Streetdancer – Valkata


Valkata Review by Paula Edelstein

Streetdancer is an international collective of musicians who perform a combination of Brazilian, jazz and funk rhythms with Lithuanian folk variations woven throughout these 11 original compositions. On Valkata, we hear the core group of Kestutis Stanciauskas on bass guitar, Andrew Potter on drums and percussion, Robert Long on keyboards, and Jim Massoth on saxophones. Several guest musicians, including saxophonist Steve Eisen, guitarist William Boris, and a horn section that pulls it all together make this program even more exciting and interesting. This is a definite ‘sax-fest’ with both saxophonists blowing amazing improvisations over percolating drumbeats and superb keyboard compliments. Best bets include the title track, a fusion of electronic and hard bop rhythms, and exciting glissando; the 12-minute “Lithuanian Suite,” because of its electrifying saxophonics, percussion, and alluring Brazilian vocal ambience by Grazyna Auguscik; “Four Saints” because of Jim Massoth’s thoughtful melody lines and the otherworldly background movements, and “Pernambuco Nation” because of its Brazilian beats and weekend vibe. Overall, the playing on Valkata is diverse, resonant, melodic, and doesn’t have a forced, harsh feeling to it. This is intelligent, entertaining music and Streetdancer is definitely a group to remember.

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