Sofía Koutsovitis

Ojalá |
By JON GARELICK  |  August 1, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars
Jazz singers are supposed to showcase themselves in front of a backing trio, not a septet. But Koutsovitis is interested in presenting herself as a composer, an arranger, and a bandleader as well, so her deep, dark vocals often lay out while one surprising event after another unfolds in the band. Silvio Rodríguez’s title cut opens with just hand drums, voice, and a single repeated plucked string; then a cloudburst of brass opens up on a dramatic chord change. (Imagine Sketches of Spain with voice instead of trumpet.) Koutsovitis’s impressionistic “Silence 2” breaks for an Either/Orchestra-like fanfare before a twining alto-tenor duet and all-out percussion romp with full-band collective improv. Eduardo Falú & Jaime Dávalos’s “La Nostalgiosa” is a beautiful dirge for brass and slow-march thumping percussion. For the most part, the experiments are grounded in strong folk-dance rhythms, and Paulinho da Viola’s “Dança da Solidão” will get you attempting a Portuguese sing-along on the chorus. Koutsovitis, an Argentine who lived in Boston before moving to New York, assembled an all-star cast of pan-Americans for the disc: saxophonists Dan Blake and Adam Schneit, trumpeter Jason Palmer, pianist Leo Genovese, bassist Jorge Roeder, drummer Richie Barshay, percussionist Jorge Pérez Albela.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Leo Genovese, Jorge Perez, Richie Barshay,  More more >
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