Amazon.com Widgets

Recent Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Senses

Read "Senses" reviewed by

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

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

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

Read "Eggun" reviewed by

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

Read "Alma" reviewed by

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

Read "Omar Sosa: Bringing The World To The World"

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

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

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

Read "Tales From The Earth" reviewed by

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. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Omar Sosa: The Magic Piano Man and his Afreecanos Quartet

Read "Omar Sosa: The Magic Piano Man and his Afreecanos Quartet"

Omar Sosa and his Afreecanos Quartet Douglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, San Francisco March 29, 2009

Before doing live reviews, I never go to the web and check up on the band or the people that I will see perform, preferring not to have any preconceived expectations of the musicians or the music: in fact, ninety-five percent of the time I've never heard their music. All I know is that he or she is loosely cast in the jazz genre.

That's the way it was when, on March 29th, my son David and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Across The Divide: A Tale Of Rhythm & Ancestry

Read "Across The Divide: A Tale Of Rhythm & Ancestry" reviewed by

In what might be considered a heartfelt ode to Africa, Cuba and America, Grammy-winning pianist/composer, Omar Sosa offers Across The Divide: A Tale Of Rhythm & Ancestry. Both inspired and uplifting it encompasses a “song cycle" that documents the shared rhythms of Sosa's ancestry and Tim Eriksen, a New England ethno-musicologist specializing in native and adopted American music. The program musically tells of the paths of history towards the present; informed of the Middle Passage slave ships bound for America to the election of Barack Obama, the United States' first African-American president. Blending jazz, folk, song and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Afreecanos

Read "Afreecanos" reviewed by

Forward-thinking Latin Jazz grows like a tree, starting with its roots and then the tree itself reaching high into the air. The roots represent the music's heritage; they are both the starting point and the foundation. The trunk symbolizes the musician's strongest connection to their roots, their background. The branches reach away from the tree, just as the musician experiments with new approaches. Omar Sosa does just this on Afreecanos, as he brings together a strong vision solidly representing the growth of his musical concept.

Several songs represent Sosa's roots in African music, forming the foundation of his musical concept. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Live a FIP

Read "Live a FIP" reviewed by

In the distant future, when our space explorers finally make contact with extraterrestrial life, it will surprise no one if those beings are big fans of Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, whose music sounds like it was unearthed from the wreckage of a crashed alien spacecraft from the planet Sabroso.In recent years, with albums such as Mulatos (Ot, 2004), Sosa has managed to be both harmonically and rhythmically inventive while remaining grounded in the clave. Live FIP, which documents a May 2005 performance in Paris, finds Sosa and his quintet in rich harmonic territory--and deep in the pocket. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Live a FIP

Read "Live a FIP" reviewed by

Omar Sosa is a Caribbean Thelonious Monk. While his compositions lack Monk's cranky angles, Sosa's songs nevertheless challenge and ultimately soothe the listener with their subtle harmonic turns and melodic velocity. Sosa's Monkness is more apparent in his solos, where he combines dissonance with a Don Pullen-like percussive approach. Sosa's beautiful pianism at first seems to have no form, but reveals its delicate latticework on subsequent listenings. Live à FIP is Sosa's first live recording since 2003's Aleatoric EFX: Live Solo Concert (Ota Records) and the first he's recorded with a “standard quintet.

The pianist covers several pieces ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Mulatos Remix

Read "Mulatos Remix" reviewed by

Given the source material for this remix project, expectations will no doubt be running high. Mulatos (Ota, 2004) brought Cuban pianist Omar Sosa's multilateral vision to his broadest international audience to date, earning Grammy and BBC Radio 3 nominations for its warm, flowing sound (as well as a spot on my own short list).

Be prepared to scale back those expectations when you hit play on Mulatos Remix. It's only fair, really. These ten beat-heavy, loopy electronic remixes do a great job at the mix and match thing, bringing colorful instrumental splashes into unexpected juxtaposition, but for the most part ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Ballads

Read "Ballads" reviewed by

Perhaps this is the finest CD saddled with a concept I dislike that I've heard in years. Strange category? Yes, here we find one of the supreme Cuban jazz pianists of our era with a career retrospective of only ballads. It is one matter to provide a “John Coltrane for Lovers compilation--in fact there are two currently on the market--because Coltrane's oeuvre outside of ballads has long been available.

But Omar Sosa is not yet a force in the jazz bins on that level, and here we get a ballad reduction from four previous albums that were not exactly widely ...



Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

Join Us Today!

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.