What do you get when you put together a Franco-American jazz guitarist, former novelist, and poet with a Palestinian-American vocalist and two brothers from Rio who have been making rhythms together since they were old enough to slap their hands against the table? Amérique Latine, a Washington, DC-based quartet that has just released its first CD, Nostalgia for Terra Incognita. The group was brought together by the members' love of Brazilian music and a musical curiosity that keeps them exploring beyond, searching for uncharted regions of what they call "New World jazz." Martin's guitars pair with Seikaly's vocals to create a unique melodic voice that carries them through original compositions by Martin as well as standards from the Brazilian, French, and U.S. repertoires, all approached from Amérique Latine's distinct perspective on the musical world. The result is an attempt to map the group's own Terra Incognita, a land of memory and imagination.
Alex Martin: guitars; Lena Seikaly: vocals; Leonardo Lucini: bass; Alejandro Lucini: drums (CD includes guest appearances by Marshall Keys: soprano sax; and Tomas de Castro: percussion)
CD: Nostalgia for Terra Incognita (Pajarito Verde Records, 2007), available at www.alexmartinmusic.com, cdbaby, and other retailers. Track 5, "Pas de deux des frangines," included on Oasis Jazz sampler (sent to radio stations nationwide).
acclaimed guitarist and clinician John Stowell
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The production values and recording quality are excellent, you and the guys all play well and have a...The production values and recording quality are excellent, you and the guys all play well and have a nice chemistry, and I like your writing. The latin treatments of standards (Chelsea Bridge, etc.) are well done and your vocalist has a nice feel for French and Portuguese.
nylon-string jazz guitar legend Gene Bertoncini
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I love your CD. I can't imagine how you got so many different feels. The ideas are great, the singer...I love your CD. I can't imagine how you got so many different feels. The ideas are great, the singer is great, the soprano sax . . . everything is just wonderful.
Here are the tracks on our album (samples can be heard at www.alexmartinmusic.com/music.html):
1. Sous le ciel de Paris (Giraud/Dréjac)
2. Blue Baiao (Martin)
3. Coraçao vagabundo (Veloso)
4. Occaneechi (Martin)
5. Pas de deux des frangines (Martin)
6. Tecún Umán, Pedro de Alvarado, and the Quetzal (Martin)
7. Chelsea Bridge (Strayhorn)
8. Bye-Ya (Monk)
9. We Returned to This (Martin)
10. Saudade da Terra Incognita (Martin)
11. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To (Porter)
We also play other originals, as well as standards from the U.S., French, and Brazilian repertoires.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.