Collage music, but not quite the African-American/African concerto the blurb suggests, this is Omar Sosa taking a day off (DO) in Greg Landau’s garage studio, and amid electronic dog impersonations making the piano ring in ways which have endeared him to me deeply. But, appropriate to a bit of fun on a day off, he’s included so much junkshop clutter on the electronic tape—woof, woof, indeed, and the choruses, including one repeating, “We are the women of the sit-AY!” to no purpose I can fathom. Who cares? So what? Collaborators include percussionist Michael Spiro, the voices of the Herrera family, DJ Mr. E, hip-hop legend One Drop Scot, and guitarist Camilo Landau. Oh, well. All in the studio and on a day off?
There is one stunning passage in the final of the five bits included on this first of two so-called EPs, Sosa getting his acoustic piano to deliver and the Cuban saxophonist Luis Depestre engaging in some startling interaction. Not for long enough, though. I’m sure he had fun with the electronic gear, and probably found a few ideas kindling, though the result is like the opposite of the TV cookery show’s “and here’s one I prepared earlier.” The description of this stuff as spontaneous exercise or experiment is probably a selling point, making people wonder what happened, even imagining Sosa wondering what he was doing. There’s a vogue for this spontaneity. The occasional ringing-out of Sosa’s piano sounds potentally interesting, but I didn’t find anything of actual sustained interest except the bit mentioned above, which came too late and didn’t last long enough.
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// Notes from the Road
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