Melbreeze Animazonia Review
By: Elberton Cisnero
Melbreeze is a uniquely original artists that approaches her music from an explorative standpoint. Her latest endeavor Animazonia is a distinctly Latin leaning outing. Produced by Jimmy Haslip and Scott Kinsey that album coheres the ideas brimming from Melbreeze’s creativity into a recorded format with the help and expertise of Haslip and Kinsey at the production helm. The album also features a few more surprise guests well-known in the fusion world. Guitarists: Jeff Richman and Larry Koose add their own brand of sonic mastery to the tracks. Along with specialty sounds and instruments like trilian bass, tabla, sitar, and tulum. Giving the music a distinct Latin sound with a Middle Eastern flavoring.
“Anima,” reminded me at times what one would expect from the early sounds of Annie Lennox in her Eurythmics era. Melbreeze is joined by Scott Kinsey: keyboards, keyboard flute solo; Jimmy Haslip: bass, bass solo; Gergo Borlai: drums; Brad Dutz: percussion; Larry Koonse: guitar and Jeff Richman: processed and looping guitar. Her voice is mysterious, and the track offers a nuanced percussive sound. Written originally by Milton Nascimento and Jose Renato the distinctly Brazilian tune is layered exquisitely with succinct ideas that hold true to the original nature of the song but allow Melbreeze to create her version as a unique signature rendition.
A not oft-covered tune “Mas, que Nada!” is a song written and originally performed in 1963 by Jorge Ben on his debut album, which became Sérgio Mendes’ signature cover song in his 1966. It was voted by the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone as the fifth greatest Brazilian song and was inducted to the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013. Melbreeze has an illuminated version of this song. The opening is infused with the exotic instrument tulum, provided by Selim Bolukbasi, which adds to the evocative timbre of the song. Melbreeze’s voice is easy going and self-assured and offers shades of seductive speak singing at times, that calls the listeners attention. Guitarist Koonse, spins a distinctly jazz solo with a warm and resonating tone. Gergo Borlai on drums and Brad Dutz on percussion add to the track’s catalyst.
Animazonia is a triumphant ninth release for Melbreeze. Continuing her unique groundbreaking approach of creativity, spinning ideas that are about the quality of the end result, and allowing the music to speak to audiences in a way that challenges the norm. Her artistry is singularly her own, and divinely inspired greatness. Worth adding to your collection, each track is its own wanderlust.