Cyro Baptista has worked with a distinguished list of artists including Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Yo-Yo Ma and Trey Anastasio. The Brazilian percussion maestro, who often finds converts with his dazzling live performances, conveys an accurate representation of his complex, world beat influenced sound on Banquet of the Spirits.
A mix of differing styles from rumba to western swing, Banquet of the Spirits delights in it’s indulgences of forward musical movement and soaring melody. The disc starts out in arresting fashion with "Tutubole," a powering run through of coordinated cymbal treatments and brash bass lines. "Mumukata" runs the gamut, taking a note from King Crimson, as Baptista burns down the epic jazz workout in discordant, avant garde fury with pure Zappa-esque relish. "Bird Boy" is a marvel, translating the pitches and choruses of Baptista’s South American homeland in rich, unified transcontinental voices. Along the way, the Middle Eastern ruminations of "Macunaima" invite differing players to "Banquet," including Shanir Blumenkranz, Brian Marsella and John Zorn.
Another example of Cyro Baptista’s unique ability to capture his "lightning in a bottle" stage act on record, Banquet of the Spirits surrounds the listener with a feast for the auditory senses and a resounding hunger to drum into uncharted, reverberating landscapes.
Baptist of the Spirits is out now on Tzadik.