Banda Magda – Tigre (Verve Label Group/GroundUP Music, 2017)
Banda Magda’s sound has changed on Tigre. The global music influences are less visible. Instead, Tigre is deeply influenced by retro French pop and chanson as well as Brazilian popular music. While the album features lush arrangements with strings, superb percussion and brass, pop music dominates at least half of this recording.
The highlights of the album are the songs where the band introduces a greater dose of roots music such as the Brazilian-flavored “Coração,” “Vem Morena” and “Ase Me Na Bo,” and the laid back “Muchacha.” Throughout the album, the polyglot band leader, Magda Giannikou, sings in French, Portuguese, Greek and Spanish.
The lineup on Tigre includes Magda Giannikou: piano, accordion and lead vocals; Engin Gunaydin on drums; Marcelo Woloski on percussion and vocals; James Shipp on percussion and vocals; Andres Rotmistrovsky on electric bass and vocals; Ignacio Hernandez on electric and nylon-string guitar; Bob Lanzetti on electric guitar; Justin Stanton on keyboards, trumpet and vocals; Mike Maher on flugelhorn, trumpet and vocals; Chris Bullock: tenor sax, alto flute, clarinet and bass clarinet; Michael League on hammertone, baritone guitar and bass; Mika Mimura: vibraphone and marimba; Maeve Gilchrist on lever harp; Max ZT on hammered dulcimer; Richard Vogt on guitar; Or Bareket on double bass; Ayum Ueda on vocals; Giorgia Renosto on vocals; Anette Phillip on vocals; Debo Ray on vocals; Lei Stern on ngoni; and Juan Andrés Ospina on vocals.
Also featured is the Banda Magda String Orchestra with Maria Im, Curtis Stewart, Brooke Quiggins Saulnier, Sami Merdinian, Lev Ljova Zhurbin, Irena Momchilova, Maria Jeffers, Sam Quiggins and Colin Stokes.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.