All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

3

Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita: Transparent Water

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Cuban Pianist Omar Sosa and Senegalese kora player and vocalist Seckou Keita have assembled an extraordinary album seamlessly melding Latin American and West African music. Additional guest instrumentalists bring with them a host of other sounds predominantly emanating from the Far East. The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument whilst the sheng is a Chinese mouth-blown free reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes. The bawu is a Chinese wind instrument and the geomungo is a traditional Korean type of zither. Notwithstanding that the kora is one of the main instruments on the album, it would have been useful to map every instrument played to their respective tracks, since presumably only listeners with expert knowledge would have been in a position to recognise all of them. But this is a very minor quibble and on an impressionistic level doesn't in any way detract from the appreciation of the music.

"Dary" sets out the template for the ensuing tracks on this extraordinary album. There's a gentle rhythm which underscores the subtle melodies and there's a fantastic balance between the potentially overwhelming piano (which it never becomes) and fragility of the stringed instruments. There's even a faintly perceptible sound of running water, in recognition of the record's name. This delicateness is continued with the languid "In The Forest" the kora and piano punctuated only by the tintinnabulation of a finger cymbal and silence.

"Mining-Nah" evinces a foot-tapping quality, the piano and kora merging inextricably and embellished by winsome vocals. "Tama-Tama" is characterised by pulsating percussion, harmonic vocals and an enchanting, memorable tune. "Another Prayer" elevates the set into transcendental territory whereas the Latin-esque rhythmic pulse of "Fatiliku" permeates the sung melody and crucially there's the added bonus of a playful, repeated quote from the famous Cuban song "El Manisero" otherwise known as the famous "The Peanut Vendor" which underpins the whole piece.

"Peace Keeping" is permeated by erratic swathes of bluesy piano whilst the dulcet "Moro Yeye" evokes a feeling of the rainforest. The profound serenity of the album is encapsulated in all its numbers but perhaps never more so than in "Recaredo 1993." The subtlety of "Thiossane" too seems to symbolise the fragile skein of notes that unites the musicality of two continents, the kora and piano mesmerically intertwining. This epitome of World music is, as suggested by its title, perfectly limpid and even evanescent, its constituent elements rapidly passing through like cirrus clouds.

Track Listing: Dary; In The Forest; Black Dream; Mining-Nah; Tama-Tama; Another Prayer; Fatiliku; Oni Yalorde; Peace Keeping; Moro Yeye; Recaredo; Zululand; Thiossane.

Personnel: Omar Sosa: piano, keyboards, electronics, marimba, vocals; Seckou Keita: kora, djembe, talking drum, sabar, vocals; Gustavo Ovalles: bata drums, culo'e puya, clave, maracas, guataca, calabaza; Plus: Mieko Miyazaki: koto; Wu Tong: sheng, bawu; Mosin Khan Kawa: nagadi; E’Joung-Ju: geomungo; Dominique Huchet: bird EFX.

Title: Transparent Water | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: World Village

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

African Sunrise

African Sunrise

Omar Sosa
Live at FIP

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Aguas

Aguas

Ota Records
2018

buy
Es:sensual

Es:sensual

Ota Records
2018

buy
Transparent Water

Transparent Water

Ota Records
2017

buy
JOG

JOG

Ota Records
2016

buy
Transparent Water

Transparent Water

World Village
2016

buy
Eros

Eros

Ota Records
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Music of Richard Whiting CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Richard Whiting
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Barefoot Dances and Other Visions CD/LP/Track Review
Barefoot Dances and Other Visions
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor CD/LP/Track Review
Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker CD/LP/Track Review
Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966! CD/LP/Track Review
The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966!
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Tristeza on Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review Tristeza on Guitar
by Chris May
Published: June 28, 2018
Read "Six Encomiums for Cecil Taylor" CD/LP/Track Review Six Encomiums for Cecil Taylor
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Humanities" CD/LP/Track Review Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Empty Castles" CD/LP/Track Review Empty Castles
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 22, 2018
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Jubilation!" CD/LP/Track Review Jubilation!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 25, 2018