A Pictures of Soul is an improvised music collaboration between Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Los Angeles-based percussionist Adam Rudolph. These two creative musicians have enjoyed each other’s work at a distance for several years. Both share an appreciation of ritual trance music – music that leads us into altered states of consciousness. In April of 2002, when Sosa and his Septet arrived in Los Angeles for a run at the Jazz Bakery, it was possible for these kindred spirits to meet and make music together. The result is Pictures of Soul, a poignant aural journey into the transcendent realms of the creative music process.Sosa and Rudolph both experience their art as an interactive spiritual voyage. Their approach in the studio called simply for an openness to explore musical landscapes together – without charts, without rehearsal. In Pictures of Soul we find a wide range of expression, from delicate introspection to fiery dance. Sosa plays mostly acoustic piano, both on the keys and inside the instrument. Rudolph is featured on an array of hand drums, including djembe, tarija, dumbek and tabla.Sosa has released ten recordings on the Otá label since 1997, including 2002’s GRAMMY-nominated Sentir. He performed recently with his Octet at the opening of Carnegie Hall’s new Zankel Hall, about which Alex Ross of The New Yorker remarked that Sosa has “a ferocious flair for rhythm and a keen musical wit”. Composer John Adams, who curated the opening of Carnegie Hall’s new venue, commented that “Sosa is a deeply creative musician with an extraordinary harmonic sense. His piano playing is sui generis: It has obvious roots in Cuban music, but he’s taken his approach to the keyboard into completely new regions”. And Don Heckman of The Los Angeles Times recently wrote “Sosa’s vision of contemporary jazz reaches across every imaginable boundary”. For more information, please visit www.melodia.com.Mr. Rudolph, a native of Chicago, is known as one of the early innovators in what is now called “World Music”. In 1977 he co-founded The Mandingo Griot Society with Gambian musician Foday Musa Suso, one of the first bands to combine African and American music. In 1988, he recorded the first fusion of American and Gnawa music with Moroccan sintir player and vocalist Hassan Hakmoun and jazz trumpet great Don Cherry. In the same year, Rudolph began his association with the legendary Yusef Lateef, which continues to this day. Hailed by Down Beat as “a percussion wizard”, he currently leads his own ensemble, Go: Organic Orchestra. For more information on Mr. Rudolph, please visit www.metarecords.com.
Fans of improvised music as well as aficionados of all types of intimate jazz settings will find Pictures of Soul a rewarding listen. For more information, press kit, or interviews, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.