Fire Dance


Fusing traditional Gnawa ritual and Yoruba linguistics with chaotic ivory and free verse on his eighth album in the past half-decade, Chilean-born pianist and vocalist Omar Sosa constructs bridges between Morocco, Cuba, and America—mercurial arpeggios, scattered across silent landscapes.

On Sentir, Sosa’s neo-beatnik scats match verse-for-note his acoustic piano ramblings, which walk among cumacos and maracas. A Moroccan violin floats stealthily above mallet-backdropped bata drums; congas hit high and low within Gnawa prayers; repetitive chants modernize a cross-continental version of qawwali conceptualism. Off-the-cuff astrology burrows through metaphor, painting orgasmic scenes of interplanetary visitation.

Void of egotism and profoundly revelatory, Sentir (its title derived from a verb meaning “to feel”) powerfully explores spiritual assessment within a detached society. As western culture clings to mere fragments of eastern philosophy—posh yoga lounges, jade Buddhas priced with platinum credit—Sosa reminds us a scream of joy and one of suffering are both necessary in understanding ourselves as sentient beings. His melodies, silences, and shaman rhythms are intangible portals: coursing through chronological bloodlines, dancing dark Sufic spins around fires.

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