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Pictures of Soul

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Album Review

Pictures of Soul is a 16-track multidimensional music collaboration between the Grammy-nominated pianist Omar Sosa and Los Angeles-based percussionist Adam Rudolph. Recorded in 2002 and 2003 in Los Angeles, CA, this wholly improvised recording is a poignant aural journey into the transcendent realms of the creative music process. It prominently features the adept styles of both masters on an array of hand drums, percussion, flutes, piano, and vocals and their affinity for ritual trance music, nature, and the universe. The opening composition, "Portrait," is a delicate introspective song that is introduced by Rudolph's drum call to Sosa, who answers in graceful acoustic tones before fully climaxing via his expansive modified piano language. "The Call" continues their conversation but now Omar Sosa combines his amazing flair for rhythm, classical piano, and avant-garde dissonance with a striking melodic rhetoric to which Rudolph responds by using muted shades of his conguero and percussive finesse. Sosa and Rudolph both continue to experience their art as an interactive spiritual voyage on "Kachirhumba," a tune that features the fiery essence of the rumba perpetrated by Rudolph's sensational drum mastery complimented by Sosa's intrinsic harmonic piano sensibilities. But it is the 8:15-minute exploration titled "Pilgrimage" that literally lifts you from your complacence and takes you on one of the most stirring musical journeys you'll experience. The musical imagery used to represent nature in its purest state is sensitive, beautiful, soothing, and peaceful. Overall, in this duet format, listeners are treated to a more introspective Omar Sosa who uses the sounds of silence to convey his thoughts in a way not heard with his larger ensembles. The same applies to Adam Rudolph, who currently leads his own ensemble, Go: Organic Orchestra. Nevertheless, with Pictures of Soul you find a cornucopia of sounds and musical expression, from delicate introspection to fiery dance to the innermost rhythm of their souls.


Born: 12 September 1955 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Composer/hand percussionist Adam Rudolph was born in Chicago in 1955, and as a teen was mentored by the likes of Don Cherry, Fred Anderson, and Maulawi Nururdin. After receiving a self-designed undergraduate degree in ethnomusicology from Oberlin College, Rudolph went on to earn his M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts; in 1977 he traveled to Ghana and met the famed griot Foday Musa Suso, and a year later they reunited in Chicago to form the Mandingo Griot Society, pioneering a fusion...
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Pictures of Soul, Adam Rudolph
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