Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

21

David Virelles: Gnosis

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Cuban-American pianist/composer David Virelles continues the exploration of Afro-Cuban musical traditions begun with his first recorded collaboration with vocalist/percussionist Roman Diaz on Continuum (Pi Recordings, 2012), continuing through Mbókò (ECM, 2013) and Antenna (ECM, 2016). He uses "gnosis" to refer to ancient collective knowledge, and this music is about the intersection of cultures—contemporary improvisational language and Cuban sources, especially the sacred Abakuá percussion ensemble.

There are over a dozen instrumentalists and vocalists employed, but they are mostly broken up into various small ensembles: the concert premiere was billed as "futuristic Afro-Cuban chamber music." So it is definitely not the massive ensemble sound one might expect at first glance. The set opens with "Del Tabaco Y El Azúcar," a deliberate pianistic exploration accompanied by Thomas Morgan's double bass and an eclectic percussion ensemble. "Fitití Ñongo" goes into more rhythmic territory, and then "Lengua I" cuts the group size back for the first of several piano solos. "Erume Kondó" is the first track featuring traditional percussion and chant from Díaz, followed by the more extended "Benkomo."

From there the texture continues to shift. Sections with the full ensemble (often with Allison Loggins-Hull's flute in the lead) such as "Tierra" and "Visiones Sonoras" alternate with more vocal selections, another feature for Morgan's bass with percussion ("Nuná"), and solo piano. In fact Virelles closes out the set on piano with two unaccompanied tracks ("De Cuando Era Chiquita " and "De Coral"). Yet the entire program maintains a consistent tone, simultaneously ancient and contemporary: a ritual for the modern world.

Track Listing: Del tabaco y el Azúcar; Fitití Nongo; Lengua I; Erume Kondó; Benkomo; Tierra; De Ida y Vuelta I ; Lengua II; De Ida y Vuelta II; Nuná; Epílogo; Dos; Caracola; Visiones Sonoras; De Portal; De Tres; De Cuando Era Chiquita; De Coral.

Personnel: David Virelles: piano, marimbula, voice; Román Díaz: voice, percussions; Allison Loggins-Hull: flute, piccolo; Rane Moore: clarinets; Adam Cruz: steel pan, claves; Alex Lipowksi: percussions; Matthew Gold: marimba, xilophone; Mauricio Herrera: ekón, nkonos, erikundi, claves; Thomas Morgan: bass; Yunior Lopez: viola; Christine Chen, Samuel DeCaprio: cello; Melvis Santa, Mauricio Herrera: voice.

Title: Gnosis | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "The Study of Touch" CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read "g a b b r o" CD/LP/Track Review g a b b r o
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "It's A Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Mystery
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Random Acts of Order" CD/LP/Track Review Random Acts of Order
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "Day and Night" CD/LP/Track Review Day and Night
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 18, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!