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Mulatos

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Reseña de álbum

In various interviews, salsa/Latin jazz master Ray Barretto has complained about hard bop artists who employ Afro-Cuban rhythms in a very obvious way — artists who will take a familiar Thelonious Monk, Clifford Brown, or Bud Powell standard and "Latinize" it by adding a son, cha cha, mambo, danzon, or guaguancó groove. There is nothing wrong with that approach (which can be quite enjoyable), but there is also something to be said for using Afro-Cuban/salsa elements in a less obvious fashion — which is what Omar Sosa does on Mulatos. This post-bop release doesn't beat listeners over the head with Afro-Cuban rhythms, but they're present nonetheless. They enrich Sosa's material in their own subtle way, and the Cuban pianist/keyboardist (who employs Paquito D'Rivera as a clarinetist on three selections) demonstrates that Afro-Cuban jazz doesn't have to be something as overt as playing Monk's "Well, You Needn't" as a descarga (Latin jam) or approaching George Gershwin's "I Can't Get Started" as a bolero (Latin ballad). Afro-Cuban music isn't the only type of world music that inspires Sosa on Mulatos, which was recorded in Paris in early 2004; Sosa also brings elements of Middle Eastern, North African, and Indian music to his post-bop. Dhafer Youssef (one of the sidemen) is featured on the oud, a traditional Arabic lute that is quite legendary in Middle Eastern music — and Philippe Foch, another participant, appears on Indian tabla drums. Of course, the oud and the tablas aren't exactly prominent instruments in Afro-Cuban jazz or salsa, but they're major assets on Mulatos — an album that paints a consistently attractive picture of Sosa's multicultural outlook. Mulatos is yet another broad-minded project that Sosa can be proud to have in his catalog.

Biografía

Nacido(a): 10 de abril de 1965 en Camagüey, Cuba

Género: Jazz

Años de actividad: '80s, '90s, '00s

Multi-instrumentalist Omar Sosa was born on April 10, 1965, in Camaguey, Cuba. 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 then began to teach percussion to children before he created the group Tributo in 1986, for which Sosa penned and oversaw the material for two of their...
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Mulatos, Omar Sosa
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