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Sosa and Fresu have composed a suite of new songs inspired by the human emotions that lead beauty into the divine. As the title implies, the overall feeling is relaxed and introspective, without any attempt to impress technically. Weaving a musical lineage of a thousand strands, if Tales From The Earth recalls something of the creative spirit of M’Boom, the inventive all-percussion octet founded by Max Roach in 1970, it captures the global ecumenical spirit of the present. His climb to power proved timely on so many levels - among them, the nation declaring its readiness to accept a leader of color at exactly the same moment we were birthing a song cycle highlighting the Middle Passage. Moreover, the surround sound of the political machine filled the air with anunmusic soundtrack;the relentless drone and grind of the campaign lendingcontrast to the stirring uplift of our musical discoveries.
The project is enriched by cello contributions from Brazilian master Jaques Morelenbaum (who was also a guest on delves deeply into the energy, poetry, and spirituality of the Duo’s special musical chemistry. Rather, the intent is to evoke a mood of reflection and contemplation. Accordingly, Tales From The Earth resounds with the Afro-Cuban traditions of Omar Sosa—best known as a pianist and composer, but here primarily on marimba and vibraphone, which Sosa studied in Cuba’s conservatories before switching to piano. Across the Divide had not anticipated any seismic social shifts, had not aimed at didacticism. Omar Sosa’s new studio album brings together musicians from Africa, Cuba, Brazil, and France to celebrate the rich heritage of African music in jazz and Latin music. Sosa’s approach takes folkloric elements from Africa and the Americas, combines them with his Afro-Cuban roots, and brings them all forward into a contemporary jazz expression.
Special guests on the recording include Cuban percussionist Pedro Martinez, American guitarist Marvin Sewell, Cuban saxophonist Yosvany Terry, and maestro Eladio “Don Pancho” Terry, patriarch of the Terry family, on chekere. And, reflecting the influence of his extended residency in Barcelona, Omar showcases flamenco vocalist José “El Salao” Martín on several tracks, including a version of Cuban trova composer Sindo Garay’s Ilé offers contemporary interpretations of some of the classic Cuban musical styles the world has come to admire. The featured horn players are Joo Kraus on trumpet (Germany), Leandro Saint-Hill on alto saxophone and flute (Cuba), and Peter Apfelbaum on tenor saxophone (U. Special guests on the project include Lionel Loueke on guitars (Benin), Marvin Sewell on guitars (U. A.), Pedro Martinez on Afro-Cuban percussion (Cuba), John Santos on percussion (U. A.), and Gustavo Ovalles on Afro-Venezuelan percussion (Venezuela). Of particular interest is a set of six , in the West African spiritual practice of Ifá and its various expressions throughout the African Diaspora, are the spirits of those whohave gone before us, both in our immediate families and those who serve as our Spirit guides. Paolo Fresu is a prolific artist, whose touring and recording history includes work with Carla Bley, Gerry Mulligan, Dave Holland, John Zorn and Ralph Towner, to mention just a very few. We have a sense of these accomplished artists ‘dancing’ together, creating an expressive and poetic link between Cuba and the Mediterranean, offering us a wide range of subtle and engaging musical colors. Rhythmically, the feeling of the CD is unhurried and meditative. The NDR Bigband is an ensemble of accomplished soloists whose talents have been highlighted through the work of such noted arrangers as Steve Gray, Colin Towns, and Michael Gibbs. And "Night Of The Four Songs" draws from the sacred music tradition of congregational singing, havingpassed through North Carolina many decades ago. With “Promise”, Omar Sosa continues his exploration of the African roots of traditional musics throughout the Diaspora, using jazz harmonies and the latest technology. In this collection of ballads, loosely defined, taken from four of his early recordings, we are treated to a listening experience of beautiful melody and rich harmony, full of romanticism and grace - all with a Latin jazz heart.
