Recorded live at Radio Bremen, Germany, in November 2003, Aleatoric EFX is Omar Sosa’s fourth solo piano recording. The new CD combines Omar’s free, improvisatory approach to the piano, with his use of a number of electronic effects, also directed live from the piano during the performance. The result is an engaging, multi-dimensional musical experience, with elements of jazz, classical, new music, and electronica. The term aleatoric refers to the chance or random ways in which the subtle electronic elements mesh with the performance both inside the piano and on the keyboard.From the mysterious, ethereal beginnings of Follow My Shadow, with its bass string drone and yearning melodic figure, to the classical lyricism and haunting beauty of Impromptu in D Minor, the recording opens in a delicate, understated mood. Mute Ostinato in C continues Omar’s fascination with the bass drone, as in Indian classical music, combined with a series of lilting rhythmic figures, and unique use of the coco shells inside the piano on the strings. Throughout these opening improvisations, we see the influence of one of Omar’s classical music mentors, Erik Satie.Pentatonic Research reveals some of Omar’s daring harmonic sense, built on a dialogue of Eastern-tinged, space-age motifs. This is followed by a version of Omar’s signature ballad, Iyawo, with its sweet, romantic melody, sliding, as it often does, into a subtle montuno groove. With Sobre Un Manto en E Minor and Siberian Horses, we continue to find ourselves traversing an aural landscape of longing, urgency and surrender.
Only toward the end of the recording, with Intense Moon in F# Minor and the rousing finale, Muevete en D, another of Omar’s signature compositions, does he take the energy to a dramatic level. For those who have enjoyed Omar’s previous solo piano outings, Aleatoric EFX is sure to be an enjoyable addition to the collection. For those who are new to this dimension of Omar’s musical sensibilities, it is sure to be a good place to start.