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It may be a bit disingenuous to say that Aleatoric EFX may become the next Köln Concert. Keith Jarrett's 1975 masterpiece could legitimately claim to have given birth to the New Age music genre. By today's standards, the Köln Concert perhaps does not seem so novel. It seems our sensibilities may need to be pushed a little, and Omar Sosa is here to do that. A native of Camaguey, Cuba, Sosa offers a quietly impressionistic vision of Latin-African-Caribbean music to the tornadic forces expressed by fellow countryman Chucho Valdés. Aleatoric EFX is great evidence of this impressionistic vision. It is a collection of original compositions, vignettes with key signatures that Sosa presented to Radio Bremen on November 22, 2003. They have traditional titles like "Impromptu in D Minor" and whimsical titles like "Intense Moon in F# Minor."
The performance, while filled with whimsy, possesses a brooding and thoughtful undercurrent. This music is more tangible in form and less tangible in mood than the famed Jarrett solo concerts. While Jarrett's solo performances are extended ruminations that conform to harmonic and melodic boundaries, Sosa's short pieces are less tethered by time signature and form. They are almost amorphous, filmy and opaque. This music will certainly appeal to the listeners of the earlier Sosa releases and anyone interested in a free vision for the piano.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.