Cuban composer/pianist, Omar Sosa’s brand of world-jazz is prominently conveyed throughout this release - featuring, Moroccan vocalist, El Houssaine, Venezuelan percussionist, Gustavo Ovalles, and others. Sosa and co. also multitask while performing on indigenous percussion and stringed instruments emanating from Cuba, and North Africa amid conventional Western fare. Nevertheless, this is a true world music venture, augmented by Sosa’s delicately rendered chord progressions and jazzy right hand leads. The pianist’s musical concepts and methodologies include his associates’ soft vocals, Rap, and poetic narratives atop bustling rhythms and choral chants. And no matter how you view it, Sosa is a true merchant of joy via his flowing statements and warmly enacted arrangements. However, a few of these pieces suffer from being somewhat unwavering in scope and execution.
Sosa doesn’t present anything that could be deemed risqué or overtly novel on this outing, yet part of the magic lies within his heartfelt approach and jubilant spirit. Here, the artist propagates the heartbeat of the global community via a series of multifarious rhythmic structures and affable melodies - despite a few minor lulls in the program.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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