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Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband: Es:sensual (Otá)

Review of album by Cuban-born pianist and the renowned European big band

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Cover of Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband album Es:sensual
Cover of Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband album Es:sensual

Es:sensual is not the Cuban-born pianist-composer Omar Sosa’s first meetup with Germany’s NDR Bigband or the Brazilian multi-tasker Jaques Morelenbaum. In 2010, the same three forces came together for Ceremony, which JazzTimes called in its review “an inventive and rewarding project [that] extends the tradition of Afro-Cuban big bands as established by such pioneers as Machito, Dizzy, Chico O’Farrill and Mario Bauzá.”

Es:sensual extends that extension; it’s not so much a follow-up as a reboot. Sosa revels in the largeness of the ensemble at his disposal, and with Morelenbaum, the celebrated arranger, conductor, musician and composer, he’s found a simpatico partner, one whose own work with the likes of Jobim, Gilberto Gil and other Brazilian stars has given him many an opportunity to work within the big-band format.

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