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One thing I truly desire to do through this blog is to entice people to explore our world through music and literature.  We sometimes get a little shortsighted in our selections, falling into the ruts of what is set before us through television and radio stations.  But what if you branched out on your own?  What would you discover?  Perhaps you’d stumble upon a musical group such as Nomad, who would have the ability to transport you to a corner of the world that needs more exploring.  And maybe, by listening to Nomad’s Egyptian Dances, you’d discover Egypt is a country that inspires in you more creativity, a stretching of the mind, and a love for something that, while as ancient as the dawn of time, is fresh and new to your ears.

Traditional sounds, instruments, and arrangements make “Cairo – Dancas Egipcias” a most beautiful and haunting collection of the spirit of Egyptian music.  Instrumental with occasional vocals, each of the 10 tracks are enough to make you want to pack your bags, hop on a plane, and experience the windswept sands of the ancients.  One can’t help but have romantic and dreamy visions of pyramids, street bazaars, and camels. 

Maestro Paulo Freitas brings us the Nomad project as part of his specialization in oriental music.  He currently lives in Rio de Janeiro.  You can listen to clips of this CD or purchase the CD through the button below.

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Are you the Tito Puente type?  Like to live your life to the beat of hot latin rhythms?  Then it’s time to get yourself plugged into the Latin Giants of Jazz.  I’ve been mamboing my way through the house and down the street to the sounds of two of their CD’s: Ven Baila Conmigo! and Trip to Mamboland.  Both CD’s play homage to Tito Puente, and they do it masterfully.  In fact, Ven Baila Conmigo! includes several all-stars from the former Tito Puente Orchestra.  There’s just something about the Puente musical style that won’t let you sit still, from the moment you press play.  Each CD contains 13 tracks, so you know you’ll be moving for awhile! 

Perfect background music for a tropical summer party, The Latin Giants of Jazz goes well with mojitos and Cuba Libres, friends and lively conversation – or turn it up louder and rip up the dance floor!  Don’t believe me?  Just check out this video of No Me Molesto shot live at Birdland, NYC.  

Incidentally, you can hear No Me Molesto on their Trip to Mamboland CD on sale at CDBaby.  And of course for more Latin Jazz fun, be sure to check out their CD Ven Baila Conmigo!  Your parties will never be the same again.  Nor will your dancing shoes…

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Looking for something different to feed your jazz addiction?  Patrick Bebey may be just what you’ve been craving.  Smooth jazz beats, Bebey’s mellow flowing vocals, and a delicious blend of African rooted musical sounds give the CD Oa Na Mba a special something you won’t find in just any jazz.  The instruments used in Patrick Bebey’s work are probably a variety you’ve never even heard of: the sanza (or thumb piano), talking drums, the sabar, and pygmy flutes.  But when you add them to the more familiar pianos, bass, and trumpets, the mix is something worth giving a serious listen.

Bebey has no small musical resume.  He studied classical music at the Paris Conservatoire and is self-taught in Brazilian, jazz, and African music.  For a sold-out “Africa at the Opera” production at the Philharmony in Cologne, he performed a piece for the Pygmy flute and choir, together with Ladysmith Black Mambazo a Grammy Award winning South African a capella singing group.  I can only imagine what an impact that must have had on the audience!

I can tell you the impact Oa Na Mba has had on me, however.  I’ve listened numerous times and am happy to have discovered Bebey.  His style is relaxed, upbeat, and uplifting.  A truly enjoyable work filled with jazz  sounds both familiar and new; an unexpected pleasure on every track!

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