Latin Music Album: Omar Sosa “Eggun” Review


“Eggun” is like a box of chocolates…give Omar Sosa the task to create a tribute to one of the most trailblazing jazz recordings of our time, and you never know what you’re going to get…, but you know that whatever comes out will be great jazz music!

Omar Sosa was commissioned by the Barcelona Jazz Festival to record a tribute to Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that transcendental Jazz recording. The result was “Eggun”, what I believe is Omar’s 24th album in 19 years of recording career. “Eggun” means ancestors in the African Yoruba spiritual or religious system. In this sense, Omar is invoking the musical ancestors of “Kind of Blue” to influence his creative process for “Eggun”.

You will not find any Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” track in “Eggun”. What you will find is the type of open creativity Miles highlighted to the world with the release of “Kind of Blue”. But Omar Sosa is the type of musician that didn’t need to be reminded of the “modal” type of Jazz to bring more open creativity to the recording studio. The talented Cuban pianist has done precisely that for most of his 23 previous albums, and perhaps was chosen for this project by the Barcelona Jazz Festival because of that trait.

The classically trained and world experienced Sosa approached “Eggun” with what he calls the Afri-Lectric Experience. These magnificent musicians from different parts of the globe include:

  • Marque Gilmore: acousti-lectric drums; effects programming, drum loop production
  • Childo Tomas: electric bass, kalimba, vocals;
  • Joo Kraus: trumpet, flugelhorn, electronic effects.
  • Leandro Saint-Hill: alto saxophone, clarinet, flute;
  • Peter Prfelbaum: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass saxophone, melodica, caxixi;
  • Lionel Loueke: electro-acoustic guitar, vocals;
  • Marvin Sewell: guitars;
Omar Sosa is known for at times using candles to create the right ambience for his music.
Omar Sosa is known for at times using candles to create the right ambience for his music.

It also includes the Latin Jazz percussion reinforcements of:

  • Pedro Martinez: percussion;
  • John Santos: clave, chereke, waterphone, panderetas, tambora, guiro, quijada,
  • Gustavo Ovalles: percussion.

What I Liked About “Eggun”

  • The Music – what else can I say. Omar took the elements of what made “Kind of Blue” a beautiful recording and made a beautiful recording of his own. Each song brings a different element of musical richness, which is not always highlighted by Sosa’s piano or fender.
  • Interludios – in between songs there short interludios that provide continuity to the album and act as musical glue for the project. As Omar has stated before, these interludios are mostly paying homage to the work Bill Evans did in the piano of “Kind of Blue”. Evans had left the Miles Davis band before “Kind of Blue”, but Davis requested he return for the recording because Miles though Evans was the best for the expansively creative “modalic” jazz he wanted to use in the recording.
  • Musical Richness – how can an album bring so much musical richness to the arrangements and at the same time keep its simplicity? Omar Sosa finds a way to use just the right instruments as just the right time with just the right touch by each musician. All comes together magically!

Suggestions for Omar Sosa on “Eggun”

In "Eggun" Omar uses a similar lineup as Miles used in "Kind of Blue", with the addition of master percussionist John Santos and Pedrito Martinez.
In “Eggun” Omar uses a similar lineup as Miles Davis used in “Kind of Blue”, with the addition of master percussionist John Santos and Pedrito Martinez.

Seriously….I must be loosing my touch because this is the 2nd review in a row I can’t find anything I didn’t like about a recording. Ah, but wait…

  • One “Kind of Blue” song – I think that perhaps Omar could have taken one…just one of the Mile Davis songs in “Kind of Blue” and perform it with his own touch. That would have given this album a direct connection to Davis’ masterpiece. But that would also mean asking Omar Sosa to play somebody else’s music, and that might might not be in the Cuban’s vocabulary, neither in English or Spanish.

My Recommendation of “Eggun”

If you love Jazz, I recommend you get this album. That simple. Hands down it is a beautiful album of great music, performed with such serenity and musicality that can only be compared to Davis’ 50+ year old masterpiece.



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