Yulara – Future Tribe

15 01 2009

011Yulara – Future Tribe
MP3 @ 256 Kbps | 1:00:48 min | 123 MB | 10% Recovery Record

The group name, album title, and cover art are all suggestive of music with a freewheeling polycultural feel, and an exotic, unapologetically rhythmic foundation. What Future Tribe ultimately delivers, though, is a pleasant, unspectacular, gently grooving smooth-jazz record. Yulara is the collective name shared by Berlin natives Robert Matt (keyboards) and Annie Hilsberg (saxophones, flutes), and this project, their third disc, is characterized by polite rhythms, modest yet likeable melodies, and an unerringly sweet disposition. Anyone who expresses a preference for Yulara label mate 3rd Force should find something to like here, though occasionally the duo tilts so far to the light-and-cheery side of the spectrum (particularly during Hilsberg’s airy flute passages) that the disc takes on the feel of a puff ball on a stem–nice to admire, but not terribly substantial. French vocalist Angelique Kidjo makes a brief appearance on the title track, and guitarist Brian Hughes contributes to three selections. The disc’s more thoughtful moments appear over the last five tracks, and the nearly nine-minute reprise of the opening track, “Om Namah Shivaya,” provides an attractive mental journey, particularly when Matt stretches out on piano. Overall, nice background music.

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