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Beledo is something of a Uruguayan national treasure, and the new album goes a long way to justifying that reputation.

Music Review: Beledo – ‘Dreamland Mechanism’

Dreamland Mechanism is the MoonJune Records debut of Uruguayan-born multi-instrumentalist Beledo. Probably best known as a guitarist, Beledo, who has been based in New York since the 1990s, has put together a 10-tune set of original music that has him demonstrating his talent on a variety of instruments—acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, accordion, and violin, to name a few. Moreover, he has a top notch group of jazz stalwarts working with him: drummer Gary Husband and bass guitarist Lincoln Goines on six tracks, drummer Doron Lev and bass guitarist Tony Steele on two tracks, and percussionists Endang Ramdan and Cucu Kurnia on a couple others.Beledo

On a tune like “Mechanism” which opens the album, Beledo, joined by Goines and Husband, plays electric guitar, violin, and keyboards, while on “Marilyn’s Escapade,” he plays acoustic piano, violin, accordion, electric guitar, and keyboards. For some musicians, this kind of multitasking might be little more than a stunt, but Beledo carries it off with integrity. Guitar and keyboards: he can play.

Dreamland Mechanism’s sonic pattern runs from jazz to world music touched throughout by a solid jazz-fusion vibe. It is a soundscape ripe with originality, and Beledo and crew take full advantage of the creative opportunities it offers. Tunes like “Big Brother Calling” and “Mercury in Retrograde” are full on modern jazz pieces. “Lucila” and “Budjanaji” add the elements of world music. “Bye Bye Blues,” “Sudden Voyage,” “Silent Assessment,” and “Front Porch Pine” round out the album. Whatever the focus, each of the 10 tracks exemplify musicianship at its professional best.

Newspaper El Pais wrote that “Beledo is considered a real myth among Uruguayan music connoisseurs.” And while one might question the logic of a phrase like “real myth,” there is really no question about its intent. The musician, it would appear, is something of a national treasure, and the new album goes a long way to justifying that reputation.


 

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