368

Mark Weinstein/Omar Sosa: Tales From The Earth

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Weinstein/Omar Sosa: Tales From The Earth Tales from the Earth by flutist, Mark Weinstein and pianist/vibraphonist, Omar Sosa, is one of the most extraordinary musical expeditions in a long time. The need for a subtext is not necessary; the extraordinary depth and ethereal beauty of the music would suffice. Nevertheless, once that subtext becomes evident, then the music touches parts of the body that much music might not. There is really no beginning and no end; this musical continuum needs only be entered with eyes wide shut and ears open; listening with the heart, soul, and every pore of the being is essential.

Perhaps it is the result of a childhood epiphany, which Weinstein recalled years later. Like epic music that is worshipful and healing, profoundly hypnotic as an interminable dance, it simply skips and rushes, cartwheels and catapults. The notes and phrases are alive and breathe as they entwine into each other like gilded braid. One strain, an idea, and then the voice of another world of music unfolding—almost like an ocean tumbling in harness. Suddenly drums and kalimbas sing and, with a rumble and thud, quaking of the earth begins. Sadness flows as one of the darkest moments of human history is relived; then, not joy, but resignation—and peace. Such primeval beauty in melody, harmonic and utterly exquisite polyrhythms, slicing through voices that meander in more melodic counterpoint.

Weinstein probably imagined something like this all his life, however it is pure chance that brought the flutist together with guitarist extraordinaire, Jean-Paul Bourelly and piano wizard Sosa. The occasion was the Black Atlantic/Congo Square series that Bourelly was organizing in Berlin in 2004. For Weinstein, the opportunity to play with these musicians, as well as bassist Yola Wesolowska and balaphon master Aly Keita, was the lure. Then the chilling subtext comes into play—the venue for the recording was the same building that was once the Ministry of Information during the Nazi era. For Weinstein the project now must have been one by Divine design and the music reflects just that; none of the music was written. The music appears to have been dictated by a Divine muse and attendant spirits. Nothing else can explain the mesmerizing set that simply flows from track to track.

The heavenly suite opens with a brilliant "Sunrise"—dawn aglow and alive with kalimba and brass percussion. The stage for the exorcism of pain is set by contrapuntal voices led by Aho Luc Nicaise, and the musical healing begins. In this 14-part suite, unwritten yet unfolding with inspired beauty through each of its sections as it tracks the journey of the group—in a tale reminiscent of the ancient Legend of Gilgamesh—the musical expedition makes its "Forest Journey" and "River Crossing." Then "Praise" and the "Spirit Messenger," who helps them through the "Celebration" of lives lived and pain left behind. Santeria and catharsis for Mark Weinstein and the whole Human Diaspora as the extraordinary improvised musical experience closes appropriately with "Gratitude."


Track Listing: Sunrise; Invocation; Walking Song; Tea Break; Forest Journey; River Crossing; Children at Play; Men's Talk; Flirtation; Praise; Spirit Messenger; Celebration; Elders Speak; Gratitude.

Personnel: Mark Weinstein: concert alto and bass flutes; Omar Sosa: vibraphone, marimba, piano, percussion; Aly Keita: balafon; Jean Paul Bourelly: guitar; Stanislou Michalak: bass; Marque Gilmore: drums; Aho Luc Nicaise: lead vocals, percussion; Mathias Agbokou: vocals, percussion.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Ota Records | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Between Brothers" CD/LP/Track Review Between Brothers
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "Jaco Pastorius" CD/LP/Track Review Jaco Pastorius
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "The Duke Box 2" CD/LP/Track Review The Duke Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Out On The Coast" CD/LP/Track Review Out On The Coast
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "You and I" CD/LP/Track Review You and I
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!