Artist: Nomade Orquestra
Genre: World Fusion, Latin Jazz
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Jardins de Zaira
Estrada para Camomila
Vale da Boca Seca
Olho do Tempo
Entremundos translates into “Between Worlds,” and the second full-length offering from this remarkable ten-piece Brazilian orchestra is full of songs about motion and movement, written and performed in their São Paulo observatory. And while listening to the complete set takes you less than fifty minutes, the musical journey it takes you on is endless.
We begin in the “Jardins De Zaira,” the “Gardens of Zaira” district of São Paulo where the Orquestra meets and rehearses. Simple, strummed acoustic the guitar opens the gate, and remains your lifeline through this river of melody in which flute, percussion, and horns swim and splash like colorful exotic fish. We traverse “Terra Fértil” (“Fertile Land”) with wind instruments growling animal sounds while keyboard notes rain down like a cooling shower of electric rain, and percussion and drums rumble in accompanying thunder.
We more leisurely wind our way down the “Estrada Para Camomila” (“Road to Chamomile”), which weaves soul guitar, turntables and digital samples like a crown of wildflowers into its melody; the cool mid-song break, where the bass picks up its tempo from jazz walk to jazz stride just long enough for you to notice, feels like tripping through the Brazilian jungle with Henry Mancini and his horn section. This “Road” directly leads to “Felag Mengu” (“Migrant Farmers”) marching out into the musical field to the beat of martial drums, crossing through a cool jazz intersection where a romantic Spanish dance floats upon piano and harmonizing brass.
“Rinoceronte Blues” stomps on a heavy-footed beat while harmonica and tenor sax jointly wail and growl the blues into a thoroughly beastly howl which circles back upon itself. “Vale De Boca Seca” sounds even more ferocious: The rhythm section, horn section and fuzz-toned lead guitar hook all seem to be playing in subtly different yet intersecting times, cooking up a scalding cauldron of Jeff Beck electric jazz-rock guitar fusion funked up by the Tower of Power horns.
Entremundos never once reaches beyond its grasp, and is even better than the Orchestra’s eponymous debut, which was one of the best recordings I’ve ever heard. Even if they were to disband and stop right now, Nomade Orquestra would go down as one of the best progressive bands in Brazil’s storied music history. But let’s hope that this is just the beginning of what’s becoming a remarkable story instead.
By CHRIS M. SLAWECKI