Down Beat - p.703.5 stars out of 5
-- "'Macunaima' compacts the genre hopping into a single piece, a forro-esque blast that rips through a Parisian cafe, a death metal practice space and the old Knitting Factory, as John Zorn sits it and imparts the raucous spirit of Naked City."
Global Rhythm (Publication) (p.45) - "[T]his fare will bubble the brain and juggle the organs -- not for the faint of mind, heart, or stomach -- but it's well worth the tab, so just eat it."
Cyro Baptista: Cyro Baptista (vocals, berimbau, drums, snare drum, congas, clay drum, talking drum, cymbals, finger cymbals, pandeiro, washboard, tabla, temple blocks, triangle, caxixi, percussion, water gong, sound effects, typewriter, waterphone); Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz (oud, bass instrument, acoustic bass, electric bass); Brian Marsella (accordion, melodica, fortepiano, toy piano, keyboards, balafon); Tim Keiper (drums, drum set, pandeiro, percussion).
Personnel: Cadu Costa (acoustic guitar, castanets, background vocals); Erik Friedlander (cello); Celio Balona (accordion); John Zorn (alto saxophone).
Audio Mixers: Dave Darlington; Eric Carlinsky.
Recording information: Bear Tracks, NY; Big Mouth, NJ; Peter Scherer Studio, New York, NY; Studio Fiuza, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Tedesco Studio, NJ.
Arrangers: Cyro Baptista; Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz; Brian Marsella; Tim Keiper.
Master Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista is a "world musician" in the truest sense of the word; he's performed with everyone from Irish folk kings the Chieftains to Chinese classical icon Yo-Yo Ma. BANQUET OF THE SPIRITS is accordingly eclectic, incorporating a swirling, polyrhythmic, pan-Latin stew of beats and melodies, with Middle Eastern and European influences liberally sprinkled in. For all of the album's far-ranging flavors, though, the format is largely acoustic, making for an organic flow that complements the multitude of musical traditions explored.