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Given their respective touring and recording schedules, it took a year, but in July 2013 Omar and Seckou went into the Fattoria Musica recording studio in Osnabrück, Germany and laid down the core tracks for : in April 2013, Galician bagpiper-pianist-composer Cristina Pato invited Omar to Santiago de Compostela, where Pato hosts an annual residency frequented by associates of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.
Ilé means homeland in the Lucumí tradition of Cuba, derived from the Yoruba language of West Africa, and it is to the Latin Jazz roots of his native Cuba that Omar returns for inspiration on this new studio recording. The assignment: to compose and produce a tribute performance to Miles Davis’ classic recording, provides a medium for musical elements from Africa to shape and develop the music. Omar and Paolo toured together in Italy in July 2009, which further deepened the special musical chemistry between the artists, and inspired them to plan a Duo recording. Omar’s unorthodox harmonic sensibilities are evident throughout . In keeping with Yoruba tradition, exits with a final ritual salutation to Elegba. Theirs is a model marriage (one with rich historical roots), bearing offspring, new idioms,spiritually endowed. releasing these forms from the traditional Afro-Cuban clave... combining the fokloric with the contemporary, the ancestral with the urban.
presents a continuation of Cuban pianist-composer Omar Sosa’s collaboration with Hamburg’s NDR (North German Radio—Norddeutscher Rundfunk) Bigband and Brazilian cellist-composer-arranger Jaques Morelenbaum, whose inaugural effort can be heard on Omar Sosa-NDR Bigband CD Sosa, Morelenbaum, and the NDR Bigband extend their many influences in a contemporary contribution to the expansive universe of world jazz, where Sosa resides as a generous, abundant, and ecstatically inspired creative spirit.
Omar possesses an incomparable capacity to bring the most diverse traditions into fruitful juxtaposition, moving through and far beyond his influences, from the folkloric to the classical, while sustaining a singular and joyous cosmopolitan voice.
Sosa and Fresu have composed a suite of new songs inspired by the human emotions that lead beauty into the divine. As the title implies, the overall feeling is relaxed and introspective, without any attempt to impress technically. Weaving a musical lineage of a thousand strands, if Tales From The Earth recalls something of the creative spirit of M’Boom, the inventive all-percussion octet founded by Max Roach in 1970, it captures the global ecumenical spirit of the present. His climb to power proved timely on so many levels - among them, the nation declaring its readiness to accept a leader of color at exactly the same moment we were birthing a song cycle highlighting the Middle Passage. Moreover, the surround sound of the political machine filled the air with anunmusic soundtrack;the relentless drone and grind of the campaign lendingcontrast to the stirring uplift of our musical discoveries.
The project is enriched by cello contributions from Brazilian master Jaques Morelenbaum (who was also a guest on delves deeply into the energy, poetry, and spirituality of the Duo’s special musical chemistry. Rather, the intent is to evoke a mood of reflection and contemplation. Accordingly, Tales From The Earth resounds with the Afro-Cuban traditions of Omar Sosa—best known as a pianist and composer, but here primarily on marimba and vibraphone, which Sosa studied in Cuba’s conservatories before switching to piano. Across the Divide had not anticipated any seismic social shifts, had not aimed at didacticism. Omar Sosa’s new studio album brings together musicians from Africa, Cuba, Brazil, and France to celebrate the rich heritage of African music in jazz and Latin music. Sosa’s approach takes folkloric elements from Africa and the Americas, combines them with his Afro-Cuban roots, and brings them all forward into a contemporary jazz expression.Special guests on the recording include Cuban percussionist Pedro Martinez, American guitarist Marvin Sewell, Cuban saxophonist Yosvany Terry, and maestro Eladio “Don Pancho” Terry, patriarch of the Terry family, on chekere. And, reflecting the influence of his extended residency in Barcelona, Omar showcases flamenco vocalist José “El Salao” Martín on several tracks, including a version of Cuban trova composer Sindo Garay’s Ilé offers contemporary interpretations of some of the classic Cuban musical styles the world has come to admire. The featured horn players are Joo Kraus on trumpet (Germany), Leandro Saint-Hill on alto saxophone and flute (Cuba), and Peter Apfelbaum on tenor saxophone (U. Special guests on the project include Lionel Loueke on guitars (Benin), Marvin Sewell on guitars (U. A.), Pedro Martinez on Afro-Cuban percussion (Cuba), John Santos on percussion (U. A.), and Gustavo Ovalles on Afro-Venezuelan percussion (Venezuela). Of particular interest is a set of six , in the West African spiritual practice of Ifá and its various expressions throughout the African Diaspora, are the spirits of those whohave gone before us, both in our immediate families and those who serve as our Spirit guides. Paolo Fresu is a prolific artist, whose touring and recording history includes work with Carla Bley, Gerry Mulligan, Dave Holland, John Zorn and Ralph Towner, to mention just a very few. We have a sense of these accomplished artists ‘dancing’ together, creating an expressive and poetic link between Cuba and the Mediterranean, offering us a wide range of subtle and engaging musical colors. Rhythmically, the feeling of the CD is unhurried and meditative. The NDR Bigband is an ensemble of accomplished soloists whose talents have been highlighted through the work of such noted arrangers as Steve Gray, Colin Towns, and Michael Gibbs. And "Night Of The Four Songs" draws from the sacred music tradition of congregational singing, havingpassed through North Carolina many decades ago. With “Promise”, Omar Sosa continues his exploration of the African roots of traditional musics throughout the Diaspora, using jazz harmonies and the latest technology. In this collection of ballads, loosely defined, taken from four of his early recordings, we are treated to a listening experience of beautiful melody and rich harmony, full of romanticism and grace - all with a Latin jazz heart.