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Airto Moreira: Life After That

Twenty-six participating musicians, layering sheet after dense sheet of percussive pulses and grooves, spawned Airto Moreira’s Life After That. Although the core of the recording is filled with the musical air of Brazil, there are traces from other geographical areas too. For example, there is a Puerto Rican plena bell pattern on “Hala, Tumba y Timbal.” That, however, is one minuscule pointer on the song amid manifold Brazilian, Cuban and free percussive styles, effects and soloing characterizing this energetic adaptation of Cuba’s conga. Giovanni Hidalgo’s quinto playing carries its usual Herculean driving punch on this tune, and the musician indicating the transitions with grunts sure sounds like him too.

“Baba and Malonga Went Home” is another tight marching-conga variant, with wooden flutes fluttering and the leader’s rolls and tasteful spiciness as well as some more of Hidalgo’s staggering playing. “Redland” features an didgeridoo, played by Stephen Kent, sundry small shakers, metallic and stringed percussive colored grooves, and brief vocal passages of various ethnic flavorings such as Native American ceremonial shouts and even animal-like chirps and songs with some howler-monkey eeriness. “Mulata and Futebol” builds itself into the frenetic abandon of a soccer-goal call, as its samba vocal thematic development relates a peppy tale of a Brazilian mulata and the world’s most popular sport. And the Marleys would certainly dig “Let It Out Let It In” and its vocal invitation to “Move your body and dance / Everybody feel good together.” Irie indeed!

Originally Published