www.stevelehman.com/selebeyone and check them out (the Wolof verses are translated into English). But, do pay attention to the music, to the burbling keyboards, to the solid bass lines, to powerful streams of phrases from Lehman's alto sax (at times sounding like Henry Threadgill) and, especially to the fascinating work of drummer Reid. Pieces such as Lehman's "Are You In Peace" where he pushes the music forward at a torrid pace while Gress holds down the bottom and plays counterpoint as well are filled with stunning tension that reflects the lyrics. Then, there is "Cognition" where his bass drum and snare reflect the bubbling keyboard. Lehman soars over the rhythm section, his acid-seared sound going way to Bandimic - his rap is punctuated by impressive bass work and snapping drums. Lasserre's pieces have more of a "space" edge; on "Dualism", his soprano sax is set against Lehman's alto, the synth washes, and HPrizm and Bandimic's vocals. "Hybrid" plays with various sound samples while the rappers push the pace. The blend of soprano and alto saxophone shadowing the lyrics, giving the words about oppression and freedom a framework, buzzes, chatters and soars.
For more information, go to www.stevelehman.com.
Read what Stephan Crump has to say about the album and his collaborators by going to stephancrump.com/albums/rhombal/.
Here's the quartet live from from October 2015:
Three cuts set poems to music, with the afore-mentioned "Night" based on a William Blake poem from "The Song Of Innocence" while the minimalist "Programa" features words from Portuguese poet Luis Amaro. "Nada" is from the pen of Ālvaro de Campos (a heteronym of poet Fernando Pessoa; the duo bathes this poem about a person who has settled for a world with nothing with shimmering guitars and a straightforward vocal. One other cut, "Os Outros", employs words from a 1964 essay by Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector (1920-1977).
|photo by José Sarmento Matos|
Because André Matos does not take many solos but uses his guitar to paint the various backgrounds, one might overlook his contributions. He wrote or co-wrote 11 of the 14 tracks, his guitar is the foundation and other voice in the conversations of the songs, and his lines flow as effortlessly as the vocals. Sara Serpa understands the duo setting having recorded with pianist Ran Blake and the various vocal choirs on the recording may remind some of the work she does with the vocal quartet Mycale. The music on "All the Dreams" is in no hurry, at times as comforting as cool summer breeze or a warm blanket on a winter night. Warm, like calm, should be how one feels after spending time with this album - warm, calm, and, ultimately, hopeful.
For more information, go to serpamatos.com or check out the album page at the Sunnyside Zone.
Here's a lovely taste of this album: