Faith and the gumption to keep on experimenting with new facets have marked Cuban pianist Omar Sosa from the very start. The fact that he lends spice to his growing opus of works by adding unexpected twists time and time again is a veritable guiding line throughout his releases. Several Grammy nominations and, not least of all, an ECHO JAZZ 2011 awarded for the “Best Big-Band Recording of the Year” (SKP 9092 “Ceremony”) top off the critics’ accolades he has pocketed ever since he first appeared in Europe. Always on the lookout for new formats to enhance his ‘audiophonic cosmos’, here we experience the moment of birth for a new trio in which Sosa dares to catapult his Latin American / African roots into the ‘here & now’ by combining them with electronic elements.
Together with percussionist Gustavo Ovalles from Venezuela and trumpet-player Joo Kraus from Germany, Sosa interlinks the supremely ripened pool of earlier musical encounters with experiments in electronic sound creation that carry listeners off on a one-of-a-kind audio journey. While en route, Joo Kraus, equally an ECHO JAZZ award-winner who had most recently joined forces with Omar Sosa on his Miles Davis / Kind Of Blue homage entitled “Eggun” (SKP 9114), represents both the engine for the trio’s finely attuned ‘let’s try this’ electronics and the poetic counterpart to Sosa’s versatile playing on the piano. On their joint compositions Joo Kraus demonstrates impressively that his uniquely matured sound has made him one of the most intriguing trumpet-players in Europe. An earlier role as featured sideman has long since been left behind. As for Gustavo Ovalles, with whom Omar Sosa was already putting on highly acclaimed concerts as a duo back in 2000 (documented among others on “Ayaguna” (SKP 9034) from 2003), here is the man who stands for percussive fireworks in which dynamically rhythmical excitement alternates with perceptive moments displaying an extraordinary feel for chemistry and tense synergies.
The very first time that Omar Sosa ventured a solo concert as a venue to experiment with samples and loops was in 2003 at the Sendesaal auditorium in Bremen, Germany. “Aleatoric EFX” (SKP 9086), the resulting album, is still regarded as the birth of an onstage sound by this musician whose audible hallmark last to this day. With the JOG Trio comprised of Joo Kraus, Omar Sosa and Gustavo Ovalles along with their concert at Schlachthof Bremen on Sept. 14th 2014, only the second they’ve ever given, the audience was able to take part as ‘earwitnesses’ in the formative process as new developments arose. Only the three protagonists in this drama have an inkling of where the journey may head.