When it comes down to it, a record producer is really a film director. And when it really comes down to it, a record producer,a film director, is really a factory foreman. The investors and bankers might be the real employers. Maybe not. But the second equation comes apart if the product is the group articulation of as intimate, contradictory and sometimes obscure a first person singular as this. A romantic liberation from a role. It was a sweet feeling when it was apparent that the other players could hear themselves in that first person singular. Not just in the music, or in the project as a whole, but in that difficult, dar "I". I would have expected it from Jack or Stubblefield. After all, what differences are there between the options open to a blue collar kid from the Bronx an those blue collar kids from Glasgow or from Little Rock. The similarities would be strong enough that the "i"s partially formed by them would overlap. The real thrill came from seeing that recognition in the faces and gestures of the players and listeners from more exotic childhoood landscapes like Santiago de Cuba, Les Cayes or New Rochell. A romantic liberation to an illusion, maybe. So, Desire Develops an Edge turns out to be as dark and difficult as that "I", but as it feels from here, just as dark and sensuous. Kip Hanrahan P.S. Speaking of difficult, check out that tense cross clave' in "Two." I love the way Puntilla is able to shift back and forth from one clave' (held, maybe, by Jerry) to its incompatible opposite (held, maybe, by Ignacio). If at the heart of a Cuban drummer's skill, even a quinto player, is the ability to hold a steady clave', how may players have the strength and ears to invert so fluidly? P.P.S. Speaking of sweet moments, the Haitians, who knew nothing of Jack's history, went spontaneously crazy for his singing. The punchline is that they had no idea he was supposed to be great. Somebody - Jack, Arto, Jon, Milton, Paul, Kip - was turned on by the absolute sincerity of the moment.
Reviews"Mr. Hanrahan often gets something deeper and more structural on Desire. Instead of writing a tune and lyrics, then deciding on a beat, he has taken a lesson from his Haitian and Cuban colleagues and learned to work his way up from the rhythm. Not just any rhythm, either: he's after a fusion of Haitian, Cuban, Brazilian, salsa, rock and jazz syncopations that will register as none of the above... Interwoven throughout Desire are sequels to the tales of sexual conflict Mr. Hanrahan started on Coup de Tete along with border crossings, bilingual puns, a Yoruba legend, smoky bossa-nova romanticism and reflections on the making (and the financing) of the album itself - all subjects that can be connected somehow, in the crossfire of distinct but interlocking rhythms... Mr. Hanrahan's ambition seems to have infected everyone in his pool of musicians. The all play as if they've found a brand new community - one where a dance party has just begun." - Jon Parales, New York Times