Oscar Feldman: Oscar e Familia (2009)

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Oscar Feldman: Oscar e Familia
Oscar Feldman is ready, with Oscar e Familia, to put his own stamp on the alto saxophone. Not since the fire of Jackie McLean
Jackie McLean
Jackie McLean
1932 - 2006
sax, alto
, the cool breeze of Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz
b.1927
sax, alto
, Eric Dolphy
Eric Dolphy
Eric Dolphy
1928 - 1964
reeds
's rhythmic advances, Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
's Harmolodic theories, and Steve Coleman
Steve Coleman
Steve Coleman
b.1956
saxophone
's mBase concepts, has someone attempted to create a new language for that instrument. True, Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
presided over the advent of the most enduring revolution in music: bebop. Now, however, Feldman has, as an alto saxophonist, made a dramatic advance in the language and is enabling a new literature that will, in time, stand parallel with mBase and Harmolodic music. So, what has Feldman really done?

Firstly, he is steeped in the Afro-Caribbean tradition that is buzzing all over South America as it collides with the jazz idiom. Secondly, his grasp of classic and modern European music and dance traditions is complete. Finally, he is well-versed in the history of jazz and without being pedantic. He can swing and samba, meld Afro-Caribbean clave with 3/2 Cuban clave, gracefully sliding from one to the other, building a whole new library of music in the bargain. Then, there is the small matter of his voice: Feldman is a master of the intricacies of tone and color, and an array of inventive rhythmic patterns. He is also a fine writer. He writes for sound: as with tenor saxophonist Mark Turner
Mark Turner
Mark Turner
b.1965
sax, tenor
dry, harmonically erudite runs on "So Tenderlee," a celebration of the towering contributions of Lee Konitz.

Feldman switches to a suave modal counterpoint as he preps Xavier Perez
Xavier Perez

sax, tenor
to play tenor across his own breathless alto in Hermeto Pascoal
Hermeto Pascoal
Hermeto Pascoal
b.1936
piano
masterpiece, "Oscar e Familia," specially composed for this record. Feldman's broad, elegant vibrato recalls Sidney Bechet
Sidney Bechet
Sidney Bechet
1897 - 1959
sax, soprano
in the soprano introduction to the piece playing opposite bassist, Pablo Aslan
Pablo Aslan
Pablo Aslan
b.1962
bass
, who makes his entry with con arco and sagacity.

Throughout the record, Oscar Feldman can be heard probing the wall of sound he aims to build with muscular authority, steeped in the adrenaline that floods his various emotions. He matches the elemental longing in "New Tango," playing ahead with great feeling, and like a whirlwind bow across the Cuartetango String Quartet, so masterfully arranged by Carlos Franzetti
Carlos Franzetti
Carlos Franzetti
b.1948
composer/conductor
on "Coco da Bahia" and "New Tango." Feldman's "Coco da Bahia" is a beautiful samba written for his father, while "New Tango" is an exquisitely crafted standard that does the tango tradition proud.

Feldman is wildly intrepid in interpretation on Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
1921 - 1992
bandoneon
"Triunfal," while playing labyrinthine lines around percussionist Saturnino's cajon on Guillermo Klein "El Minotauro," in the style of a Peruvian lando. Feldman plays Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
's "Children of the Night," with singularly individual authority, in another challenging rhythmic extravaganza. "Peace to Find" heralds a return to calmness, working in funky counterpoint to the beginning of the record.

It has been a decade since Feldman's first record. The result is a proverbially important document by a musician of considerable repute.

Track Listing: Mrs. Tangoholic; The Improvisers; So Tenderlee; Oscar e Familia; Coco da Bahia; New Tango; Triunfal; El Minotauro; Children of the Night; Peace to Find.

Personnel: Oscar Feldman: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone (4); Manuel Valera: piano, Fender Rhodes (1, 2, 4); Didi Gutman: keyboard and sampled sounds (1); John Benitez: electric bass (1, 2, 4), acoustic bass (3, 5, 6, 9); Pablo Aslan: acoustic bass (4, 7, 8, 10); Antonio Sanchez: drums; Pernell Saturnino: percussion; Diego Urcola: trumpet (1), trombone (2); Mark Turner: tenor saxophone (3); Xavier Perez: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone (4); Tito Castro: bandoneon (7); Carlos Franzetti: Cuartetango String Quartet arrangements (4, 5); Leonardo Suarez Paz: violin (4, 5); Nicholas Danielson: violin (4, 5); Ron Lawrence: viola (4, 5); Daniel Miller: cello (4, 5); Luis Alberto Spinetta: voice (10).

Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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