Rooted in Africa, Omar Sosa‘s new studio album brings together musicians from Africa, Cuba, Brazil, and France to celebrate the rich heritage of African music in jazz and Latin music. Sosa’s approach takes folkloric elements from Africa and the Americas, combines them with his Afro-Cuban roots, and brings them all forward into a contemporary jazz expression. For the first time since his arrangements on Spirit of the Roots and Prietos, Mr. Sosa uses a horn section, and Afreecanos features a variety of traditional and modem flute sounds.
The recording also features kora, ngoni, guitar-sitar, and a variety of folkloric percussion instruments, including batá, timbales, kongoman, m’bira, and talking drum.
Featured on the recording are Cuban drummer Julio Barreto, Mozambican electric bassist Childo Tomas, Senegalese vocalist Mola Sylla, Cuban folkloric master Lázaro Galarraga, Cuban woodwind player Leandro Saint-Hill, French trumpet player Stephane Belmondo,
and French multi-instrumentalist Christophe Disco Minck. Also featured are Cuban timbal master Orestes Vilato, Malian percussionist Baba Sissoko, Malian flute player Ali Wague, and Senegalese kora player All Boulo Santo, et al.
Sosa has taken Afro-Cuban musical forms, like the rumba, and arranged them for African musicians and African instruments, releasing these forms from the traditional Afro-Cuban clave and opening them to innovative interpretations… combining the folkloric with the contemporary, the ancestral with the urban.
Throughout the album one can hear folkloric elements infusing a modern jazz idiom, including spirit vocals and percussion from Africa, Cuba, and Brazil. The sound is lush and orchestral. Afreecanos is produced by drummer Steve Arguelles, who also produced Sosa’s 2004 recording, Mulatos.
The recording is dedicated to the late Cuban percussion masters, Pancho Quinto and Anga Diaz.