Eros (OTÁ Records)

Paolo Fresu & Omar Sosa

Released April 20, 2016

DownBeat Four-and-a-Half-Star Review




For many, Paolo Fresu and Omar Sosa help change the way one listens to music. The new duo disc “Eros” (Tǔk Music, Ducale distribution) brings you beyond listening, and into the realm of heart and soul and empathy. This follows the success of their debut CD, “Alma” in 2012, and four years of international touring. Now one of the most beloved groups in Europe, these two unique and distinctive musical voices combine traditional and progressive musical elements from Italy and Cuba. Both are master musicians with illustrious careers, bent on expanding musical boundaries and exploring new cultures.

“Eros” is further proof of their artistic maturity. It is a deep and consistent work, dedicated to the many facets and mysteries of love. Fresu and Sosa have composed a suite of new songs inspired by the human emotions which lead beauty into the divine. The project is enriched by cello contributions from Brazilian master Jaques Morelenbaum (who was also a guest on “ALMA”), from the enchanting Maghreb singer Natacha Atlas (who creates a luminous Arab version of “Teardop” by Massive Attack), and from the Italian string quartet Alborada (which has graced many projects in the Fresu discography).

Like “ALMA”, “EROS” delves deeply into the energy, poetry, and spirituality of the Duo’s special musical chemistry. We find Fresu and Sosa dancing in a Latin mode around a winning mix of jazz, Cuban, African, and world music elements. The CD takes a polyphonic approach, the Duo curating sonic landscapes with great care and sensitivity – as we also find in their bright and extraordinary live performances.

Track Listing:

1. Teardrop: Ya Habibi 07:27

2. Sensuousness 04:02

3. Zeus’ Desires 03:45

4. Brezza Del Verano 05:31

5. My Soul, My Spirit 02:37

6. La Llamada 05:45

7. What Is Inside: Homers 05:39

8. Who Wu 03:43

9. Eros Mediterraneo 07:28

10. Fradelo 03:24

11. What Lies Ahead 03:07

12. Why + Kýpris [Ghost Track] 17:13


Paolo Fresu: trumpet, flugelhorn, multi-effects, percussion

Omar Sosa: acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, MicroKorg, samplers, multi-effects, percussion, vocals, programming

Natacha Atlas: vocals

Jaques Morelenbaum: cello

Quartetto Alborada

Anton Berovski: violin

Sonia Peana: violin

Nico Ciricugno: viola

Piero Salvatori: cello

Recorded June 15 – 19, 2015, at ArteSuono Studio, Cavalicco, UD

Engineer: Stefano Amerio

Mastering & Mixing: Alexandre Moreira, Sammy Bishai, Stefano Amerio

Cover Photo: Alessandro Gottardo

Design: Benno Simma


Omar Sosa is an expressive and passionate pianist, a creative spirit who deserves a category all his own. Every new album is an adventure and, while he’s based in jazz and the Afro-Cuban tradition, he never confines himself to a single style. Classical music, electronica, reggae, samba, West African and Arabic sounds and rhythms percolate through his playing. He’s a subtle artist, and Eros is another example of his ability to evoke emotion with quiet intensity. Paolo Fresu, the Italian trumpeter and flugelhorn player, has been a frequent Sosa collaborator for the past decade and shares his discreet approach. Together, they dance through the mix, drawing you deeper into the music with each sublime phrase. “Teardrop/Ya Habibi” features the velvet ululations of Natacha Atlas, supported by Fresu’s muted trumpet, Sosa’s sparse piano and sustained synthesizer clusters. Jaques Morelenbaum plucks his cello to produce reggae-like accents on “Zeus’ Desires,” and Sosa’s synthesizers add the sounds of finger snaps, heartbeats and toy xylophones to complement the Fresu’s flamenco flavored trumpet

Elsewhere, Fresu’s flugelhorn, Morelenbaum’s cello and Sosa’s acoustic piano play tranquil intertwining melody lines to open “What Is Inside/Himeros,” before a muffled bass line from Sosa’s synthesizer blossoms to support his romantic left hand chord clusters.

j. poet (DownBeat)