Epilog - Blog - Notes and Updates to Ron's Audio-Files
“Americas” is the latest project of Paul Beaudry & Pathways and was released late May on the independent Soundkeeper Recordings. This talented quartet includes leader and bassist Paul Beaudry, Tim Armacost is the saxophonist, Bennett Paster plays piano, and Tony Jefferson is on drums.
The selections on this album were inspired by the group's 2010 Good Will Rhythm Road musical tour through the “Americas” ( North, Central, South, and the Caribbean) and is infused with the rhythms and songs of the Western Hemisphere. “Americas” was recorded May 3rd and 5th 2011 in a small auditorium setting outside New York City. These musicians bring a fresh contemporary jazz feel to the eclectic selections which range from the Argentine Zamba Alegre (published in 1916) to an original composition Harmonia Mundi that was recently written by the bands Brooklyn based pianist Bennett Paster. Meaning World Peace, his song combines sophisticated lyrical interplays and a harmonic complexity that stylistically suggests some poignant mid 70's Wayne Shorter composition.
Another urbane selection O Que E Amar is a beautiful straight ahead treatment of a tender ballad by Johnny Alf, the Brazilian musician, sometimes known as the "Father of Bossa Nova". Taking another twist D'Leau is a Haitian song that Beaudry & Pathway interpret with a distinctive smooth West Coast jazz groove that would sound perfect when driving along a coastal highway (in a fast convertible of course) . Other surprises on Paul Beaudry & Pathways “Americas” album represent works selected from Nicaragua, Honduras, Trinidad and Suriname composers. Its great to know worldly compositions like these are being explored and recorded, though maybe not often enough performed in clubs today.
From the perspective of an audiophile, Soundkeeper Recordings of “Americas” is a sonic gem. The performance was captured in “True-Stereo” and in a high resolution (192KHz 24bit) stereo sound-scape. (You can purchase the album in several digital formats directly from Soundkeeper Recordings web site). The real emotion of a played- live-in-one-take performance comes through. To this listener “Americas” is one of those uncommon recordings where the audible quality is so superb it easily transcends most “playback hardware” you happen to be listening to. When heard through an appropriately excellent Hi-Fi sound system there is voluminous dynamic range and thoroughly convincing sonic naturalism to fill the listener's space. Through engineer Barry Diament's experience, skills (and alchemy?) at Soundkeeper Recordings you'll be transported without moving, becoming an observer, a “hearer” who has been magically brought into the performance space.
It's easy to get absorbed into this album and sometimes hard to keep your feet still when listening. The artistry of the players, the audio production, recording and mastering all make Paul Beaudry & Pathways “Americas” a must have for the the jazz fan, the eclectic collector, and most definitely for the audiophile.