Uri Caine X3
BedRock 3 – Rio – Solitaire
(Winter&Winter – 2002)
by Eugene Holley, Jr.
The Philly/born pianist/composer Uri Caine has musically gone around the world, sampling everybody from Herbie Hancock and Mahler to Bach. Very few people can go from Elton John (as he did in the Philadelphia Experiment with Roots drummer ?Uestlove and bassist Christian Mc Bride) to the Goldberg Variations, his ground breaking, contrapuntal concept released in 2000. Following in the footsteps of Fred Hersch, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett and Wynton Marsalis, Caine’s patron record company Winter& Winter, has released three Caine projects at the same time. For a musician as eclectic as Caine, that’s not such a bad move.
Bedrock 3, with bassist Tim Lefebvre, drummer Zach Danziger, features Caine on the Fender Rhodes and it marks his foray into electronica. Caine plays that genre with enough complexity that leaves room for the groove. The surprising thing about this date is that there’s a strong Herbie Hancock/Headhunters vibe throughout the CD, especially on the tracks “Toe Jam” and “Root Canal.” Augmented by DJ Logic’s percussive sounds and some vocals, Caine’s ’70s style keyboards float above Lefebvre’s Paul Jackson in-the-pocket bass lines and Danziger’s Harvey Mason-meets techo-jungle trap work.
Caine affinity for finding the groove in unfamiliar places comes in handy on Rio. Of course, any jazzer who explores Brazil has to deal with the samba. What makes Caine, hip is that like Mario Bauza, he knows that the samba is the Cuban clave inverted, which gives him a whole new panorama of rhythmic grooves to play on. Another good thing about this date, which was recorded in Rio, is that Caine recorded with Brazilian musicians. The powerful percussion of the Unidos da Vila Isabel samba school propels Caine’s upbeat pianisms (although the mix could have been better) and provides the African anthems on the festive “Samba de Mar” and “Samba do Fogo,” “Samba da Terra” and “Samba da Rua.”
Some of the other cuts with drummer Paulo Braga, bassist Jorge Helder, guitarists Lulu Galvano and Jair Oliveira and percussionist Humberto Cazes swing with a classic bossa nova fell and a fusion-friendly sound not unlike Brazil’s terrific threesome, Azymuth. But Caine goes where few Yankee swingers go: On ” Bondinho de Santa Theresa” Caine’s pianisms are propelled by the berimbau-fueled folkloric fire by Grupo Corp Moviment Capoeira/Morro do Cantagalo, while “Assalto Cultural” is a funky rap/hip-hop/favela jam with Brazilian rappers. All told, Caine comes away from this project with a dual citizenship in North and South American moods and grooves.
On Solitaire, Uri Caine unveils a multitude of moods and grooves via solo piano. His treatment of the standard ballad, All The Way” and the Beatles’s “Blackbird” show a respect for the melody that you would not expect from someone so gifted with the capacity for invention and dimension. In this format you can hear how Caine creates, builds, inverts and subverts genres, piano styles and melodic ideas. His compositions like “Sonia Said,” the bouncy, bluesy “Beartoes” and the diatonically deft Roll On” and the modal-motived “Anaconda” are stealthy wormholes to galaxies of musical genius, inhabited by planets of brilliance.
Even in this threesome of releases, you get the feeling that Uri Caine is just getting started.
Track Listing: 1.Our Hour 2.Nymphomania 3.Fang 4.Skins 5.Humphrey Pass My Way 6.Flagrant Fragrant 7.Toe Jam 8.Red Eye 9.Lobby Daze 10.J.Edgar Hoover In A Dress 11.Root Canal
Personnel: Uri Caine: piano & Fender Rhodes, electric piano – Tim Lefebvre:bass – Zach Danziger: drums & additional sounds – Pete Davenport vocals (Root Canal) – DJ Logic: turntables (Red Eye, Root Canal) – Jessie System: vocals (Lobby Daze) Rio
1.Samba de Mar (Uri Caine e Unidos da Vila Isabel) 2.Dia de Praia (Uri Caine) 3.Teu Chamego (Uri Caine) 4.Revolucionario (Paulo Braga) 5.Bondinho de Santa Theresa (Traditional) 6.Combatente (Mauricio Pacheco, Pedro D-Lita) 7.Samba do Fogo (Uri Caine e Unidos da Vila Isabel) 8.Raquel (Uri Caine) 9.Arpoador (Uri Caine) 10.Assalto Cultural(U. Caine, O AntonioJr.,P.H. Deptuesou, A. C.L.Roca) 11.Na Lapa(R. Cutz, E. Pires, C. Monjope,T. Didac, U. Caine) 12.Samba da Terra (Uri Caine e Unidos da Vila Isabel) 13.Um Minuto so(Jair Oliveira) 14.Choro Maluco(Paulo Braga) 15.Samba da Rua (Uri Caine e Unidos da Vila Isabel) 16.Akalanguiado(Paulo Braga) 17.Adeus(Uri Caine) 18.Samba do Vento (Uri Caine e Unidos da Vila Isabel)
Personnel: Uri Caine: Piano, Teclado Fender Rhodes – Paulo Braga: Bateria, Percussao – Jorge Helder: Baixo Acustico, Baixo Eletrico – Lulu Galvano: Violao – Jair Oliveira: Violao, Voz – Cacau Gomes: Voz – Cris Delanno: Voz – Humberto Cazes: Percussao, Paneiro, Reco-Reco de Mola, Tamborim, Triangulo Solitaire
1.Say It In French 2.As I Am 3.Roll On 4.Sonia Said 5.Beartoes 6.Inhaling You 7.Hamsin 8.Solitaire 9.The Call 10.Snort 11.All The Way 12.Twelve 13.Blackbird 14.Anaconda 15.Country Life