Thursday, July 2, 2020
Home Authors Posts by Raul Da Gama

Raul Da Gama

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Canadian writer. Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a musician and an accomplished writer whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

Paquito D’Rivera with the Pablo Aslan Ensemble: Tango Jazz – Live at the Lincoln...

One of the greatest love affairs in music is the one between folk music and dance. This extremely covert relationship has spilled over into contemporary music as well—more so in musical excursions in Europe (where even Igor Stravinsky sang its praises with compositions of his own) and in Latin America. One of the most beloved of all these affairs is the storied one of the tango, a voluptuous one between characters born in countries as far removed as [...]

Nelson Riveros – Camino al Barrio (Self Produced – 2010)

Nelson Riveros is one of the most proficient melodic guitarists inhabiting the world of music today. On top of that he is artful rhythmically....

Gabriel Palatchi Band – Diario de Viaje (Self Produced – 2010)

It is highly unlikely that when Gabriel Palatchi set off on his travels, out of Argentina, he thought he would be undertaking a musical...

Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg

It is no longer the necessity to use the term Third Stream that Gunther Schuller “invented” to describe the music created by the Modern Jazz Quartet in the 50’s, which was a confluence of the European Classical tradition streaming with cadenzas, infused with swaggering swing and syncopations of jazz idioms to describe much contemporary 21st century music, which does the same. Labels of any sort would diminish the excellence of the music played by Mike [...]

Hilario Durán Trio: Motion

In his much-anticipated follow-up to the Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning Latin Big Band recording, From The Heart (Alma Records, 2008) the piano master, Hilario...

Hector Martignon: Second Chance

In a literal world the music on Second Chance would simply represent “B” sides of music that pianist, Hector Martignon has played in the past. In reality they are anything but that. It is here that Martignon has provided wicked twists to all the music he has played before—he uses the term “devilish,” which in Spanish is a word fraught with meaning. The word diabólico might be infinitely more appropriate as it has fangs and breathes a fire [...]

Federico Britos: Voyage

As the world continues to awake to the rising tide of undiscovered music and musicians from the South American paradigm—in an almost ironic kind...

Bobby Carcassés: De La Habana a Nueva York

The insane revelry of the guaguancó kicks off De La Habana a Nueva York, and produces a blue flame of energy from an all,...

Roberto Fonseca: Akokan

In his follow-up to 2007’s Zamazu (Enja/Justin Time), Cuban piano master, Roberto Fonseca deepens his journey into his quasi-mystical musical search. Like the mythical...

Gabriele Tranchina: A Song of Love’s Color

It appears that exacting pitch is not really important in the grander scheme of things, for Gabriele Tranchina’s singing. Although it seems likely that if she really wanted to this vocalist could nail the exacting pitch of the notes themselves with perfection, Tranchina eschews the exactitude of notation to scale impossible heights of emotion. In this respect she is like a storyteller who uses lyric passages to let tales of longing and other elusive emotions unfold [...]
Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband - Ceremony

Omar Sosa & NDR Big Band: Ceremony

Omar Sosa inhabits two worlds. One in which all humans live and the other is the spirit world. On Ceremony (Music arranged by Jaques Morelenbaum) a record that he made with the NDR Big Band, he has opened the door to both worlds. Moreover, with Jaques Morelenbaum’s masterful arrangements of his (Sosa’s) music these worlds are that much closer. Sosa has been crossing the threshold between this world and the spirit one [...]
Claudio Roditi - Photo courtesy of Resonance Records

Um Abraço Pra Claudio · An Interview with Claudio Roditi

My palms are wet, but I am not nervous—just uncontrollably excited to be talking with Claudio Roditi, an iconic figure in music. With Brasilian...

Hamilton de Holanda Quintet: Brasilianos 2

The mandolin has barely evolved since its incarnation as a lute in Italy over three hundred years ago. A few more strings may have been added, so that there is now a ten-stringed version; tuning of these strings may have become more creative and different, but the instrument has remained essentially the same. Unlike the violin, its notes decay quicker after they are sounded and cannot usually be sustained after a point. But then you have musicians [...]

Mark Weinstein – Timbasa (JazzHeads – 2010)

It would seem that there is no stopping flutist, Mark Weinstein. While the composer and instrumentalist extraordinaire may not have trumped his awe-inspiring expedition into the realm of improvisation, Tales From The Earth (Ota Records, 2009) his album, Timbasa has certainly turned out to be an alchemist's dream. Who would ever have imagined that Miles Davis' languorous performance of "Milestones" could be regenerated as an extravagant and masterful Afro-Cuban adventure? [...]

Pablo Aslan: Tango Grill

To the unsuspecting ear, Pablo Aslan may sometimes appear to be just a fabulous bassist, with sublime technique and a virtuoso of limitless possibility. But dig a little deeper, especially into this album, Tango Grill and the impossible will seem to appear. Aslan takes the relatively rigid structure of the written music and dance form, the Tango, into a stratospheric space where [...]
Otmaro Ruiz - Sojourn

Otmaro Ruiz Presents Sojourn

The Chambers Dictionary describes the word “sojourn” as “a temporary residence or stay, as of one in a foreign land.” Pianist, Otmaro Ruiz’s musical journey offers all the right cues for his Sojourn being so apt to document, because even though it gets somewhat personal at times, it is one that is memorable for anyone interested in taking the journey with him [...]

Desandann: ¡Pwan Dife! (Light The Flame!)

Thanks to their greatest champions outside Cuba, Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer, the extraordinary ten-person vocal ensemble, Desandann has returned after a decade with their second, spell-binding album, ¡Pwan Dife! (Light The Flame!). The album was recorded on the back of Bunnett’s brilliant, Juno award-winning album Embracing Voices, (EMI/Sunnyside Records, 2008) [...]

Roberto Fonseca: A Life in the Spirit

The considerable talent of Cuban pianist, Roberto Fonseca has now spread far and wide and if there was another dimension to enter, it would be the one that qualifies an artist to greatness. However, Fonseca fights shy of any attention that distracts from his music. A deeply spiritual person, who just happens to express himself through his art he prefers to defer to the mysterious, invisible force that compels him to make music [...]

Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage – Copacabana (Zoho Music)

How it is possible that Nilson Matta is allowed to fly so under the proverbial radar, with recognition mainly from his peers is one...

Coto Pincheira – The Sonido Moderno Project (Self Produced 2009)

Coto Pincheira, as he prefers being called, has made an enthusiastic impression with The Sonido Modern Project, literally, the Modern Sound Project. This virtuoso pianist, to whom clave comes naturally, has attempted to pour this rollicking backbeat into a cauldron set alight by the vast array of Afro-Caribbean metaphors and rhythms. The result is a molten mix [...]