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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Senses

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Pianist Omar Sosa seems to have a split personality: He's the extroverted dazzler who exudes vivacity and leads the charge, but he's also the introverted-and-contemplative pianist who muses and meditates with fingers on keys. Much of his work allows for both aspects of his artistry to shine; Senses does not. This one is all about the thoughtful and sensitive Sosa baring his soul. Senses is essentially a (by)product of the pianist's time spent at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. While Sosa was there, serving as an ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Omar Sosa & Paolo Fresu Duo: New York, NY, January 24, 2013

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Omar Sosa & Paolo Fresu DuoBlue NoteNew York, NYJanuary 24, 2013 Some musicians settle into a club and simply play a set of music, but that's never the case with Omar Sosa. The pianist treats every performance as a musical séance and an opportunity to bare his soul. It's hard to know whether to call his work jazz or spirit music, but labels aren't really important when it comes to his work; his impressive oeuvre speaks for itself, regardless of what it's called. When Sosa came through New York in early ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Eggun

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A tribute to trumpet legend Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue (Columbia, 1959), without a single song from the record? The answer: an emphatic “Yes!" In 2009, piano wizard Omar Sosa received a commission from the Barcelona Jazz Festival to “compose and produce a tribute performance to Miles Davis' classic recording, Kind Of Blue, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary." The keyword there is “tribute"; not “facsimile" or “rewrite." Even if they had asked Sosa for such a thing, they would have been unlikely to get it from such an original player. His Davis-like reputation as an uncompromising artist who ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa & Paolo Fresu featuring Jaques Morelenbaum: Alma

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Trying to keep pace with the musical projects of pianist Omar Sosa or trumpeter Paolo Fresu is an almost-athletic pursuit. Calling either man prolific is an understatement, but what's more impressive than the quantity of music they release is the quality of their output. Both have tapped into an eternal wellspring of creativity that eludes most artists, with an ability to conjure the spirits of sound at will. Their first encounter dates back to 2006, when Sosa asked Fresu to come aboard for a performance which resulted in Promise (Skip, 2007)--a live recording featuring Sosa's quartet, Fresu, ...

INTERVIEWS

Omar Sosa: Bringing The World To The World

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Pianist/composer Omar Sosa was born in Cuba in the first decade of Fidel Castro's rule over the island, and grew up listening to forbidden American jazz with his music school friends in secret, the radio discretely turned low, though eventually the rules changed and the music was broadcast in Cuba, too. After Cuba and a short time in Mexico, Sosa discovered his calling in the Esmeraldas region of Ecuador, where he found music that was, like Cuba's music, founded in the African Diaspora. Seeing music with the same roots as those he had grown up with in Cuba, he saw ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Omar Sosa Afri-lectric Quintet: New York, May 5, 2011

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Omar Sosa Afri-lectric QuintetBlue NoteNew York, NYMay 5, 2011 Cuban-born/Barcelona-based Omar Sosa doesn't simply perform for an audience when he brings his music to a club. He conjures musical spirits and creates a magical realm, unlike any other. The pianist fuses the most ancient and modern ideals imaginable into a wholly organic production, and his latest band--Afri-lectric Quintet--might be his finest creation yet. There was plenty to marvel at during Sosa's first set at New York's Blue Note on Cinco de Maya, from his unaccompanied piano work with electronically enhanced fringe ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mark Weinstein/Omar Sosa: Tales From The Earth

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Tales from the Earth by flutist, Mark Weinstein and pianist/vibraphonist, Omar Sosa, is one of the most extraordinary musical expeditions in a long time. The need for a subtext is not necessary; the extraordinary depth and ethereal beauty of the music would suffice. Nevertheless, once that subtext becomes evident, then the music touches parts of the body that much music might not. There is really no beginning and no end; this musical continuum needs only be entered with eyes wide shut and ears open; listening with the heart, soul, and every pore of the being is essential. ...



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