New Reviews: March 14, 2001

Brasil Acoustico: New Wave Traditions From The Birthplace of Samba & Bossa Nova
Various Artists
Demon Music Group, Ltd.

Brasil Acoustico is a compilation CD containing several new Brazilian artists. Soothing and interesting male and femal vocals accompany excellent instrumentation. The traditional instruments and pop melodies keep your toes tapping and your soul stirring. Brasil Acoustico is an accurate collection of Brazil's diverse and rich musical cultures. Fans of Latin, Jazz, Samba, Bossa Nova and Brazilian music in general will especially enjoy this recording.

Tropique: Taken By Surprise
Norman Hedman
Palmetto Records

Tropique explores the musical styles of Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico and West Africa. In addition to being the composer and arranger for the band, Norman Hedman also plays the congas. Six other band members play on timbale, saxophone, piano, vibe, flute, bass and a variety of other percussion instruments that comprise the unique Latin-sounding musical pieces. In fact, tropical and samba musical elements are also persent. Slow and fast instrumental tempos flow naturally from track to track. Norman Hedman has an uncanny ability to create enticing musical adventures in a matter of minutes. Overall, the music is rich, creative, inspired, exotic and original. Norman Hedman and his band's immense musical skill should not be overlooked. Fans of mambo, tropical, samba, salsa, bossa nova and Latin music in general will be tremedously satisfied with Tropique.

Searching For Satyam
Deepak Ram

M.E.L.T. 2000

Searching For Satyam is essentially an hour-long journey across the calmer side of the Indian subcontinent. Deepak Ram plays the Bansuri flute from India. The soft and fluid sounds from the Bansuri flute accompany musical textures produced from the guitar, bass, percussion and tabla. For the most part, the music is instrumental; however, Olive Simpson lends her haunting vocals on a single track. Searching For Satyam is rather experimental, but adventurous. A few tracks are very upbeat, and others are less defined and slower in nature. On the whole, Deepak Ram effectively creates and awe-inspiring musical journey with a fairly simple instrument: the Bansuri flute.

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss.