Cyro Baptista is a Brazilian musician, teacher, and recording artist specializing in percussion in the genres of jazz and world music. Since arriving in the U.S. in 1980, Cyro Baptista has emerged as one of the premier percussionists in the country. Coinciding with the rise of the public's interest in world music, Cyro has recorded and toured with some of musicâs most popular names. His mastery of Brazilian percussion and the many instruments he creates himself, have catapulted him into world renown.
Bring together an all-star lineup of singers and musicians, match them with accessibly romantic melodies and radio-friendly arrangements, and the results will either be lightweight pabulum or superb high-quality pop music. In the case of producer Jason Miles' A Love Affair, it's unquestionably the latter. Even after 30 years on the world music scene, Brazilian musician/composer Ivan Lins may not have had a high profile. However, as this tribute recording demonstrates, his music is as fine as anything that has come out of his native country since the bossa nova heyday of the early '60s. Taken individually, each of these songs is a piece of joyous musical exuberance. Taken as a whole, this recording is better than an hour with any radio station you're going to find on the dial or online.
America/Brasil is a rollicking, celebratory album that keeps Herbie Mann on the winning streak he started with the release of Peace Pieces in 1995. Recorded during a week of concerts to mark his 65th birthday in April 1995, this disc is much stronger than its immediate predecessor, Celebration, also taken from the same week of live concert performances at New York's Blue Note jazz club. The material here is superb, and the playing top-notch. As the title implies, the emphasis here is on Mann's Brazilian side, but there are touches of the non-Brazilian with Bill Evans' "Peri's Scope" and Miles Davis' "All Blues." "Summertime" is recast in an Afro-Cuban mode with Paquito D'Rivera sharing the solo space on alto sax. However, lengthy Brazilian showstoppers are placed at the beginning, middle, and end of this wonderful disc. The opening "Keep the Spirits Singing" is propelled by the polyrhythmic pulse of percussionists Cyro Baptista and "Café," and the 17-minute title track finale features trumpeters Randy Brecker and Claudio Roditi, trombonist Jim Pugh, and guitarist Romero Lubambo.
Banquet of the Spirits is the tight touring band of Cyro Baptista, one of the world's most creative percussionists and one of Zorn's oldest friends and closest collaborators. The veteran of dozens of Zorn film scores, game pieces, bands, tours and compositions. Produced and arranged by the upcoming young bassist Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, who approaches the music with profound understanding, a wild imagination and indefatigable creativity, it features a dynamic band of young lions, truly the very best of the new generation. Each track tounching upon a different world tradition, this dynamic CD brings Zorn's lyrical compositions to life like never before.