'Rimbombante' is one of those zeitgeist / weltenschaung terms that connotes more than it defines. It refers to something flamboyant having a strong resonance. 'Bombastic' is said to be the American translation, but I think something was lost in that conversion and this CD shows why. It contains a marked tendency to resonance but not because of any bombastry, an emotional quality which tends to be overbearing and loud, but rather through depth and the unusual aesthetic of saxist-trumpeter Dean Pullen. The very first cut, Diego Suarez, is proof of that, striking for its sophistication and richness, not unlike a cut that might have been on the classic first Long Hello LP, a track where traditional folk music meets its future in the mirror.
Pullen's baseline is bolero, and you have to be careful how you regard that. As Free Dictionary.com informs us, the term is ambivalent and can just as much refer to the Spanish dance in triple meter as the Latin-American slow dance, frequently in duple (two beats to the measure). You get both here, and a whole lot more, though you'd also find some argument among aficionados that it's trad bolero, Redemption cleaving most clearly to the mode. Regardless, the bulk of the CD possesses a tropical gentility, an easygoing vibe with tons of laid-back freespirited playing from the sextet, including another cat named 'Carlos Santana', this one a pianist.
Though the title seems to indicate it, Maria is not a concept album, not a set of songs revolving around a central lyrical theme and, interestingly, the closing cut, 21 Extra Days of Summer, is dedicated to Brian Wilson. There's a bit of Gato Barbieri in Ella a la Playa but much of the disc is shot through with laid-back contemplation and the sort of atmospheres you'd want to drink mojitos to while watching the sun set and night lights come up…that is, if you're a sophisticate and don't need to have your brains blown out by constant rock distortion or your emotions gooily soothed by the jingley simplisms of most radio and TV fare. You do have choices, you know.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles