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Beat the Donkey

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Make no mistake -- Beat the Donkey (translated from the Portuguese "Pau la Mula" as "let's go" or "let's do it") is not a reference to animal cruelty, but percussion Cyro Baptista's calling card to party. This debut recording for the group is split into fragments of small ensembles, a rotating cadre of players (a sextet at best) from many different disciplines. They range from riotous celebratory dance to multi-ethnic elements, cerebral, lighthearted, at times goofy and at other times heavy. There is no real core band, but rather a Gypsy circus loose association with Baptista clearly the madcap ringleader. Brazilian music can be the center of Beat the Donkey, but also...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Make no mistake -- Beat the Donkey (translated from the Portuguese "Pau la Mula" as "let's go" or "let's do it") is not a reference to animal cruelty, but percussion Cyro Baptista's calling card to party. This debut recording for the group is split into fragments of small ensembles, a rotating cadre of players (a sextet at best) from many different disciplines. They range from riotous celebratory dance to multi-ethnic elements, cerebral, lighthearted, at times goofy and at other times heavy. There is no real core band, but rather a Gypsy circus loose association with Baptista clearly the madcap ringleader. Brazilian music can be the center of Beat the Donkey, but also Balkan sounds, nomadic music, rock and funk, and a festive attitude that surely appeals to summertime outdoor merrymaking. Carnival meets hard rock circus at a stoner party during "Caranguejo Estrela Brilhante" (The Crab and the Shining Star) with fuzz guitar from Viva DeConcini and electric cello by Erik Friedlander; an expressive madlib rock & roll style identifies "O Canto da Ema," centered by Marc Ribot's wah-wah guitar; and the ethnic "Mr. Bugaloo" is a percussion workout accented by John Zorn's sax and the accordion of Toninho Ferragutti. On the softer side is the excellent "Parar de Fumar," a pleasant straight samba with featured clarinetist Anat Cohen. A circular acoustic guitar from Ribot during "Cyrandeiro" recalls West African kora music, while the sweet "Sapo and the Prince" has the wonderful vocalist Luciana Souza singing encouragement to a frog reluctantly turned prince, shaded by blown bottle sounds and finger snaps. "Rio de Jakarta" is the perfect melding of Balinese gamelan and layered Brazilian rhythms; a 6/8 "Ama" is rife with handclaps, the melody expertly played by guitarist Romero Lubambo similar to the Gypsy anthem "Dark Eyes"; while bloogles or sound tubes send the band into space during the dark and bizarre "Sweet Cuica" and the percussion-based "Funk I," the latter piece recorded live at La Plaza in Boston via radio station WGBH-FM. At some point, a more extensive live recording with a fixed band should be in the offering to fully hear Beat the Donkey's worldwide, expressive, and exuberant repertoire.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/22/2002
  • Label: Tzadik
  • UPC: 702397760825
  • Catalog Number: 7608
  • Sales rank: 380,249

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Caranguejo Estrela Brilhante (4:44)
  2. 2 Sapo and the Prince (2:29)
  3. 3 Cyrandeiro (4:23)
  4. 4 Sweet Cuica (2:15)
  5. 5 O Canto da Ema (3:46)
  6. 6 Parar de Fumar (4:19)
  7. 7 Rio de Jakarta (5:08)
  8. 8 Tapping the Stars (2:49)
  9. 9 Anastacia (2:38)
  10. 10 Mr. Bugaloo (3:23)
  11. 11 Ama (3:27)
  12. 12 Funk I (8:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cyro Baptista & Beat the Donkey Primary Artist, Percussion, Gong, Triangle, Vocals, Voices, Gamelan, Bells, Bottle, Hand Clapping, Caxixi, Pandeiro, Repique, Surdo, Tape, Cuica, Rayong, cowbell, Wood Block, Tamborim, Hadgini, Metallophone, Ceramic Drums, Vacuum Cleaner
Cyro Baptista Indexed Contributor, Percussion, Jew's Harp, Vocals, Washboard, Bottle, Cuica, Rubboard, Jaw Harp, Hadgini, Ceramic Drums, Guitar (Nylon String)
Marc Ribot Electric Guitar, Guitar (Nylon String)
Sergio Brandao Vocals, Cavaquinho, Guitar (Nylon String)
Francisco Centeno Bass
Erik Friedlander Cello, Electric Cello
Romero Lubambo Steel Guitar, Guitar (Nylon String)
Nilson Matta Bass
Peter Scherer Synthesizer, Sampling
John Zorn Saxophone
Kevin Breit Guitar
Jamie Saft Synthesizer
Jorge Alabe Repique
Luciana Souza Vocals
Toninho Ferragutti Accordion
Anat Cohen Clarinet, Vocals
Vanessa Saft Vocals
Viva DeConcini Electric Guitar
Amir Ziv Metallophone
Sergio Bandão Bass, Vocals, Cavaquinho, Guitar (Nylon String)
Tisza Coelho Vocals
Kristina Kanders Kempur
Max Pollack Vocals, Tape
Beat The Donkey Percussion, Vocals, Gamelan, Hand Clapping
Technical Credits
Cyro Baptista Producer, Audio Production
John Zorn Executive Producer
Jorge Alabe Contributor
Tomer Tzur Contributor
Eleonora Alberto Producer, Audio Production
Viva DeConcini Vocoder Programming
Tim Keiper Contributor
Patricia Alvarado Nuñez Producer
Sabina Ciari Contributor
Bob Comiskey Director
Chuck Eldridge Lighting Director
Mauricio Contributor
Cabello Rolim Contributor
Tamango Contributor
Cyro Baptista & Beat the Donkey Sound Effects, Contributor
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