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CHANDALISMO ILUSTRADO (Lovemonk, 2006)

1. En La Calle, On the Street
2. Monosabio Blues
3. Qué Papa É Esse?
4. Toda Mojaíta
5. Coco Pindá
6. Daughterbitchin´ and Motherfuckin´ Style
7. Pal Perú
8. Tieso Y (Sin Desayuná)
9. Tontorroneá
10.  The 48th African Davies
11.  ´Fess It, Girl
12.  Afrobeatnik?
13.  Raise Up Standards
14.  Joyina
15.  Sycamore Blues (Tristezas del Sicomoro)

On Chandalismo Illustrado, Gecko Turner drops some disco, house, and funk into a musical blender already brimming over with jazz, blues, samba, reggae, hip-hop, Spanish, Arab, and Cuban music. Turner sounds even more confident than he did on Guapapasea!, with a vibe that approaches Funkadelic for its sheer musical exuberance. In fact, "Afrobeatnik?" could be a Latinized tribute to Clinton and his cohorts. Turner grumbles a few simple phrases over and over while a muscular Latin funk groove carries along a chorus of female singers, horns, congas, and Congolese guitars. The track segues neatly into "Raise Up Standards," a tune that sounds like Curtis Mayfield doing a Bob Marley imitation while fronting a reggae jazz band. It seems Turner listened to a lot of African-American music from the '70s in preparation for this outing, and you can hear that influence on most of the tracks. "Daughterbitchin' and M**********n' Style" brings to mind Tom Waits delivering a jazzy blues for a blaxploitation soundtrack, "Tieso (Y Sin Desayuná)" sounds like Chic swinging along on a breezy Latin trip, and "'Fess It, Girl" brings to mind the mellow ballads of Bill Withers. This is not to say the music is derivative. Turner's love of black American music is genuine and while the songs are obvious tributes, he always makes them his own with his trademark genre-mashing. There are plenty of descargas with hip-hop, samba, reggae, and other tropical grooves in evidence here. The closing track, "Sycamore Blues," is a free-for-all that blends harmonica, talking drum, African percussion, and Turner's imitation of a Delta blues moaner. Its rootsy acoustic vibe is a surprise after the dense layered tracks that make up the rest of the album, but it's in keeping with Turner's unpredictable and highly playful modus operandi. ~ j. poet, Rovi

 

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