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Music Review: 'Trade Winds: Cuba,' Matt Geraghty Project

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Music Review: 'Trade Winds: Cuba,' Matt Geraghty Project

Music Reviews

Music Review: 'Trade Winds: Cuba,' Matt Geraghty Project

Music Review: 'Trade Winds: Cuba,' Matt Geraghty Project

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  • Transcript

Tom Moon reviews an album chronicling some unscripted jam sessions from a variety of Cuban musicians.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

New York bassist Matt Geraghty and Brazilian saxophonist Ze Luis spent 21 days in Cuba with a mission, to capture an unscripted collaboration with different musicians each day. Here's what happened on day three.

(SOUNDBITE OF MATT GERAGHTY PROJECT SONG, "IN THE TEMPLE")

SHAPIRO: An album of some of those jam sessions captured last year is out now. It's called "Trade Winds: Cuba," and reviewer Tom Moon says it offers a street-level view of one of the world's most interesting music scenes.

TOM MOON, BYLINE: When bassist Matt Geraghty and his team arrived in Havana to record this crowd-funded project, they followed one rule, don't talk, just play.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PRENDE")

ETIEAN: (Rapping in Spanish).

MOON: The informal jam session or descarga is foundational in Cuban music. Even classical musicians grow up comfortable with on-the-fly collaboration. Over 100 musicians were involved, and Geraghty says that every one of them got the idea right away.

(SOUNDBITE OF MATT GERAGHTY PROJECT SONG, "YANK TANK")

MOON: The Trade Winds team captured unscripted musical encounters in homes and clubs, churches and the famed EGREM Studios. There are several intense drum circles.

(SOUNDBITE OF MATT GERAGHTY PROJECT SONG, "BUILDING BRIDGES")

MOON: There are some roaring, big-band riffing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MATT GERAGHTY PROJECT SONG, "BEST COMES TO BEST")

MOON: And several tracks showcased prominent Cuban rappers. This terrific freestyle features Telmary Diaz, whose calling card is superfast polyrhythmic inventions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST LIKE THAT")

TELMARY DIAZ: (Rapping in Spanish).

MOON: As relations with Cuba normalize, we're likely to get tons of touristy audio postcards. But this Trade Winds project is different. Though some of the jams drift into generic jazz fusion, there is a genuine conversation going on, unfolding in real time and alive with the spirit of exploration.

(SOUNDBITE OF MATT GERAGHTY PROJECT SONG, "PLANET FLUTO")

SHAPIRO: That was Tom Moon reviewing "Trade Winds: Cuba" by the Matt Geraghty Project.

(SOUNDBITE OF MATT GERAGHTY PROJECT SONG, "PLANET FLUTO")

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