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Oscar Peñas | From Now On

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United States - New York

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Crossover Jazz Moods: Featuring Guitar
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From Now On

by Oscar Peñas

“Oscar’s music is inviting and from the soul; finely cultivated and fully realized…his writing and playing have beautiful motion and uniquely sensuous melodies.” Esperanza Spalding
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Continnum
10:01 $0.99
2. Choro No. 1 (Guinga)
4:52 $0.99
3. From Now On (feat. Gil Goldstein)
7:49 $0.99
4. Samuel Smith (feat. Gil Goldstein)
6:34 $0.99
5. Encuentro
6:12 $0.99
6. Choro N.2 (Corpo)
3:44 $0.99
7. Julia (feat. Gil Goldstein)
6:31 $0.99
8. Adeu
1:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
If music could be transformed into a visual canvas every time it was heard then the music of Oscar Peñas would turn into a flowing water colour that was constantly evolving as it bubbled and gushed, or trickled and traipsed across its own imaginary topographical ocean.
Reflecting the myriad colours and shades of daylight and the every multiplying colours and shades of the crepuscular hours, Peñas’ music is ever-changing as it courses on its canvas in a constant state of energy that is at once gentle and calm as well as propulsive and pulsating. As a composer therefore Peñas must have a mind that never sleeps. His soul also appears to be darting everywhere it can find space and with a curiosity that is singular, it rushes out to find every nook and cranny where melody can be heard, dancing there and adding harmony to this melody. Such is the spritely nature of this guitarist and musician that following his musical journey—especially on his album From Now On —is like pursuing a sort of musical Holy Grail.

It is not that this music is elusive, rather that it is full of adventure like the proverbial tale of reaching out for that mystical chalice. Happiness abounds in Peñas’ music as does a mesmerising geometry that flavours the melodic sojourns that his music embarks on. With decidedly singular tuning of his guitar, Peñas forges unique relationships with the other instruments performing his repertoire. This is fascinating to behold and it sounds as magical as ever in the dervish-like murmuring of Gil Goldstein’s accordion that swathes the nylon strings of Peñas’ guitar on the majestic stretches that meander across verse after verse of “From Now On” and on the moving portrait, “Julia”. Moreover as most individualists almost always find a snug bedfellow in one other musician in the band, Peñas has developed this special relationship with his bassist, Moto Fukushima. The ornate excursions that the bassist takes at Peñas’ urging on “Continuum” and on “Samuel Smith”—as well as on “Encuentro,” and on a few of the other remaining tracks—are truly special. This is also reminiscent of the special telepathy that seemed to exist between John Coltrane and Elvin Jones, as well as Charles Mingus and Dannie Richmond, between Thelonious Monk and Charlie Rouse.
However this is only some of the beauty of Oscar Peñas album. Much of its rarity comes from the molten mix of steamy idioms: flamenco and jazz; and add to this a seminal mixture of a magic potion of Latin American dialects, from the aching beauty of Brazilian Choro to the dreamy swirl of Cuban Habanera and a host of other musical tongues. In this respect Oscar Peñas is truly a guitarist who is well-travelled musically, but who has also imbued the delightful foreign musical tongues, but who has also learned to live and dream in them. This is rare talent indeed, which is something to be cherished about this fine guitarist and musician. by Raul da Gama, Latin Jazz Network

Oscar Penas is an artist whose cultural heritage shines through in his work. And his latest, From Now On is no different. Penas fuses contemporary motifs around Spanish rhythms with delightful and romantic effect.

"Continuum" opens with a dreamy set of chords from Penas quickly joined by some absorbing tones employed by Blake. This is a lengthy piece that allows the musicians to stretch and expand. Penas creates a nice passage of time for the listener. This is a tune that moves up and down thanks to a number of different transition points but always remains rich, elegant, well composed. Gil Goldstein adds a delicious touch to "From Now On."

Penas has a delicate lyricism to his writing that makes this piece very personal and captures you on the first spin. Goldstein's playing is extremely engaging. "Julia" is one of my favourite tracks on the album. A midtempo ballad that celebrates passion, life and love. The piece is dedicated to Penas cousin but you really will get your own personal affection out of "Julia" without ever knowing the source of the selection. Barshay's soft brushes blend with Goldstein's accordion creating a truly divine and soulful overture that leaves you in awe.

From Now On is one of those romantic albums that grasps hold of you quickly. Warm, opening and refreshing--Oscar Penas hopefully won't be an unkept secret from many. From Now On is an album that should be universally praised and rewarded. A definite must listen… by Stephan Moore, JazzWrap



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