Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Antibalas, Security

Antibalas is a large Brooklyn-based band that plays horn-driven big band music with socially-conscious lyrics.  Their charts are based primarily on African and Latin rhythms with other influences here and there.  Think Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat bands without Kuti and with a number of AntibalasEddie Palmieri’s band members sitting in. 

Antibalas brought in John McEntire (Sea & Cake, Tortoise) to produce, engineer and mix with the result that tracks like “Metal”, “I.C.E.” and “Age” move from Antibalas’ standard repertiore toward a more jazz inflected style of music.  It’s an interesting direction for Antibalas and it’s good to see the band expand and enrich their material.  They do it well but not as well as big bands that have been playing Latin or African infused jazz charts for years (the Mingus Big Band, for example).  The lengthy tracks “Filibuster X” and “Sanctuary” featuring socially aware lyric segments sound like leftovers that didn’t make the cut for their previous album, Who Is This America.  Security sounds like a transitional album to me.  The newer sounding material is on the move toward something that could be promising but the band hasn’t arrived yet.  The older sounding material sounds tired and worn out like these guys have done too many versions of this kind of thing too many times. 

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04/06/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music

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