Michelle Pollace – New Beginning

Presenting Michelle Pollace’s album, New Beginning

Eight original themes and two arrangements of jazz and Afro-Cuban songs make up this Latin jazz work created by pianist Michelle Pollace and produced by the same Michelle and Rebeca Mauleón, a recognized Latin music expert, pianist, and educator. This musical production gives Michelle the opportunity to take a new step in her career as a solo bandleader. Previously she was the co-leader of a Latin jazz fusion band called the “Zárate Pollace Project” with guitarist and songwriter Abel Zárate.

This soft jazz and sentimental album starts with the well-known standard “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, a song that you could classify as a cool jazz song, free bolero, cha cha chá or simply Latin jazz tumbao; this theme is all in one because Michelle subtlety gets the perfect mix in each piano line accompanied by the metrical and colorful percussion, and the precision of the bass sound.

What I like about this album is the cadence, swing and softness Michelle puts into her interpreta-tion. This is all about the awareness of her fingers’ feeling over the black and white piano keys. Michelle’s playing is the game of touching and perceiving the piano hammer pulse of each key in the time of the music. A good example of Michelle’s musical awareness in Latin jazz is “La Comparsa”, the unforgettable Ernesto Lecuona’s Cuban song, where the dialog between the in-strument and Mrs. Pollace is magical, producing a crescendo in rhythm and feeling.

As I mentioned before Michelle co-led the Zárate Pollace Project. This project was part of the musical contributions of many Bay Area luminaries, including John Santos, Michael Spiro, and others to realize its musical blend of jazz, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban styles live and on the debut CD Soul Redemption (2005). Mrs. Pollace was an orchestra member in Lou Harrison’s interna-tionally renowned Gamelan Si Betty, a keyboardist for Chepito Areas (Santana’s original percus-sionist and arranger), a chorus member in the Gilbert & Sullivan theater company, and a bassist for a grunge band, among other important musical projects. She is also co-author of Musicrea-tion, a book about music-instruction method.

Michelle has a wonderful musical career, one where the listener can see her commitment to jazz and other rhythms. It seems to be that she always plays with committed musicians and this album is not an exception. New Beginning displays the talents of great musicians including David Be-love on bass; Phil Hawkins on drums; Carlos Caro and Michaelle Goerlitz on percussion; Rebeca Mauleón on chimes, clave and chekeré; and the saxophonist Kristen Strom as guest soloist.

If you want to experience the sentimental saudade of Latin jazz with a pinch of funky beat, listen to “Ondas Do Mar” (Waves of Sea) and you will be moved from your daily place to an unknown world where you will be able to play and jump as Michelle does with her instrument.

Tracks: 1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow, 2. Hot House Dandelion 3. New Beginning, 4. Forró, 5.Ondas Do Mar, 6. Be Right Back, 7. La Comparsa, 8. First Flight, 9. Bright Eyes, 10. That Was Then.

Personnel: Michelle Pollace: piano and keyboard; David Belove: bass; Phil Hawkins: drums; Carlos Caro: percussion; Michaelle Goerlitz: percussion (tracks 4, 5 and 8); Kristen Strom: soprano sax (tracks 6 and 7); Rebeca Mauleón: chimes (track 3), clave, chekeré (track 9).

Michelle Pollace on the Web: michellepollace.com

Label: C&P Music | Release date: February 2013

Reviewed by: Oscar Montagut

Oscar Montagut
Oscar Montagut
Oscar graduated in journalism and education in Colombia, and completed a postgraduate program in Creative Writing in Canada. He works as an English teacher, translator and freelance writer in Bogotá. Oscar is a music collector, explorer and promoter of World Music and Jazz.

More from author

Related posts

11,430FansLike
1,540FollowersFollow
656FollowersFollow
1,850FollowersFollow
5,701FollowersFollow
160SubscribersSubscribe

Featured Posts

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums: A Film by Soren Sorensen

Anyone approaching this film about the iconic Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa, by the award-winning filmmaker Soren Sorensen will be almost immediately struck...

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more