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Felipe Salles – Timeline (Curare Records 2008)

The angularity of Thelonious Monk melodies together with his idiosyncratic harmonic architecture, surrounded by rhythms that revolve and echo – bouncing off clouds and air. Sheets of Coltrane slicing through the wind, artfully chopped in short strident rhythms that rhyme with the rattle of the tom toms. High hat’s chop-chop-ch-ch-ch-chop and rolling rattle of those toms again […]

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The angularity of Thelonious Monk melodies together with his idiosyncratic harmonic architecture, surrounded by rhythms that revolve and echo – bouncing off clouds and air. Sheets of Coltrane slicing through the wind, artfully chopped in short strident rhythms that rhyme with the rattle of the tom toms. High hat’s chop-chop-ch-ch-ch-chop and rolling rattle of those toms again then a stabbing pizzicato bass that yells and wails and grumbles in a mystic compound. It feels as if a Latin Shaman is creating a chromatic spell. That this could be Monk reborn to play a woodwind instrument while the epic landscape of Brasil flashes past, or the dark inner rhythms and rhymes of Afro-Cuban are bursting out of the tenor or the soprano.

This is how the music of Felipe Salles might sound on any given day. This and a slyly introduced tenor or soprano solo that skitters and jumps-rope in a maddening circular manner with an alto mind-blown by Jacam Manricks or a piano that is undergoing a bewitching spell at the magical fingers of Nando Michelin. This too is the music of Felipe Salles as it flows through with raw power, negotiating bends as in a river. These drums add color that is too tropical to be missed or even hidden so smartly as to take on a rumble in the jungle.

The has been simmering and threatening to break out but never being given an opportunity until now, sounds as if it were simmering from the most ancient of times and yet is so utterly modern as to never having been heard until it approaches the future… the perfect symbiosis of earthy voices swathed in the harmonics of the inner Vulcan being. The kind that always can be heard from Africa to Brasil to the constellations that dot the sky where the ghosts of Dolphy and Monk and Bird and Trane and men who heard music rhythmically and not just melodically or harmonically…

The names of the tracks on Timeline are ultimately of little consequence except that they are programmatic representations of the sounds that gather together and separate to drive the energy of the record. Relentlessly. An “Orb” and “Sphere” being typical of this crazy chamber of sound. Or “Mind Motions,” that swings and bops to the future of Afro-Brazilian-Jazz-Allsorts.

Return to the beginning of time… A Timeline, de capo de profundis delightful music magic until the future unfolds somewhere in between Sao Paulo, or Santiago and the twilight of the skyline of New York. Possible to dance in a trance… Impossible to categorize forever. Felipe Salles and his Quartet are steaming on “Crossing Borders, Live”.

Tracks: Orb; Sphere; Mind Motions; Further South; Noite a Dentro; Libra; The Cage.

Personnel: Felipe Salles: tenor and soprano saxophones; Jacam Manricks: alto saxophone; Nando Michelin: piano; Jorge Roeder: double bass; Bertram Lehmann: drums.

Felipe Salles on the web: www.sallesjazz.com

Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

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