Omar Sosa plays piano and Paolo Fresu plays trumpet and flugelhorn. Many types of music could come from this combination, but this duo creates beautiful, mellow music that is calming and lovely. Fresu often places a digital delay on his horns which offer occasional notes and echoes. He also clacks on the horn itself to give some percussive sounds.
Here’s the blurb about this show:
You don’t really listen to an Omar Sosa concert so much as experience it. The Cuban-born pianist’s overall demeanor exudes a sense of calm and deep reflection, while a spiritual connection to music and his ancestors comes through in his piano playing.
You can hear Sosa draw on more than 100 years of Cuban piano in the recognizable rhythms of his country’s music. But in Sosa’s hands, it’s not all fiery and bombastic; he’s most effective when he uses Afro-Cuban tradition as a guide to his distinct, subtle and nuanced approach.
In Paolo Fresu, Sosa has found a sympathetic musical partner. Fresu’s work on trumpet and flugelhorn provides a perfect foil for Sosa’s introspective intersection of jazz, Afro-Cuban sounds and a chamber-music mentality.
Sosa and Fresu’s quietly energetic performance behind Bob Boilen’s desk enveloped everyone in attendance like a soft mist. Fresu’s use of digital delay never clashed with Sosa’ acoustic piano, instead adding another color to the palette; at times, Fresu uses it to add a layer of rhythm with either the ring on his finger or a blowing technique into his horn.
I didn’t hear any of the Afro-Cuban traditions in this music. It was all just very pleasant. They play two long songs,”Alma” and “S’Inguldu.”
I loved the strange sounds that Fresu got out of his horns. At the end of the second piece, he seems to be blowing into the mouthpiece not like he wants to “play” it but as if he just wants the air to go through it. And the pitches and wind sounds het gets are echoed through the delay. He also seems to be clicking his mouth to get even more interesting percussive sounds. I’ve never seen anyone do what he does with the horns before.
And of course, when he is actually playing the horns, they sound wonderful. I haven’t really mentioned Sosa at all, but his playing is tremendous too. There’s nothing flashy or fancy about it, it’s just solid, beautiful piano playing with a gorgeous melody and tone throughout.
[READ: May 10, 2016] Dog Gone Dog
This is a book that I funded on Kickstarter. I thought my kids would enjoy it–especially the gadgets in the back. Turns out I’m the first one to read it, but Tabby expressed interest in it too.
The story in this book is pretty good, although I feel like the real “selling point” is the back half of the book which teaches you how to make all the cool gadgets that Dewey Mac uses.
As far as kid detective/spy stories goes, this one is pretty simple–although the mystery is satisfyingly complicated. The story begins with Dewey Mac (short for McClain) sitting in school listening to an announcement from his mayor. The mayor calls some volunteers on stage. Dewey wasn’t paying attention, so he doesn’t know why, but he is picked but as he gets on stage he knocks over the microphone and breaks it.
Using some items that are around, he makes a new microphone (called Canned Music in the back of the book).
Then we learn about the book’s mystery. The mayor’s dog has been stolen. He is offering a $10,000 reward for the dog’s return.
Dewey delivers papers to the mayor’s house which gives him some insight into the house. When the mayor’s bodyguard sees him snooping around, Dewey explains he was there to deliver the paper. This buys him some time.
Dewey’s best friend is named Ched which beings a bunch of laughs as people try to understand it. I got a kick out of it when he spelled his name C-H-E-D to Dewey’s mom and she replied “Don’t be silly. Your name is Chad. Nobody’s named Ched.” The boys communicate in secret code (he teaches you how to make it in the back).
Using a few clues, the boys determine that the criminal might be hiding in a building downtown. Dewey makes his “glass ear” (instructions in the back) to be able to record a conversation inside the building–that gadget is very cool. They slowly learn more and more clues.
Although the story could have been solved more quickly, I was glad that Carroll brought in some new twists (nut not too, too many) to make the mystery even more interesting.
I’m not entirely sure that the caper was all that complicated. Certainly the police, for instance, could have figured it out. And, yes it was pretty lucky that Dewey found certain things in the garbage in order to help him make his gadgets–a mirror, a stud finder (!). But again, the mystery is more about enticing you to want to build the gadgets, I suspect.
The mystery part of the book is 105 pages and the detective Manual (instructions for gadgets) is 85. The gadgets are very cool (and most seem like they d be pretty easy to make). Any kids who enjoy creating things would enjoy trying out these gadgets (and would enjoy the story as well).