TRIBECASTAN

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5 Star Cave (Ever­Greene

Mu­sic) The sopho­more al­bum from New York-based world-mu­sic genre-busters TriBeCaStan is a broader, more col­lab­o­ra­tive en­sem­ble work than the band’s first al­bum, 2009’s Strange Cousin. At TriBeCaStan’s core are multi-in­stru­men­tal­ists John Kruth and Jeff Greene, the duo now or­bited by a long list of guest play­ers on in­stru­ments as ev­ery­day as the vi­o­lin and as un­com­mon — in this coun­try’s pop-mu­sic canon, at least — as Moldovan kaval (wind in­stru­ment), a Kho­ras­tan du­tar (stringed acous­tic in­stru­ment with a pear-shaped body), and a Pak­istani taxi horn. Com­bin­ing el­e­ments of con­tem­po­rary jazz with funk, waltz, In­dian and Mid­dle East­ern folk, ca­lypso, tango, and rock, and stylis­tic nods to plenty of mu­si­cal points in be­tween, the 18 tracks on 5 Star Cave are an in­stru­ment junkie’s heaven — a well-chore­ographed col­li­sion of Buena Vista So­cial Club, Lau­rie An­der­son, John Zorn, and the streets of pre-war Kan­da­har that mim­ics the lin­guis­tic and eth­nic va­ri­ety of New York’s own Tribeca neigh­bor­hood. There’s a quirky sense of hu­mor about some of the al­bum’s song ti­tles (“Back When Tito Had Two Legs”) that some­how trans­lates to the mostly in­stru­men­tal mu­sic. Kruth and Greene once again make some­thing wholly ac­ces­si­ble that, with the ex­cep­tion of some fe­male vo­cals that sound tor­tu­ously un­prac­ticed and off-key, rises high above the New Age clichés and poor mu­si­cal­ity that “world mu­sic” of­ten prom­ises. — Rob DeWalt

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