Beledo — Dreamland Mechanism
(Moonjune MJR077, 2016, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-04-24
From reading the credits, Uruguayan guitarist Beledo’s Dreamland Mechanism may seem like a bit of a grab-bag, with differing personnel from track to track, including some with Beledo himself handling everything but percussion. Nearly all of the guitar parts – acoustic, electric, Spanish – are provided by the leader, who also contributes violin, keyboards, and accordion, plus bass in a few spots. Drums are handled by Gary Husband on most tracks, with Doron Lev on a couple, and some featuring multiple percussionists instead of a drum kit. Bass duties are assumed by Lincoln Goines, Tony Steele, or Rudy Zulkarnaen, track depending, except when Beledo takes over. Fellow Moonjune guitarist Dewa Budjana gets a guest spotlight on one track. But in spite of all the musical chairs (so to speak), the album sounds remarkably consistent, maintaining an identity whether tackling acoustic latin jazz or classic guitar fusion (either in a power trio configuration or with an expanded lineup). On the electric tracks, there are similarities with some of Allan Holdsworth’s music in the way that unusual chord voicings back the melodies, though Beledo’s lead work bears only occasional passing resemblance to Holdsworth’s. When playing acoustic, Beledo exhibits pronounced latin tendencies, not surprising for a South American player. The acoustic track “Marilyn's Escapade” bears some resemblance to Chick Corea’s “Armando’s Rhumba,” mostly due to Beledo’s violin and his use of piano as the main backing instrument. “Mechanism” takes on a slight Mahavishnu tinge as an electric arrangement featuring both guitar and violin. “Budjanaji” features Beledo and Budjani fronting SimakDialog’s rhythm section. While Beledo’s playing is his own, the closest comparison is indeed Holdsworth, though there is no imitation here. (It is interesting to note that Holdsworth has been known to play violin as well.) Moonjune is becoming a veritable one-stop shop for outstanding guitarists from around the world, and this is an outstanding addition to the collection.
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more