CD Review: New Zion w. Cyro's "Sunshine Seas" | Music | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
Pin It

CD Review: New Zion w. Cyro's "Sunshine Seas" 

(2016, RareNoise Records)

click to enlarge cd-new-zion-w.-cyro.jpg

On Sunshine Seas, world percussionist Cyro Baptista joins long-time collaborator Jaime Saft's dub-jazz New Zion Trio, who change their name to New Zion and drop the "Trio" for the occasion. This is largely improvised music, but also quite strict in its aesthetic. New Zion is all about groove fluency, open space, and the palpability and personality of individual sounds as they emerge from and disappear back into the river of groove. Saft has long been after something you might call a semi-acoustic take on dub, capturing the outlandish production textures of that Jamaican form with modern jazz tools.

On Sunshine Seas, the buoyant reggae and Afro-Cuban grooves purr along on such highlights as the sublimely subtle "Onda," the psychedelic "Ranking," and the skittering "Samba Jahmeyka." In the great tradition of dub production, they are subject to all manner of sonic interlopers and groovus interruptus: unprecedented vocal happenings, ridiculous and ephemeral synthesized sounds, studio-engineered meltdowns and microblasts courtesy of co-producer Christian Castagno, and the remarkable array of high-character percussion sounds issuing from Baptitsa. The resulting texture is both organic and absurdist, in the high-20th-century sense of the word: hypnotic but also engagingly unpredictable. The rhythm section is utterly onboard with the rules and the intent—New Zion's regular drummer, Craig Santiago, and, on several tracks here, the monster bassist Brad Jones, who has recently engaged in a different kind of roots reclamation with Don Byron's New Gospel Quintet.

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
7th Annual Clynk for Schools Recycling Challenge @ CLYNK

7th Annual Clynk for Schools Recycling Challenge

Sun., Jan. 28 and Jan. 29-March 26 — CLYNK is urging schools located in towns within a 20-mile radius of...

View all of today's events

Latest in Music

Related to Music

  • The Moonlights Sunday Brunch
  • The Moonlights Sunday Brunch

    The Moonlights, a debut musical collaboration for families, is making the rounds at a series of live performances, including two of the upcoming Sunday Brunch at the Falcon in Marlboro.
    • Mar 20, 2017
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by John Burdick

Readers' Favorites

Hudson Valley Tweets