Omar Sosa
Otá Records

Omar Sosa, acoustic grand piano, marimba, percussion, guiro, vocals, astray, mallets, claps; Ten additional musicians and singers and a multitude of instrumnents

To list the other musicians and their instruments is a bit beyond the space available, and I have never heard of half the instruments, anyway. Suffice to say that THIS is where the music of Cuba, Morocco, and Venezuela begins and ends. Children, it don't get better than this. Comparison to parts of Abdullah Ibrahim's work is hard to avoid in some of Sosa's pianisms, and it is by no means unfavorable. The man has his own approach to a Jazz feel and the groove is an alternation of power and impressionistic meandering. The message is peace, which cant be bad. We have a bunch of kids in our family who are really into ethnology, and they rave about this album. Obviously, percussion is a main ingredient and they really get off. The vocals (including the raps) sound authentic to these ears. It's a real groove to have this CD in the player as you drift around the house. Track 12, "Eggun," is a masterpiece of expressive power, with Sosa's piano coupled with percussion instruments and vocals, and the leader really shows his stuff on the title track, which is hypnotic. Highly recommended.

by Lawrence Brazier

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