Fun, coupled with feel good beats delivered with panache, sets the pace for this incredibly diverse album so let’s get going. Jump on your magic carpet and settle in for the musical ride of the year as you travel from place to place effortlessly with this wonderfully enjoyable collection of world – beat rhythms and pulses, bound loosely together as fusion.
Commencing in Rio or somewhere similar you feel you are soaring; swooping over the coastline, feeling the vibe, the Brazilian beat pulsing up through the atmosphere; the vibrancy of the sound heating the blood, warming the soul. Scat vocals by Olga Roman change the tempo to carnivale, fun, freedom and summer.
Jazz is the next destination with a particularly Latin beat as only the Brazilians can add with their particular flair, making the piece something more than just another jazz track.
Full bodied big band kicks in as the shift moves towards America, the home of that big, bold brassy sound; fantastic. If you are not moving to the beat by now, something is not quite connecting.
Vibrant colours, the rich, spicy sounds of India come together in ‘Wherever You Are’, which when followed by ‘Shanti-Om’, presented in tribute to Ravi Shankar and George Harrison, simply enriches the experience.
‘White Cloud Black Thunder’ brings the tribal beats of the American Indians into focus. The haunting sounds of the America native flute and drums evolving from a fusion of sounds into contemporary jazz. This is something rather special as the richness of the music is all encompassing.
Trekking across to the Northern Mediterranean climes, café music from France and cinema from Italy are combined create ‘Love Letters’, which blends seamlessly the earthy, romantic elements of both cultures.
Changing tempo once again with ‘Fun in the Sun’ the Afro-Cuban rhythms blend with West African sounds to belt out the pulsing, light, all-encompassing beat that can only be found in the Caribbean regions.
Wrapping up the journey is ‘Unidad Epilogue’; a fitting finale to a fantastic musical voyage.
Armstrong believes music has the power to uplift the human spirit and be a catalyst for change in the world. If Beyond Boarders is any indication you would have to say a resounding YES!