Tag Archives: Brazil

Atoms For Peace – Amok (2013)

Atoms For Peace - Amok (2013)

An interesting “supergroup” line up here: Thom Yorke from Radiohead leads the fray on vocals, programming and guitars; and brings along with him bassist Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers; session drummer Joey Waronker, known for his work with Beck and REM; Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich with programming; and finally touring percussionist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mauro Refosco.

For all those players, Amok seems to sound rather sparse and open, never sounding claustrophobic; the general sound revolves around electronic beats wrapping around Yorke’s well-known voice. It’s hard to imagine that it is funky slapper Flea on bass when he is producing simple (but granted, effective) bass lines that in reality could have as easily been programmed, taking into account the context and the rest of the sound on the album. Likewise, the seemingly redundant amount of personal required to create the beats. This is more an observation than a criticism, but I did imagine this to be a duet project when listening.

That said, Yorke does have a good ear for interesting electronic projects, from a collaboration in 1998 with UNKLE on Rabbit In The Headlights, to Radiohead’s change of direction after OK Computer; and this album certainly is interesting to listen to. It is a mostly sparse electronic beats, almost entering, but never quite committing to, glitch territory, occupying a narrow range, with thick bass tones which sound so processed that whether they come from a stringed instrument or synth would be a point for debate if the presence of Flea was not known. Yorke’s voice is on top form, there’s no denying it.

For all my criticism, it is a very enjoyable album and always interesting. It’s not a groundbreaking album, though, and I found that many of the tracks seemed to lack distinction.

Favourite tracks: Ingenue, Judge Jury and Executioner, Dropped

Spotify link: Atoms For Peace – AMOK
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Antonio Adolfo – Finus Misturas (2013)

Antonino Adolfo - Finus Misturas (2013)

Brazilian pianist, Antonio Adolfo adds a Latin flavour to some Jazz classics, along with a few original compositions. The title means “fine mixtures” and this is indeed a fine mixture.

Coltrane’s Giant Steps and Naima are treated reverently; there is a certain refinement to Adolfo’s working of Giant Steps, removing some of the rawness from the mix, dropping the frantic bebop rhythm in favour of a more-danceable Latin beat; whereas slow reflective Naima is made more upbeat with the addition of effective flute. Dizzy Gillespie’s Con Alma is again given the bossa nova make-over, with some fantastic electric guitar. Other tracks are Bill Evan’s Time to Remember (reworked as Time Remembered), Keith Jarrett’s Memories of Tomorrow is turned into a solemn piano–guitar duet, and Adolfo’s take on Chick Corea’s Crystal Silence once again utilises the flute to make the track, dare I say, better than the original, more focussed and grounded.

Among the originals, Baladas and Tres Meninos stand out, highlighting the Latin styles and brilliant tightness of the players.

It’s not going to change the jazz world, but this is a great album of originals and standards with caring reworking as Adolfo applies a Latin twist. So, if the cold weather is getting you down, this fine mixture could just warm up your night.

Favourite tracks: Tres Meninos, Crystal Silence, Giant Steps

Spotify link: Antonio Adolfo – Finas Misturas
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