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3. Walking Together
8. Looking Within
9. Dance Of Reflection
10. Autumn Flowers
Detailed Description / Musicians
Omar Sosa - piano
Calma is Omar Sosa’s fifth solo piano recording, a work of singular artistry, featuring Omar’s unique and original approach to the genre. The CD is comprised of 13 solo piano improvisations, fusing stylistic elements of jazz, classical new music, ambient, and electronica. As the title implies, the overall feeling is relaxed and introspective, without any attempt to impress technically. Rather, the intent is to evoke a mood of reflection and contemplation.
As Omar describes: “Each song is an inspiration for the next, and improvisation is the basis of the musical expression. I wanted to play from beginning to end without thinking – just feeling where each note would take me, following the voice of my soul. It’s possible that silence, yearning, hope, optimism, and sadness all travel hand-in-hand in many of the songs”.
The recording features a rarely heard combination of acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, and various electronic effects and sampled sounds. All of these instruments were recorded live together in the studio, without overdubs – the artist interacting spontaneously, in real-time, with the various sonic elements.
Omar’s unorthodox harmonic sensibilities are evident throughout Calma. We hear surprising harmonic turns, with sonorities blending and resolving in unpredictable ways. And Omar’s subtle and integral use of the electronic elements lends a layer of sonic richness and depth to many of the tracks.
Rhythmically, the feeling of the CD is unhurried and meditative. Sensations of floating and suspension of time prevail. Only on Aguas (a version of Across Africa from Omar’s GRAMMY-nominated CD Across The Divide) and Dance Of Reflection (a version of Omar’s signature composition Muevete En D) do we encounter a more energetic tone. And melodically, the thematic material on Calma is quiet and restrained. We can imagine the melodic sensibilities of Erik Satie meeting those of Pierre Boulez.
Calma was recorded at Systems Two in Brooklyn, New York on October 14, 2009
| ||Available Items by Omar Sosa|| ||About Omar Sosa|| |
Omar Sosa is one of the most versatile jazz artists on the scene today: composer, arranger, producer, pianist, percussionist, and bandleader. He fuses a wide range of world music and electronic elements with his native Afro-Cuban roots to create a fresh and original urban sound - all with a Latin jazz heart. On stage, Mr. Sosa is a charismatic figure, inspiring his fellow musicians with his dynamic playing and improvisational approach to the music - an approach full of raw emotional power and humor. Mr. Sosa invariably inspires audiences to their feet and to join him in chorus vocals, heightening the sense of spontaneity and connection.
Mr. Sosa's latest CD on Otá Records, Mulatos , features Latin jazz master Paquito D'Rivera on clarinet. The recording is an adventurous, finely wrought, and wholly delightful mélange of Cuban jazz, Latin dance grooves, French chanson, North African trance music, and European folk. It dances with rhythmic inspirations of Indian tabla, jazz drums, and studio mixing. Also featured is the delicate voice of the Arabic lute, the oud, and the composer himself on marimba. "Mulatos" was recently nominated for Latin Jazz Album of the Year by the NYC-based Jazz Journalists Association.
Mr. Sosa's music is a unique style of Afro-Cuban jazz, and while it is rooted in the folkloric traditions of the African Diaspora, he always takes an exploratory approach - never one to let orthodoxy stand in the way of his pursuit of freedom. Sosa offers a joyful mix of jazz and Afro-Caribbean rhythms, combining percussive forays inside the piano and a series of electronic effects with his inspired, passionate playing at the keyboard. His tempos are fluid, and his moods change freely. Sosa revels in the irresistible clave grooves of Latin jazz, while adding experimental touches to keep his listeners on their toes.
Omar Sosa has released 15 recordings on the Oakland-based Otá Records label since 1997, including 2002's GRAMMY-nominated Sentir . He performed recently with his Octet at the opening of Carnegie Hall's new Zankel Hall, about which Alex Ross of The New Yorker remarked that Sosa has "a ferocious flair for rhythm and a keen musical wit". Composer John Adams, who curated the opening of Carnegie Hall's new venue, commented that "Sosa is a deeply creative musician with an extraordinary harmonic sense. His piano playing is sui generis : It has obvious roots in Cuban music, but he's taken his approach to the keyboard into completely new regions". And Don Heckman of The Los Angeles Times recently wrote "Sosa's vision of contemporary jazz reaches across every imaginable boundary". For more information, please visit www.melodia.com .
Omar Sosa was nominated in 2003 for a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music in the 'Americas' category, along with Ibrahim Ferrer, Caetano Veloso, and Os Tribalistas. He began 2004 with the debut of his first work for symphony orchestra, entitled From Our Mother , performed at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland by the Oakland East Bay Symphony under the direction of Michael Morgan. The 45-minute work in three movements, which combines folkloric elements from Cuba, Venezuela, and Ecuador with modern jazz harmonies, was co-commissioned by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and the Oakland East Bay Symphony, with partial funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.