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!

4

Omar Sosa: Senses

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
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 and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. While Sosa was there, serving as an artist-in-residence and composing a score for dancer/choreographer Nora Chipaumire's Miriam, he was given full access to EMPAC's recording studio and Yamaha CFIII concert grand piano. He spent hours behind that instrument and his explorations there proved to be cathartic; Senses says that and more.

This isn't the first time that Sosa has gone solo on record, but it's the most stark example of his piano work to date. Those accustomed to Sosa-as-sonic-mystic may be surprised by the nakedness of this music. Electronic fringe doesn't accumulate on the borders of these pieces and Sosa doesn't aim to conjure the spirits. This is just a portrait of a pianist sorting out life. Most of the material dwells in the middle ground; nothing's fast or too slow, overly sunny or dreadfully drab, or strong or meak. Sosa does explore complex emotions ("Dark Tango In The Morning"), sad-but-hopeful sounds ("Sun Shower" and "Two Sides Of Autumn") and somber spaces, but he's never driven to extremes.

In many ways these pieces feel connected to one another, as if they were part of a suite, and the album sounds best when taken that way. Following Sosa's emotional journey is touching, draining and rewarding all at once. He invites the listener to join in his search for answers that may or may not exist.

Track Listing: Sun Shower; Peaceful Shadow; Looking Both Ways; 3.25; Despacio; Humility; La Luna De Mi Hija; Shadow Of Clouds; Lament; Dark Tango In THe Morning; Two Sides Of Autumn; Olorun; Holy Mary; At Night; Light In The Sky; Pensamientos.

Personnel: Omar Sosa: piano.

Title: Senses | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Ota Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Somewhere Glimmer" CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Karoujite" CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Post Bop Gypsies" CD/LP/Track Review Post Bop Gypsies
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Afro-Caribbean Mixtape" CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Sing Me Some Cry" CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by John Sharpe
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 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!