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!

470

Mulatos Squared

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Omar Sosa is the most original Afro-Cuban jazz artist since Juan Tizol. He has produced an impressive string of recordings that include Prietos, Sentir, Pictures of Soul, Ayaguna, Alertoric EFX: Live Solo Concert - Radio Bremen and Ballads. Sosa's most commercially and critically successful recording to date is Mulatos, which was nominated for a Grammy Award and was a Publisher's Pick and appeared on Best of 2004 lists at All About Jazz. Mulatos has now been released remixed by leading American and European mix masters. The result is what Omar Sosa calls "another view with the same spirit.

Omar Sosa
Mulatos
Ota Records
2004

Mulatos is audio Latin impressionism. It is as if Claude Debussy and Chano Pozo produced a musical love child and that child is expressed melodically. The result is a light, atmospheric vehicle for Omar Sosa's airy compositions and other-worldly piano playing. He employs an entire range of piano techniques from plucking the wires to percussive playing a la Cecil Taylor/Don Pullen. Sosa uses simple Latin time figures and deceptively simple melody lines, weaving one into the other. His piano playing is most expressive on "La Llamada, a Latin Thelonious Monk pushing the consonance/dissonance envelope. "Iyawo displays Sosa at his most melodic and harmonically grounded, floating above his rhythm section.

While the mood of the recording is light, the instrumentation remains dense. There is very little open space on the recording and Sosa proves very thoughtful in how he fills the sonic space. A big plus to the disc is the relatively few types of instruments used. The clarinet is effectively the only reed showing up on the recording and on "Ternura, "Nuevo Manto and "Dos Caminos the harsh mistress is wielded by the exquisite Paquito D'Rivera. Pinning the entire project down are the requisite percussion instruments, appearing on this recording in legions. Mulatos is compellingly beautiful and honors its composer in being so.

Omar Sosa
Mulatos Remix
Ota Records
2006

Critically anointed as a modern classic, Mulatos is ripe for reinterpretation. Mulatos Remix is the result of this fact. Through sampling, remixing, and looping, the warm Caribbean breeze that is the original recording is transformed into a tactile funk celebration. Noted mix masters Doctor L, DJ Spinna, Marque Gilmore, Steve Arguelles, and DJ basephunk spin their urban magic with Sosa's vaporous compositions. In general, the transformation of all remixes results in more pronounced percussion and added voices. The overall result is very hypnotic music suitable for close listening or as a background music. Mulatos Remix's vide recalls UB40's wonderfully stoned Signing Off.

The depth of remixing runs the gambit. Basephunk's "La Tra bears a light touch highlighting Sosa's electric piano. Other mixes, such as the Plush (Steve Arguelles) remix of "El Tresero, the remixing is very refined. Arguelles pulls the voice tracks to the front and accentuates an acoustic bass to the point one can hear the strings buzz on the fret board. Sosa's sound density is decreased on some remixes where the mixers expand the space in the recordings, such as in Doctor L's remix of "Not Your Frequency (dig that acoustic bass!). Because it is dramatically different, Mulatos Remix makes a perfect companion to the original recording, illustrating perfectly that remixing is a legitimate performance form that will continue to develop.


Tracks and Personnel

Mulatos

Tracks: Ternura; Nuevo Manto; La Tra; Reposo; La Llamada; Dos Caminos; Iyawo; L3zero; El Consenso.

Personnel: Omar Sosa: piano, Fender Rhodes, harmonium, marimba, vibraphone, tubular bells, all percussion, samples, vocal; Dhafer Youssef: oud; Renaud Pion: clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet; Dieter Ilg: acoustic bass; Philippe Foch: tabla, bowl; Steve Arguelles: drums, scratches; Aziz Arradi, guembri, qarqabas, vocal; Paquito D'Rivera: clarinet on 1,2,6.

Mulatos Remix

Tracks: La Tra - (Basephunk mix); L3 Zero - (Doctor L Reworks remix); El Tresero - (Plush Vocal mix); El Son - (DJ Spinna remix); La Tra'lectric; Not Your Frequency - (remix); Paralelo - (Plush Vocal mix); Rest, Wait, Call (Interlude); Nuevo Flow; Iyawo' N 'Bass - (The Love3Zero mix).

Personnel: Omar Sosa: piano, Fender Rhodes, harmonium, marimba, vibraphone, tubular bells, all percussion, samples, vocal; Dhafer Youssef: oud; Renaud Pion: clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet; Dieter Ilg: acoustic bass; Philippe Foch: tabla, bowl; Steve Arguelles: drums, scratches; Aziz Arradi, guembri, qarqabas, vocal; Paquito D'Rivera: clarinet on 1,2,6; Remixers: Doctor L; DJ Spinna; Marque Gilmore; Steve Arg; DJ basephunk.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Holiday 2017 III - Popular Bailey's Bundles Holiday 2017 III - Popular
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Holiday 2017 II - Classical Bailey's Bundles Holiday 2017 II - Classical
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 3, 2017
Read Holiday 2017 I – Georg Frederic Handel’s "Messiah" Bailey's Bundles Holiday 2017 I – Georg Frederic Handel’s...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 2, 2017
Read Four Beethoven Symphony Cycles – Blomstedt, Blunier, Weil, and Martynov Bailey's Bundles Four Beethoven Symphony Cycles – Blomstedt, Blunier,...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Five Women IX – Bianca Rossini; Cécile McLorin Salvant; Barbora Kabátkova; Alexis Cole; Suzanne Lorge" Bailey's Bundles Five Women IX – Bianca Rossini; Cécile McLorin...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Female Vocals 2017 II – Cheryl Fisher, Natalia M. King, Beata Pater, Ellen Andersson, Cecilia Persson" Bailey's Bundles Female Vocals 2017 II – Cheryl Fisher, Natalia M....
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Dorian Devins Hits a Double in the Bleak Midwinter" Bailey's Bundles Dorian Devins Hits a Double in the Bleak Midwinter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Notable and Nearly Missed 2016" Bailey's Bundles Notable and Nearly Missed 2016
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 26, 2016
Read "Male Vocals – Mark Murphy, Theo Bleckmann, Gregory Porter, Jimmy Scott, Kurt Elling, Ron Boustead" Bailey's Bundles Male Vocals – Mark Murphy, Theo Bleckmann, Gregory...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 24, 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!