How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Oceanos is the re-convergence of two dynamic musicians/composers: saxophonist David Binney and pianist Edward Simon. Both have many individual releases and recent works have earned glowing and deserved praise including Binney's Cities and Desires (Criss Cross, 2006) and Simon's Unicity (Cam Jazz, 2006). The recording is a continuation of fertile and fruitful ideas last heard on their joint release Afinidad (Red Records, 2002), and five years later the results show a greater collaboration of creativity.
Enlisting jazz heavies Brian Blade (drums), Scott Colley (bass) and Adam Rogers (guitar) also helps to elevate the music of the stylistically differing voices of Simon's classically trained ivory keys and Binney's sharp-toned alto. The album contains original material that reflects a simpatico of combined ideas that are powerful, romantic, and with trans-world accents of Latin, urban, classical, and contemporary music.
A few of the selections are accented by the addition of vocalist Luciana Souza, whose voice is breathtaking on "We Dream Ocean and "Govinda. There's also an augmented horn section of trumpets and trombone on a few pieces. The rhythm section and guitar work of the aforementioned talent is everything one could hope for with exceptional support and wonderful solos. It would have been nice if the compositions included more horn arrangements as heard on the stellar "El Parrandero, but the end product by these two major players is stimulating and comes highly recommended.