Daniel Silva's Minas Under Traffic is an EP whose sound captures the magic of an instrument that’s ever so often overlooked in many creative situations: the vibraphone. This amazing instrument, played here by Joseph Doubleday, offers so much versatility, and it is not only about capturing crystal-clear notes, but also adding some astonishing wavering ambiance to the sound through the unique system of rotating fans and pipes characterizing it. The vibes are all about melody and ambiance, and they actually fit perfectly within a jazz-driven concept. Not convinced? Well, put on this record and let the music tell you the rest of the story.
The title track itself is a great first example of how the vibes interact beautifully with a more traditional jazz piano sound, and with a minimalist rhythm backdrop. The following song, “Mahjong,” features a stunning drum pattern with a compelling set of chords on the piano and the vibes. The two instruments blend in together to perfection, creating a very one-of-a-kind texture. The sax takes the lead on this song as a very expressive melodic source. In addition to that, the third track on this release, Memoria," has a beautifully nostalgic feel with a warm and personal sound. This song is perhaps my personal favorite on this excellent EP, particularly because it has a more textural beginning, almost experimental in nature. The song showcases the band’s ability to stretch their vision to the max, going for a very original sound. Last, but definitely not least, the song Istanbul" actually wraps things up to absolute perfection. The tune has a killer bass introduction, and a drum rhythm that almost tips the hat off to fusion and Latin music. This is one of the EP’s most upbeat songs, and it showcases the band’s ability to explore different dynamic horizons, while still being able to retain the class, nuances, and sophistication of their wonderful music. Any fan of classic and modern jazz alike will undoubtedly enjoy the magic combination of instrumental greatness and creative vision that is featured on this fantastic studio release (rating: 8/10), which serves as a great introduction to Silva’s work
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