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 For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Rímur" CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Live From Jazz at the Bistro" CD/LP/Track Review Live From Jazz at the Bistro
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "Let Your Mind...Space Out" CD/LP/Track Review Let Your Mind...Space Out
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971" CD/LP/Track Review On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 27, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.