Ravi Shankar to Tchaikovsky to Pentangle to Miriam Makeba to The Red Army Chorus and Band to Captain Beefheart to Gilbert and Sullivan to The McGarrigle Sisters to The Clash to Louis Jordan to The Flying Bulger Klezmer Band to Manu Chao. He has trouble choosing favorites when it comes to reggae - that fixation has been too longstanding and too complete. Ted started writing about music late in 2002 with a book review in The Beat, continuing with book and album reviews until the magazine's untimely passing. His association with Jahworks.org dates back to 2003, and he has hosted a couple of radio shows featuring reggae and "world music". Ted also sculpts in plaster and wood. | View all posts by Ted Boothroyd

Previous postService Learning and Maintenance Upgrades in Hagley Gap, Jamaica Next postCD Review: Lobi Traore, Bwati Kono

0 comments

  1. Fresh Beats The Album (2011) says:

    Jun 20, 2011

    Новинки mp3…

    Ted "The Boot" Boothroyd: Posted on | June 20, 2011 | No Comments. Sub Pop/Next Ambiance/Stonetree Records, 2011 http://www.stonetreerecords.com. First, an important reassurance: this album has nothing whatsoever to do with that ambiguous but dreade…

What do you think?

Name required

Website

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*


It is free

It takes less than 30 seconds. Join Us

Login

Search Jahworks.org

About the author

Ted has enjoyed music all his increasingly lengthy life. He has gone through various favorite artists along the way, from his mommy crooning lullabies at crib side to his dad singing folk songs on car trips to The Everly Brothers to Ian and Sylvia to The Dave Brubeck Quartet to The Lovin’ Spoonful to The Kinks to The Miracles to Ravi Shankar to Tchaikovsky to Pentangle to Miriam Makeba to The Red Army Chorus and Band to Captain Beefheart to Gilbert and Sullivan to The McGarrigle Sisters to The Clash to Louis Jordan to The Flying Bulger Klezmer Band to Manu Chao. He has trouble choosing favorites when it comes to reggae - that fixation has been too longstanding and too complete.

Ted started writing about music late in 2002 with a book review in The Beat, continuing with book and album reviews until the magazine's untimely passing. His association with Jahworks.org dates back to 2003, and he has hosted a couple of radio shows featuring reggae and "world music". Ted also sculpts in plaster and wood.

Categories

FREE Newsletter

JahWorks.org | P.O. Box 9207 | Berkeley, CA 94709 | U.S.A.