Born in Uruguay, but for over twenty years now a resident of New York, the otherwise singularly named guitarist Bele Beledo here makes his recording debut for Moonjune Records, surrounding himself with a stellar cast of sidemen, garnered through years of playing in the NYC jazz fusion scene. Beledo has played with just about everyone in that musical area who resides in or was passing through New York. Among the dozens of names are some you may recognise: Jimmy Haslip, Jeff Berlin, Adam Holzman (yes, that one), Gary Husband, Lincoln Goines, and fellow Moonjunistas Dewa Budjana, Tohpati, simakDialog, and Gilad Atzmon. Gary Husband and Lincoln Goines form the solid rhythm section on most of Dreamland Mechanism to Beledo’s multi-instrumentation.
The electric guitar firstly and guitars in general are Beledo’s first love, but he also finds his way round a variety of keyboards, violin, and a Moog. His piano work on Marilyn’s Escapade marks him out a special player on that instrument too, contributing scenic and melodic runs to top off a lovely tune.
The music on Dreamland Mechanism covers many bases, taking in jazz-fusion, world music, smooth jazz and fiery instrumental flights of fancy, highlighting Beledo’s knack for arrangement and melody, another string to his already over-talented bow.
Sudden Voyage is one of two tracks to feature a rhythm section of Tony Steele on bass and Doron Lev on drums, and departs into a walking blues, but in a convoluted time signature that would have a two-left-footed oaf like me tripping over his feet. Beledo solos away on something called an “archtop electric guitar” and a splendid cascade of notes emerge as Doron’s highly percussive style lends a Latin feel to proceedings. Nice! The emerging more conventional “rock” vibe is upped on the following Big Brother Calling which sees Husband and Goines laying down a dependable funk for all manner of pyrotechnics from Beledo’s guitar.
The world feel is highlighted when Beledo is joined by the Sundanese percussion of Endang Ramdan and Cucu Kurnia from Indonesian labelmates simakDialog. On the highly lyrical Budjanaji they are also joined by the titular Dewa Budjana who contributes a typically sonorous solo.
The album ends with the Holdsworth-like fusion of Front Porch Pine, featuring some scorching fretwork from Beledo, concluding an engaging and winding journey through an enjoyable stylistic maze, shining a spotlight on a highly talented player, composer and arranger. The first four tracks are up on the Bandcamp link, go take a listen, you won’t be disappointed.
01. Mechanism (5:21)
02. Bye Bye Blues (5:36)
03. Marylin’s Escapade (8:40)
04. Lucilla (6:28)
05. Sudden Voyage (5:01)
06. Big Brother Calling (4:13)
07. Mercury In Retrograde (4:19)
08. Silent Assesment (5:01)
09. Budjanaji (5:00)
10. Front Porch Pine (5:28)
Total Time – 55:07
Beledo – Electric Guitar, Violin, Keyboards, Accordion, Archtop Electric Guitar
Lincoln Goines – Electric Bass
Gary Husband – Drums
Endang Ramdan – Sundanese Kendang Percussion (tracks 4 & 9)
Cucu Kurnia – Sundanese Kendang & Metal Percussion (tracks 4 & 9)
Tony Steele – Electric Bass (tracks 5 & 10)
Doron Lev – Drums (tracks 5 & 10)
Dewa Budjana – 2nd Electric Guitar Solo, Background Electric Guitar (track 9)
Rudy Zulkarnaen – Electric Bass (track 9)
Record Label: Moonjune Records
Year of Release: 2016