2013 Jazz – The Music of Omar Sosa – Eggun: The Afri-Lectric Experience

Omar Sosa

Omar SosaSo the other day MOG by way of their Just for You section introduced me to the music of Omar Sosa, and I’m glad they did!!  Sosa is a Cuban born composer, bandleader, and jazz pianist. His newest band  Afreecanos, combines Afro Pop, jazz, and a variety of European instruments. The band, which includes musicians from Africa, Cuba, Brazil, and France, released a CD in 2009 and went on a world tour in early 2010.

The album that was recommended bby MOG was his latest release Eggun: The Afri-Lectric Experience. I gave it a quick listen and decided that I wanted to learn more about Omar and I took a trip to ALLMusic where I discovered:

 At the age of five, Sosa began studying music at the Escuela Provincial de Musica in Camaguey, which led to his intense study of drums and percussion at two other schools during the late ’70s/early ’80s: Cuba’s Escuela Nacional de Musica and Instituto Superior de Arte…..

 

…. Sosa’s work with Cuban vocalist Vicente Feliú (1988’s Arteporética), the group XL Talla Extra with Cuban vocalistXiomara Laugart, the jazz fusion outfit Entrenoz, the Afro-Ecuadorian band Koral y Esmeralda, and playing keyboards in the band Koan Fussion.

 

…. in the late ’90s, Sosa began issuing solo albums: the 1996 solo piano showcase Omar Omar, 1997’s ensemble-basedFree Roots, 1998’s Inside, 1999’s Spirit of Roots and Bembon, and 2000’s Prietos. In addition, Sosa has also produced recordings for Ricardo Williams, Leo Mass, and Vino y Miel. Two years later, Sosa issued the eccentric jazz album Sentir. It was later nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album in fall 2002.Read More

AfreekanosI also saw that his 2008 Afreecanos was listed as an Editor’s Pick so I gave it a listen, I enjoyed it.Last night I went back and listened to more of Eggun and I was really impressed,! Here’s what it says about Eggun at Omar’s website….

Eggun

Omar Sosa’s next studio album, “Eggun: The Afri-Lectric Experience”, is set for release worldwide in February 2013. Eggun, in the West African spiritual practice of Ifa and its various expressions throughout the African Diaspora, are the spirits of those who have gone before us, both in our personal families and those who serve as our spiritual guides.

 

The Omar Sosa Afri-Lectric Experience began as a commission from the Barcelona Jazz Festival in 2009. The assignment: to compose and produce a tribute performance to Miles Davis’ classic Kind Of Blue recording on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. Inspired by various musical elements and motifs from Kind Of Blue, Omar wrote a suite of music honoring the spirit of freedom in Davis’ seminal work. Featuring trumpet and two saxophones, Eggun provides a medium for musical elements from Africa to shape and develop the music, and the resulting jazz textures are further enriched by the subtle and expressive use of electronic elements. At the heart of the recording is the spirit of Mother Africa.

 

Following the success of the Kind Of Blue commission, Omar began to include the new arrangements into the repertoire of his regular touring ensemble, resulting in the creation of the The Afri-Lectric Experience. The featured horn players are Joo Kraus on trumpet (from Germany), Leandro Saint-Hill on saxophones and flute (from Cuba), and Peter Apfelbaum on saxophones and percussion (from U.S.A.). Omar’s longtime rhythm section of Marque Gilmore on drums (from U.S.A.) and Childo Tomas on electric bass (from Mozambique) create the foundation.

 

Special guests on the project include Lionel Loueke on guitars (from Benin), Marvin Sewell on guitars (from U.S.A.), Pedro Martinez on Afro-Cuban percussion (from Cuba), John Santos on percussion (from U.S.A.) and Gustavo Ovalles on Afro-Venezuelan percussion (from Venezuela). The CD was recorded primarily in Brooklyn, NY. Full Biography

So here’s some morning music from  Eggun: The Afri-Lectric Experience. One of my favorites “Madre Mia”