Flavio Lira is a Brazilian-born bassist who is now based in New York City. His new album, “Coffee Gold Sugar Cane,” is what Lira calls “my love letter to all of Latin America.” To compose this letter, Lira has brought together 38 artists from 15 countries. The songs are mostly original and written by Lira.
“Coffee Gold Sugar Cane” is a full album with 12 songs that explore various types of Latin jazz. The different types of Latin music that are represented on the album include samba, clave, partido alto, tumbao and others. Lira also promises to include North American jazz and classical fugue.
Songs such as “All the Things You Are” and “Sol No Frio” showcase Lira and company’s commitment to both jazz and Latin styles. The heavily nuanced songs engage listeners with layers of sound and movements that seem to release one style after another into the soundscape.
About Flavio Lira
Before moving to New York City, Lira was based in Boston in 2013. In Boston, Lira continued to explore his musical roots. While there, he also delved into Caribbean music and jazz among other styles.
Once he arrived in New York, Lira continued to engage in his passion for eclectic musical styles. His effort to explore other music styles led him to collaborate with other artists and to opportunities to play at venues such as Birdland and Lincoln Center.
“All the Things You Are” by Flavio Lira
The song is based on a piano motif that seems inspired by American jazz. But the soundscape is hardly sparse. A horn motif offers the track Latin flare. The track is rich with sound. From bass to cajon, shakers, trombone, trumpet, alto sax, guitar and flute, “All the Things You Are” has a variety of elements to engage listeners. In addition, there are lyrics sung by Nella Rojas. The track seems to illustrate Lira’s inspiration. The song is energized by the vocals, piano and horn elements. Without those, the track would be gentle, relaxed, even. Having a relaxed tone is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it can be a positive. The point here is that certain elements would change the song.
“Sol No Frio” by Flavio Lira
Like the other songs on “Coffee Gold Sugar Cane,” this song that seems to be celebrating the presence of the sun without any cold (according to the title) is itself a celebration of sounds and traditions. The opening motif is funk-inspired with keyboard and bass creating a danceable line that is augmented by drums, shaker, congas, trumpet and trombone, this song could have been at home in both the 1970s, as well as in contemporary times. The breakdown that makes way for the saxophone solo brings with it a salsa flavor It is upbeat and energetic until the last drumbeats that are supported by a final blare of horns. The feeling of triumph or celebration is never lost on this track.
With 12 rich-sounding songs that are packed with elements that create the sound of Lira’s inspiration, “Coffee Gold Sugar Cane” is a treasure of an album that jazz fans should want in their collections.