In putting together his fourth album, guitarist Oscar Penas looked to composers he connects with, songs that speak to him, and originals that fit comfortably with the rest. That's the concept here, plain and simple, and the end result is a thirty-eight minute beauty that's alluring and completely accessible. Two different rhythm sections and three guests come and go during these eight tracks, but Penas' presence ties everything together. The first three numbers--a cheery choro featuring clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera, a take on Rabo De Nube" that focuses in on Esperanza Spalding's supple vocals, and a solo guitar ...read more
The music on From Now On is modern jazz marinated in the seductive flavors of Spain and South America. Guitarist Oscar Peñas' path lead him from Barcelona to Brooklyn, NY, and this geographic duality is ever-present in the intriguing blend of music that's presented on this, his debut for BJU records. While Iberian-influenced guitar lines often set the stage and thread their way through the music, this record goes well-beyond any single style or influence. Peñas' writing and playing, along with the versatility of the musicians on this date, has a lot to do with the broad ...read more
Oscar Peñas belongs to a generation of artists who believe there is more to being a musician than being technically proficient. Like his peers--many of whom are emerging, independent musicians--his music reflects his roots, his impressive credentials and his openness to new ideas and concepts. Oscar is part of a flourishing new music scene in Brooklyn where emerging artists gather to experiment, exchange ideas and create music that is changing the face of jazz.All About Jazz: You were born in Spain. Oscar Peñas: Yes, I was born in Barcelona.
AAJ: What was it like ...read more
The music of this group led by Oscar Penas is firmly rooted in the post-bop mainstream, yet it sounds fresh and distinctive, possessing a quality of lightness coupled with considerable drive. And Astronautus serves notice that a major new saxophonist has arrived. His name is Javier Vercher, and with any kind of luck, we'll be hearing a lot more from him.
Vercher has as distinctive a saxophone voice as I've heard lately. His tenor tone is full and round, with a warmth that somewhat recalls Hank Mobley or George Coleman. He navigates the extreme upper register of the ...read more
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