Amazon.com Widgets

Edmar Casteneda: Entre Cuerdas (2009)

By Published: | 2,710 views
Edmar Casteneda: Entre Cuerdas How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The harp is a jazz instrument? Though not as widely appreciated as, say, the saxophone, a few daring souls have taken this classical instrument into the world of improvisation—among them, Dorothy Ashby
Dorothy Ashby
Dorothy Ashby
1932 - 1996
harp
, Deborah Henson-Conant and Lori Andrews
Lori Andrews
b.1958
. Colombian-born Edmar Casteneda is another in their ranks.

Casteneda began playing harp at age 13. His career has brought him into association with Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera
b.1948
saxophone
, Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
b.1961
trumpet
, John Patitucci
John Patitucci
John Patitucci
b.1959
bass
, Dave Samuels
Dave Samuels
Dave Samuels
b.1948
vibraphone
, Janis Siegel
Janis Siegel
Janis Siegel
b.1952
vocalist
and many others. For much of Entre Cuerdas, he is accompanied by drummer Dave Salliman and trombonist Marshall Gilkes. Other guests are guitarist John Scofield
John Scofield
John Scofield
b.1951
guitar
, vocalist Andrea Tierra
Andrea Tierra
Andrea Tierra

vocalist
, who wrote the lyrics to "Canto," vibraphonist Joe Locke
Joe Locke
Joe Locke
b.1959
vibraphone
and cajón player Samuel Torres
Samuel Torres
b.1976
congas
.

Casteneda leaves no doubt that he is a jazz musician, opening "Sabro Son" with expressive plucking not unlike that of an acoustic bassist. The introduction is then quickly supplemented by trombone, drums and guitar. Castaneda shows exceptional speed and dexterity during his middle solo, while Silliman punctuates key points with emphatic cymbal crashes. Scofield solos as well.

After a finger-sizzling opening riff, Casteneda mellows for the tranquil "Jesus de Nazareth." The harp is a cappella, though it sounds like a duet with bass, which is part of Casteneda's two-handed approach to playing.

"Song of Hope," like several tracks, begins softly and slowly with Locke joining Casteneda for a spirited duet. The two blend beautifully as the song picks up in intensity. Locke leads the melody while Casteneda plays counterpoint. After two passes, Locke ventures onto an extended solo, backed by the harp. This carries through to what appears to be the end of the song. Then, just before the previous sound fades to nothing, Casteneda takes point.

Although the sound of the instrument leaves no doubt that a harp is playing, there are times when Casteneda's style bounces from that of an acoustic guitar to that of a piano. He wrote eight of the nine songs, with Gilkes contributing "Looking Forward." It all comes together for one of the year's more unique releases.

Track Listing: Sabro Son; Entre Cuerdas; Jesus de Nazareth; Colibri; Song of Hope; Colombian Dixie; Canto; Looking Forward; Afro Seis.

Personnel: Edmar Castaneda: harp; Marshall Gilkes: trombone; Dave Silliman: drums, percussion; John Scofield: guitar (1); Andrea Tierra: vocals (7); Joe Locke: vibes (4, 5); Samuel Torres: cajon (5).

Record Label: Artist Share

Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search