Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers 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!

297

Jeno Somlai: Let It Go

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Jeno Somlai approaches the keyboard with a percussionist's sensibility—rhythm, rhythm, rhythm—here on his debut disc, Let It Go. That's not a surprise, given that the Milwaukee-based musician is primarily a drummer who took up the piano just four years ago. The disc opens with Stevie Wonder's "Golden Lady," sounding sort of like Art Blakey's arrangement for "A Night in Tunisia." The song churns along for eight minutes of hard-driving Latin grooves, lots of percussion and a percussive piano—Somlai's—behind tenor sax and trumpet. At one point, about six minutes into the tune, the group goes into a percussion-only mode, a rolling, rollicking, rumbing knockabout, reminding me of Hugh Masekela's touring band, when everybody pushes their primary instrument aside and gets into the beat.

It's an infectious sound, and the opener sets the tone, though there are a couple of more mainstream tunes: "Libby," apparently the first song Somlai wrote, after getting into keyboards—and it has a wonderful, lovely melody; and the title tune, with the leader working some darker tones on the Fender Rhodes.

"Se Le Ve" drives hard, congas and clave bubbling along on a rolling boil behind the bright horn work; and on "Have You Met Miss Jones" (Rodgers and Hart), Somlai's drums and Robert Figueroa's congas present a smooth, cool, burbling flow of rhythm. Wayne Shorter's "One By One" features congas, timbales, bongos, drums, and Somlai—very focused, not over-reaching, bringing a perussive shine to the sound with his relatively simple rhythmic piano mode.

Visit Jeno Somlai on the web at www.jenosomlai.net .

Track Listing: Golden Lady, Se Le Ve, Let It Go, One By One, Libby, Go East, Have You Met Miss Jones, J.A.S., Dejalo Ir

Personnel: Jeno Somlai--piano, Fender Rhodes, drums, percussion; Jamie Breiwick--trumpet; Mike Plog--trumpet; Scott Van Domelan--tenor sax; Steve Einerson--piano; Doug Ebert--bass; Robert Figueroa--congoas, percussion; Dave Bayles--drums, percussion; Hector "Vivo' Rodriguez--timbalesUlisis Santiago--congas; Mark Davis--piano

Title: Let It Go | Year Released: 2004

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Lyn Stanley – The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Lyn Stanley – The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 2
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Music in the Room" CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read "Kinship" CD/LP/Track Review Kinship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "The Imperfect Sea" CD/LP/Track Review The Imperfect Sea
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Masters In Bordeaux" CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017