Airto Moreira and the Gods of Jazz - Killer Bees - Killer Bees

2006-03-29 20:06

- "You mean you don't know what we are going to play?" They asked, smiling.
- "That's right. I have no idea." I replied.
* From the Killer Bees sleeve notes

Airto Moreira's done some questionable fusion (world music) work. While his courage in bringing ignored world music into the western market is impressive, the results often turn out like musical curios.

Not so Killer Bees. Which proves there's a big difference between anyone playing whatever they like, and the wild work of true gods of improvised jazz. They show that improvised doesn't need to mean formless, and doesn't have to be brilliance without structure, invisible to most of us.

Organic as the structure of this music may be, Killer Bees is high entertainment value, with tracks that develop, surprise and climax.

There's fairly extensive use of overdubbing (adding of musical parts like an alto sax line after the initial improv recording). This enriched the album by allowing Moreira to involve musos not then based in LA with him, and to add something where interest was missing. Sure, much of the best stuff on this album was done in one take. But avoiding puritanical improv, and with the wide range of instruments used gives the music its complex, yet clean finish.

Fusionist that he is, Airto meshes new age and rock into the mix - a killer combo of kick, long smooth melodic lines and frenetic jazz twiddles.

Airto has always had blisteringly hot collaborators (he got his North American start when the likes of Cannonball Adderly and Miles Davis noticed his talents.) On Killer Bees, he mingles the jazzy Herbie Hancock, the more new age Chick Corea (accoustic piano), the cool-cat glue of Mark Egan on fretless bass or the famous smoothie Stanley Clarke, Hiriam Bullock (guitars), and his own work.

Great packaging (extensive sleeve notes and cool album art) complete the package. Take a listen to the clips on the left of this page and think seriously about adding this to your jazz collection.

- Jean Barker

PS: You might also like this Airto CD... Revenge of the Killer Bees (REMIXES)
If you aren't a jazz puritan, try the Remixes (of Killer Bees) which have been given a bit of a more electronically oriented producer's soft gloss under Tony Thorpe's creative direction.

Killer bees is a collaboration of some of New York jazz's finest scattered talents, pulled together into something of unreasonable beauty by the adventurous Brazilian-born producer and percussionist Airto Moreira (A.K.A simply "Airto".)

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