8

Oscar Penas: Music Of Departures And Returns

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Oscar Penas: Music Of Departures And Returns In putting together his fourth album, guitarist Oscar Penas looked to composers he connects with, songs that speak to him, and originals that fit comfortably with the rest. That's the concept here, plain and simple, and the end result is a thirty-eight minute beauty that's alluring and completely accessible.

Two different rhythm sections and three guests come and go during these eight tracks, but Penas' presence ties everything together. The first three numbers—a cheery choro featuring clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera, a take on "Rabo De Nube" that focuses in on Esperanza Spalding's supple vocals, and a solo guitar performance of "Skylark"—illustrate this point. These songs have little-to-nothing in common with one another, but Penas' personality serves as a bonding agent, bringing them closer than imaginable.

Further explorations find Penas putting his stamp on flamenco music ("Paco"), tilting toward tango ("The Everyday Struggle"), using a baroque-style exercise as a leaping off point ("Etude No. 1"), and balancing the mournful with the serene ("Canco Numero 6"). On those first three occasions, violinist Sara Caswell proves indispensable. She brings a mixture of energy and grace to this material, upping the level of excitement and deepening the conversation all at once. On "Canco Numero 6" she's absent, but Gil Goldstein's accordion provides the needed finishing touches.

In this day and age, when a large chunk of the jazz community views conceptual rigor and the creation of high art as a moral imperative, it's a joyous thing to hear artists like Penas buck the trend; he simply plays what he enjoys.

Track Listing: Paquito's Choro; Rabo De Nube; Skylark; Paco; The Everyday Struggle; Etude No. 1; Rain; Canco. Numero 6

Personnel: Oscar Penas: guitars; Sara Caswell: violin (4-7); Moto Fukushima: six-string electric bass (4-8); Richie Barshay: drums (4-8), cajon (4); Edward Perez: bass (1, 2); Rogerio Bocacato: drums (1, 2), percussion (1, 2); Paquito D'Rivera: clarinet; Gil Goldstein: accordion (5, 8); Esperanza Spalding: vocals (2).

Title: Music Of Departures And Returns | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Proverbe" CD/LP/Track Review Proverbe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "It's A Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Mystery
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Seifert" CD/LP/Track Review Seifert
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "Wet Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Wet Paint
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 4, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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