Listeners will enjoy a mix of ballads and sophisticated mid and up tempo arrangements. From the liner notes, by Joan Cararach, artistic director of the Barcelona Jazz Festival: Harmony, peace, respect, freedom. He also serves as artistic director for the Berchidda Festival (“Time In Jazz”) and the Nuoro Jazz Seminars. Fresu, who is from Sardinia, recently celebrated his 50th birthday by producing a series of 50 concerts in Sardinia on 50 consecutive days during the summer of 2011, featuring musicians he has collaborated with over the years. Sensations of floating and suspension of time prevail. Over the years, the NDR Bigband’s artistic collaborations have comprised a virtual “Who’s Who” of world jazz: including Chet Baker, Paquito D’Rivera, Pee Wee Ellis, Joe Gallardo, Lionel Hampton, Dave Holland, Abdullah Ibrahim, Pat Metheny, Joe Pass, Maria Schneider, Wayne Shorter, Oscar Brown, Jr., Al Jarreau, and Bobby Mc Ferrin. These songs are linked by Sosa's instrumental odysseys, tales of ancestry: the dreams and realities of passage within and beyond Africa; meditations on the solstice and the natural order, the longest days, the seasons of life; reverence for Eleggua, the deity who determines fate and tests the will of man. Sosa is guided by the North Stars of spirituality, ritual, and the human condition. His new Afreecanos Quartet features Cuban drummer Julio Barreto, Mozambican electric bassist Childo Tomas, and Senegalese vocalist Mola Sylla. (OTA1005) , are taken "Para Ella", with Sheldon Brown on tenor saxophone, "Antes De Ir Va Esto", featuring John Calloway on flute and Orestes Vilato on timbal, and "Tienes Un Solo", featuring the divine Anastacia Newkirk on vocals.
Also included is a set of four atmospheric interludes, featuring traditional music samples combined with improvised piano and soprano saxophone accompaniment. That has been Omar Sosa’s response to our proposal: to revisit , by Miles Davis, from his own (quite exceptional) aesthetic assumptions. The 41st Voll-Damm Barcelona International Jazz Festival had hired drummer Jimmy Cobb – the only surviving member of the group’s original line-up who created that record – and a tribute band committed to revive, in concert, the memory of that iconic jazz piece. Omar Sosa joined him for a Duo performance in Cagliari on July 9th (concert number 26)! So too, it seems, was the poet and novelist Langston Hughes, a seminal voice in the Harlem Renaissance, whose reading of "The Struggle" was sampled then woven into the narrative. The ensemble fuses the folkloric with the contemporary, the tribal with the urban - all with a Latin jazz heart. (OTA1007) , we find "Gracias Señor" and "Para Dos Parados", both featuring poignant string arrangements, and the later featuring the exquisite vocal styling of María Márquez.
Overall, the compositional focus of the project is on ensemble playing. But , rather than a museum piece, is a mysterious record with an intimacy to be disclosed very slowly, generation after generation, beyond the commonplaces of history books. His call for racial consciousness and self-determination (No man wanted to be a slave) is the literary counterweight to this musical oblation. Downbeat recently commented that “Sosa stokes the African and Cuban fires: Each burns distinctly from the other while illuminating the place between them. Finally, from the groundbreaking CD, has a remarkable unity and organic quality, allowing the listener to let go into a magical, dream-like state.
is the new studio collaboration between 7-time GRAMMY-nominated pianist-composer-bandleader Omar Sosa and London-based Senegalese singer and kora master Seckou Keita. The project idea grew out of Sosa’s impromptu addition to a mid–2012 date with drummer Marque Gilmore at the CLF Art Café in London, in what was Sosa and Keita’s first musical encounter.
Profoundly moved by the experience, Omar told Seckou he wanted to invite him to work together on a future recording project.
