Eggun - The Afri-Lectric Experience
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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. Omar Sosa's album Eggun: The Afri-Lectric Experience began as a commission from the Barcelona Jazz Festival in 2009 to create a tribute performance to Miles Davis's classic Kind Of Blue on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. Inspired by the album's various musical elements and motifs, Sosa wrote a suite of music honoring the spirit of freedom in Davis's seminal work, with jazz textures enriched by the subtle and expressive use of electronic elements. Special guests on the project include guitarist Lionel Loueke and percussionists Pedro Martinez and Gustavo Ovalles.
Top Customer Reviews
In 2009, Omar was commissioned by the Barcelona Jazz Festival to write and perform music in honor of the seminal recording's 50th anniversary.
What's most remarkable about this recording is the way Omar takes phrasing and and motifs from Kind of Blue (sometimes as themes, often as interludes) and uses them as a springboard into a wider exploration of the essence of Davis' and Bill Evans' sound and modal compositions but parses this content through Afro Cuban rhythms and thematic improvisations that make this not just an homage but a point of departure at the same time.
I continue to be impressed by Omar (recently saw him perform in duo w Paolo Fresu at the Blue Note in NYC). He is constantly staking out new territory with nods to the Masters but an original sound that is grounded as much in strong technique and his Afro Cuban roots as it is inspired by his own creative Muse.
Check out a sample of any track on the recording and see how he re-contextualizes Miles's sound within the framework of his own compositions and you'll become a believer.
This is true artistry in both its ambition and execution.
Early on in the performance, the musicians would drop in a phrase here and there reminiscent of Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue." I thought little of it, due to the universal popularity of that work and its place in the jazz vocabulary. It was only at the end of the evening that Omar mentioned the inspiration for the particular set of music.
How to describe Omar Sosa's music? It's buoyant; it is solemn. It represents the Latin sensibilities; it also recalls the basics of all jazz in the physical tempo of the drums that came to America on the slave ships.
I've been attending jazz and popular music shows for 50 years and it was one of the most impressive and memorable sets I've seen. Omar Sosa has the gift, of that there is no doubt.