Omar Sosa: Bembón
Each tune on Bembón employs a different cast of players and explores a unique sound. "Negros" offers an unusual collection of arranged horns and strings supporting silky female vocals and rhythmic piano improvisation. On "Marimchacha," a catchy percussion groove plays off the "cha-cha-cha" vocal theme, interlaced with booty-shakin' flute and string melodies. Vocalist Will Power elaborates the story of a young city boy's introduction to the countryside on the lyrically beautiful "Campos Verdes": "the boy thought he was in a dreambecause as far as the eye could see, there was nothing but green." In an ironic sense, this anthem embodies the spirit of Omar Sosa's music. While thoroughly cosmopolitan and sophisticated, Sosa connects at a very basic level with fundamental elements of simple living. Worldwise and street-smart, Sosa does not hesitate to call upon ElleguáYoruba god and personal protector.
The interlocked string and horn arrangements on Bembón are new features in Sosa's recorded work. Their presence on this disc provide an unusual degree of fluidity, smoothing things over where drums and percussion might otherwise create ragged edges. The relatively delicate and deliberate moods here offer more subtlety and less punch than other Sosa records. Whether or not you prefer this particular Quito-flavored disc probably depends on whether you like your music sweet or spicy.
Track Listing: Negros; Para Dos Parados; Lapiz En Pigalle; Marimchacha; Juntos; Dame Un Tiempo; Campos Verdes; Narcisa Con Yalode; Gracias Se�or; Bembón; Torbelegg.
Personnel: Omar Sosa: piano, marimba, bombo, esmeralde�o, guaz�; Elliot Kavee: drums; Geoff Brennan: acoustic bass; Sheldon Brown: soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones, clarinet and bass clarinet; Will Power: rap vocals. Plus 17 guests.
Record Label: Ota Records