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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paolo Fresu & Omar Sosa featuring Natacha Atlas & Jaques Morelenbaum: Eros

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While the connection between Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu was established back in 2006, their partnership truly blossomed with Alma (Ota Music, 2012), a beauty of an album with a soft sell approach. That record--quite possibly the most moving item in either man's discography--prioritized heart over all else, and this follow-up date follows suit. Eros--the god of love--serves as muse and sculptor on this easygoing outing. Sosa and Fresu are both in fine ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joo Kraus/Omar Sosa/Gustavo Ovalles: JOG

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You have to hand it to pianist Omar Sosa. With the exception of some return trips to the solo piano format, he never really repeats himself. Over the past two decades, Sosa has worked alone, gone the duo route with Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, shared billing/leadership duties with flutist Mark Weinstein, worked with Germany's NDR Bigband, paid tribute to Miles Davis' iconic Kind Of Blue (Columbia Records, 1959) in unique fashion, mingled with Moroccan musicians, worked the Afro-Cuban seam in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano: ilé

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"The word ilé, from the Lucumí tradition of Cuba, means home, earth." That single sentence, which gets the ball rolling for Omar Sosa's self-penned liner notes, says all that needs to be said about this return-to-roots project. Or does it? Ilé finds Sosa looking back to Camagüey, Cuba. He populates this album with musicians who hail from said locale--drummer Ernesto Simpson, multi-reedist Leandro Saint-Hill, and guests like Eladio “Don Pancho" Terry and Yosvany Terry--but listeners shouldn't be ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Senses

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Pianist Omar Sosa seems to have a split personality: He's the extroverted dazzler who exudes vivacity and leads the charge, but he's also the introverted-and-contemplative pianist who muses and meditates with fingers on keys. Much of his work allows for both aspects of his artistry to shine; Senses does not. This one is all about the thoughtful and sensitive Sosa baring his soul. Senses is essentially a (by)product of the pianist's time spent at the Experimental Media ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Omar Sosa & Paolo Fresu Duo: New York, NY, January 24, 2013

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Omar Sosa & Paolo Fresu DuoBlue NoteNew York, NYJanuary 24, 2013 Some musicians settle into a club and simply play a set of music, but that's never the case with Omar Sosa. The pianist treats every performance as a musical séance and an opportunity to bare his soul. It's hard to know whether to call his work jazz or spirit music, but labels aren't really important when it comes to his work; his impressive ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa: Eggun

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A tribute to trumpet legend Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue (Columbia, 1959), without a single song from the record? The answer: an emphatic “Yes!" In 2009, piano wizard Omar Sosa received a commission from the Barcelona Jazz Festival to “compose and produce a tribute performance to Miles Davis' classic recording, Kind Of Blue, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary." The keyword there is “tribute"; not “facsimile" or “rewrite." Even if they had asked Sosa for such a thing, they ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa & Paolo Fresu featuring Jaques Morelenbaum: Alma

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Trying to keep pace with the musical projects of pianist Omar Sosa or trumpeter Paolo Fresu is an almost-athletic pursuit. Calling either man prolific is an understatement, but what's more impressive than the quantity of music they release is the quality of their output. Both have tapped into an eternal wellspring of creativity that eludes most artists, with an ability to conjure the spirits of sound at will. Their first encounter dates back to 2006, when Sosa ...

INTERVIEWS

Omar Sosa: Bringing The World To The World

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Pianist/composer Omar Sosa was born in Cuba in the first decade of Fidel Castro's rule over the island, and grew up listening to forbidden American jazz with his music school friends in secret, the radio discretely turned low, though eventually the rules changed and the music was broadcast in Cuba, too. After Cuba and a short time in Mexico, Sosa discovered his calling in the Esmeraldas region of Ecuador, where he found music that was, like Cuba's music, founded in ...


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