179

Omar Sosa and Adam Rudolph: Pictures of Soul

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
With a rapidly growing discography, pianist Omar Sosa is demonstrating capabilities that extend far beyond his Afro-Cuban roots. In Pictures of Soul , an intimate duet recording with percussionist Adam Rudolph, he shows that his influences range far wider, and that he is fashioning these influences into a language all his own.

Comparisons will likely be made to Keith Jarrett, and clearly Sosa shares the same Faulkner-esque stream-of-consciousness ability to seemingly pull melodies out of the ether; but whereas Jarrett has a strong footing in the blues and gospel music, Sosa's folk roots are more in the South American and African dialects.

Rudolph was a relatively early exponent of world music, having played in the 1970s with Gambian and Moroccan musicians. In this impromptu session, where there were no charts and nothing was predefined, Rudolph and Sosa use melodies and rhythms from around the world to create an album which varies from the trance-inducing ambient track, "Pilgrimage," where Sosa eschews his main instrument for the harmonium and Fender Rhodes, to more energetic post-bop-informed miniatures like "Cuzco Refrain."

Sosa expands his sonic palette, incorporating playing inside the piano box and modifying the instrument by placing vibrating instruments on the strings on "Dreams." Rudolph's textural capabilities are even broader, utilizing all manner of ethnic percussion instruments, gongs and cymbals, as well as flutes on tracks including "Kachirumba" and the pastoral "Eye of the Blackbird."

Each player defines; Sosa plays with an impressionistic touch on "Portrait" and "Winter of the Flower"; Rudolph's percussion sometimes punctuates, as on "The Call," and other times creates hypnotic rhythms, as on "The Wandering Night." Like Egberto Gismonti, Omar Sosa seems intent on fashioning new sounds from existing patterns. With Rudolph, he has a sympathetic partner. There is much of the familiar in what they do; yet somehow they manage to combine to create a sound that feels, at the same time, refreshingly different.

Pictures of Soul represents a meeting of two artists who have enjoyed each other's work from afar for some time; with this collaboration they have created a work that engages the ear and relaxes the mind. Hopefully this won't be the last time Sosa and Rudolph meet for a session of transcendence and discovery.

Visit Omar Sosa and Adam Rudolph on the web.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by John Sharpe
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "Malamute" CD/LP/Track Review Malamute
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "United" CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "The Duo - Live!" CD/LP/Track Review The Duo - Live!
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Doug Collette
Published: July 1, 2017

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.