Seven-time GRAMMY-nominated Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa teamed up with Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita and with percussionist Gustavo Ovalles from Venezuela to record his exquisitely beautiful world-jazz CD “Transparent Water”, with touches of sheng (traditional Chinese flute) by Wu Tong, of Silk Road fame. He will celebrate the February release in France (on World Village/PIAS) with a concert in Marciac on March 4 and in Paris on March 16 (Café de la Danse). "Transparent Water — evocative of translucence and flowing light — is a deeply spiritual recording that reaches across five continents, a compassionate and captivating artistic dialogue beyond musical category, and an invocation of the enduring creative spirit of the human condition." -Michael Stone; "Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Senegalese kora master and vocalist Seckou Keita have assembled an extraordinary album seamlessly melding Latin American and West African music — the epitome of World Music, as suggested by its title, perfectly limpid and evanescent, its constituent elements rapidly passing through like cirrus clouds." -Roger Farbey, AllAboutJazz (U.K.). Transparent Water is due for release on February 27, 2017.
SOUL SCRATCH – PUSHING FIRE
An absolute stormer from Soul Scratch – a contemporary combo from the SoCal scene doing the legacy of the late 60s/early 70s raw funky soul style proud! Both the band name and album titles are appropriate – we wouldn't call it "truth in advertising", just straight up truth – with a genuine depth of soul in both the songs and performance, played with incredible energy in the more fiery number, but with a sure hand on the more tender numbers, too. Singer Dale Spollett can wail with the best of them, and the band has real firepower in their arsenal. The horns and rhythm section are stunningly tight, or have a loose swagger when the song calls, and there some tasty guitar, too. Includes the righteous opener "Pacified", "Look How Far We've Come", "Odessa Heat", the sweet little centerpiece ballad "Kiss Me In The Morning", "Be Kind", "Fireside Lounge", "Empty Cup", "It's Not Over", "Thank You" and more. ~ Dusty Groove
JOHN ABERCROMBIE QUARTET – UP AND COMING
A masterpiece of chromes and tones from the legendary John Abercrombie – an album that's a beautiful summation of all the special style he's brought to his guitar work over the years! That subtle shading that John had back at the start is still very firmly in place, but he group's also almost got a Bill Evans sort of approach – a gentle attack and quick decay, always respecting the space between the notes – driven strongly by the wonderful piano efforts of Marc Copland, who seems to be the perfect balance for Abercrombie. In a way, the album really hearkens back to those key ECM albums of the 70s – those moments when something extremely special and new was taking place, and when things never got too abstract or ambient. The subtle rhythms help a lot – always-careful work on drums from Joey Barron, and well-placed bass from Drew Gress. Titles include "Joy", "Tears", "Sunday School", "Jumbles", and "Flipside". ~ Dusty Groove