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|3.5 great||Robbit | May 7th 16|
If you're expecting more primal percussion based Afro-Cuban jazz in the vein of Sabu Martinez, think again. The
raging horns of KENYA evoke Hollywood Boulevard more than Havana. There are times I was just waiting for that
voice-over telling me "This is a Desilu production!" So yes, this is the sort of music that Hollywood studios were
really keen to use during this era.
But don't allow this whiff of Hollywood schmaltz immediately write this one off. The playing is top notch and
adeptly executed. There are times I wish the orchestra wasn't quite so overbearing so you could hear the soloists
a bit better. This is very lively and accessible instrumental jazz that shouldn't be too difficult for a novice to
grasp, but still challenging enough to impress musicians.
1 Bumps | Bump
|3.5 great||Iai EMERITUS | June 12th 11|
Before I heard this, I just figured the world of Afro-Cuban jazz was a mystery to me, but my first reaction about Kenya was to be impressed by how familiar it all sounded. I'm not sure why, exactly - it could well be that a lot of this has been sampled by other people, or used in TV shows and films, or whether its formula has simply been copied so much that I've heard all the ingredients seperately, rearranged into something else. Most likely, it's a combination of all three. Whatever it is, though, it transforms an album that might otherwise sound too exotic into something very accessible. rIt's also very enjoyable. It doesn't deviate an awful lot from the pattern of ground bass, skittering bongos, and brass-heavy orchestration, but it doesn't really need to. Not much jazz - at least, not much critically acclaimed jazz - is as openly fun as this.
1 Bumps | Bump
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