A New Life , Omar Sosa’s third solo piano outing, is a heartfelt set of 16 improvisations recorded at Hidden Barn Studio on the bluffs above Big Sur, California overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The work is dedicated to Omar’s first child, Lonious Said, born in July of 2002. The pieces of A New Life revolve around the themes of childbirth and infancy, reflecting Omar’s experience as a new father. The mood is generally relaxed and contemplative, in contrast to the largely percussive style of Omar’s ensemble playing. Omar’s first solo piano CD, Omar Omar (OTA1001) was released in 1997, a lively, up-tempo set of improvisations, while his second solo piano recording, Inside , released in 1999, features the quieter, more introspective dimensions of Omar’s musical sensibilities. A New Life includes a bonus track entitled “Otra Nana”, recorded at Audio I by NPS Radio in Hilversum, The Netherlands. The release of A New Life in Canada comes in conjunction with Omar’s recent Monument National solo piano concert at the Montreal Jazz Festival on July 2, 2003.
Talking about the relationship between jazz and Cuban music in a recent issue of the Los Angeles Times, Don Heckman writes that “a new phase in the jazz and Cuban music linkage is being unveiled by gifted pianist Omar Sosa. Previous blendings of the two genres have tended to emphasize the powerful energies of Afro-Cuban rhythms in combination with the harmonic structures and improvisational qualities of jazz. Sosa, however, has moved beyond the parallelism of musical elements into a kind of natural, organic expressiveness in which the musics’ separate identities are replaced by a seamless, creative mutuality. Sosa has all the traits necessary to become one of the important figures in jazz” (January 19, 2003).