All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

9

Omar Sosa: Eggun

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
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 does his own thing, regardless of trends, made him the perfect choice for such a project and he didn't—and doesn't—disappoint. It took a few years for the music to get recorded and make it to the marketplace, but it's here now and it's stunning.

Joan Cararach, the director the Barcelona Jazz Festival, makes note of the fact that this music "derives from the melodic cells of Kind Of Blue's solos," and notes that the brief interludes connect to pianist Bill Evans' work, but that may or may not be so important. Something so obviously grown from "Flamenco Sketches" might be detected in Sosa's music—or the "So What," "All Blues," and "Freddie Freeloader" references of "So All Freddie"—or perhaps they won't. What's wonderful about this recording is that it's open to interpretation by the individual and it captures the spirit, if not the musical essence, of Davis.

While Sosa breaks the record up into fifteen tracks, it plays out best as one long-form work. His skills as a sonic architect shine through here. On his previous recordings, the solo Calma (Ota, 2011) and duo Alma (Ota, 2012), Sosa was the focal point, but on this record, his role is different. He still acts as a pianistic conjurer of spirits, but his big-picture job as puppet master and constructionist is of greater importance in the grand scheme of things.

When working with a pan-global ensemble of eleven, it's important to consider the road map and Sosa does more than that; he writes it. Some things remain fairly consistent and present, like Childo Tomas' bubbly bass and Joo Kraus' cut-to-the-heart, Davis-esque trumpet, but other parts come and go. Percussion is an important and near-constant element at play, as on all of Sosa's larger works, but with three percussionists and a drummer mixing things up, it never sounds the same from moment to moment or track to track. Leandro Saint-Hill and woodwind antiquarian Peter Apfelbaum both deserve high praise, proving to both be valuable design elements, as they cover everything from flute to bass saxophone between them.

Eggun, like most of Sosa's records, is more of an experience than an album, so sit back, light some candles, as Sosa himself would likely do, and let the music take you away.

Track Listing: Alejet; Al Alba; Interludio I; Alternativo Sketches; Interludio II; Madre Mia; Interludio III; So All Freddie; Interludio IV; Rumba Connection; Interludio V; Angustiado; Angustiado Reprise; Interludio VI; Calling Eggun.

Personnel: Omar Sosa: piano, Fender Rhodes, electronics; samples; Marque Gilmore: acousti-lectric drums; effects programming, drum loop production; Childo Tomas: electric bass, kalimba, vocals; Joo Kraus: trumpet, flugelhorn, electronic effects. Leandro Saint-Hill: alto saxophone, clarinet, flute; Peter Prfelbaum: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass saxophone, melodica, caxixi; Lionel Loueke: electro-acoustic guitar, vocals; Marvin Sewell: guitars; Pedro Martinez: percussion; John Santos: clave, chereke, waterphone, panderetas, tambora, guiro, quijada, Gustavo Ovalles: percussion.

Title: Eggun | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Ota Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

African Sunrise

African Sunrise

Omar Sosa
Live at FIP

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
  • Eros by Dan Bilawsky
Read more articles
Es:sensual

Es:sensual

Ota Records
2018

buy
Transparent Water

Transparent Water

Ota Records
2017

buy
JOG

JOG

Ota Records
2016

buy
Transparent Water

Transparent Water

World Village
2016

buy
Eros

Eros

Ota Records
2016

buy
ilé

ilé

Ota Records
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Ojo (Vince Bell)" CD/LP/Track Review Ojo (Vince Bell)
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 8, 2018
Read "Faces and Places" CD/LP/Track Review Faces and Places
by Kris Perdew
Published: October 25, 2017
Read "Out Of The Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blues
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2018
Read "Man No Longer Me" CD/LP/Track Review Man No Longer Me
by Matt Hooke
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "More Songs About Error And Shame" CD/LP/Track Review More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Dissection Room" CD/LP/Track Review Dissection Room
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 27, 2018