We find Sosa and Fresu dancing in a Latin mode around a winning mix of jazz, Cuban, African, and world music elements. As Omar describes: “Each song is an inspiration for the next, and improvisation is the basis of the musical expression. Salida Con Elegba () is a major new project, the fruit of pianist-composer Omar Sosa’s first big-band collaboration with composer-arranger-cellist Jaques Morelenbaum, Hamburg’s 18–piece NDR Bigband (North German Radio / Norddeutscher Rundfunk), and the Omar Sosa Quartet, featuring Julio Barreto (drums, Cuba), Childo Tomas (electric bass, Mozambique), and Marcos Ilukán (Afro-Cuban percussion, Cuba). Recorded in two sessions (20) at NDR’s Hamburg studios, under the direction of Morelenbuam and Sosa, (2009) CDs—together with two new Sosa offerings, “Llegada Con Elegba” (the introductory track) and “Salida Con Elegba” (the closing piece). It features the eclectic guitar talents of Jean Paul Bourelly (Miles Davis, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, Pharoah Sanders, Cassandra Wilson); the resonant balafon of Aly Keita’s Ivory Coast; the insistent drum ‘n’ bass sensibilities of Stockholm-based Marque Gilmore (Roy Ayers, Steve Coleman, Graham Haynes, Toumani Diabate, Vernon Reid, Joe Zawinul, Me Shell Ndegeocello, Susheela Raman, Nitin Sawhney, Talvin Singh); the vocal and percussive vitality of Aho Luc Nicaise and Mathias Agbokou; and the fresh, ever-surprising turns of phrase that each artist invests in this pioneering project. Indeed, its mandate was more pleasure-driven, in the ways of art and entertainment. For the first time since his arrangements on Spirit Of The Roots and Prietos, Mr.
The album takes a polyphonic approach, the Duo curating sonic landscapes with great care and sensitivity – as we also find in their bright and extraordinary live performances.. () Alma is the new recording collaboration between six-time GRAMMY-nominated Cuban composer and pianist, Omar Sosa, and celebrated Italian trumpet and flugelhorn player, Paolo Fresu. I wanted to play from beginning to end without thinking – just feeling where each note would take me, following the voice of my soul. Rooted in the Quartet’s Afro-Cuban percussive traditions, Sosa’s finely textured compositions enable Morelenbaum to summon forth a broad palette of sounds, fully mobilizing the NDR Bigband’s sonic potential and its brilliant soloists, while leaving ample space for Sosa’s own luminous improvisations. Tales From The Earth weaves a musical narrative that can be read as a journey to the source of the human spirit with all the playfulness, celebration, contemplation, historical awareness, compassion, reverence, and gratitude manifest in a life consciously lived. The crystallizing element in assembling this narrative was rhythm, heard through a melding and mingling of cultures and manifesting the shared roots between Omar Sosa and Tim Eriksen. During the forced migration of slaves, a practice that spanned centuries and fed the triangulated economies of Europe, Africa, and the Americas,indigenous musics and performance traditions entered New World ports, among them Havana and Chesapeake Bay. Sosa uses a horn section, and Afreecanos features a variety of traditional and modern flute sounds.
Joining him on the project are three musicians with whom Omar shares a close connection: fellow Camagüeyanos, Ernesto Simpson on drums, and Leandro Saint-Hill on alto saxophone, flute and clarinet, and Mozambican electric electic bassist Childo Tomas – collectively known as Quarteto Afro Cubano. The resulting jazz textures are further enhanced by the subtle and expressive use of electronic elements. Both admirers of Jaques Morelenbaum’s artistry, Omar and Paolo invited him to participate in the project. We hear surprising harmonic turns, with sonorities blending and resolving in unpredictable ways. Ceremony acknowledges the majesty of the legendary Afro-Cuban big bands of Frank “Machito” Grillo, Chico O’Farrill, and Dizzy Gillespie, while extending those revered traditions in a contemporary salute to the expansive universe of world jazz, wherein Sosa himself continues to reign as a joyous, generous, abundant, and essential creative spirit. The four vocals featured in Across The Divide are bound to the Eastern seaboard by tradition and development. Throughout the album we hear folkloric elements infusing a modern jazz idiom, including spirit vocals and percussion from Africa, Cuba, and Brazil. Afreecanos is produced by Paris-based drummer Steve Argüelles, who also produced Mr. Afreecanos was recorded at Fattoria Musica in Osnabrück, Germany, with additional recording in Paris and San Francisco.