Tomas Rodriguez’s new recording, RUMINATIONS is out now
FEATURING: guitarist Cesar Gabarini • drummer Rob Garcia • cellist Barry Kornhauser • Sergio Krawkoski on pandeiro • percussionist Neil Ochoa
“Ruminations, a noun evoking movement, turning over and over, and with each turning a new horizon, a fresh slant. In this remarkably mature third album, guitarist and composer Tomas Rodriguez elegantly opens our eyes, inner and outer, to waltz and choro as familiar yet new. The creative commerce between guitar and kora sounds lyrically in “Elyne Road.” And the opening “Rumination on Gratitude” is what a sensitive listener comes away with, listening after listening.”
—Norman Weinstein, ASCAP award-winning music critic and author of A Night in Tunisia: Imaginings of Africa in Jazz
Moving between different musical worlds spanning from Venezuela to Mali, veteran New York City-based guitarist Tomas Rodriguez’ new recording “Ruminations” weaves an innovative rhythmic and harmonic mosaic that will satisfy listeners of acoustic, classical and flamenco guitar, as well as fans of acoustic world music.
“Ruminations” features Rodriguez’ compelling original compositions, which are characterized by a visionary recasting of Latin, Spanish and American musical elements into a voice that is uniquely his own. When speaking of the title – “Ruminations” – Rodriguez said: “the title expresses the idea of a musical reflection on a certain time or feeling”. While one might associate rumination with solitary reflection, these musical ruminations are done in community – with some of the top musicians in the New York Latin, Brazilian and jazz scene.
The recording starts off with a mini tour of Latin America. On “Son Nuevo”, the listener is taken on an instrumental jaunt through Cuban countryside a la Buena Vista Social Club. We are transported to the plains of Venezuela in “Vals de la Partida”, featuring percussionist Neil Ochoa on cajon and maracas and finally land in 1930’s Brazil with “Choro de Ontem, featuring 7-string guitarist Cesar Gabarini and Sergio Krawkoski on pandeiro (Brazilian tambourine).
Gradually the music becomes more reflective: in the haunting “Neblina Pasajera”, a duo with cellist Barry Kornhauser, we hear the strains of the Argentinian milonga , while the lament “Soledad”, echoes the flamenco deep song of Andalucia, filtered through a modern Latin sensibility. Not forsaking his North American roots, Rodriguez offers the Bill Evanesque “Waltz for Aine”, featuring top NYC jazz drummer Rob Garcia, and a solo guitar piece “Vows of April”, which evokes the music of the Appalachian region.
Rodriguez’s own compositions are supplemented by a pair of superb arrangements: the Brazilian afro-samba classic “Canto de Ossanha”, and then a unique solo guitar reworking of Toumani Diabate’s “Elyne Road” – a homage to the world’s foremost virtuoso of the 21-string Malian kora (African harp).
Sonically superior in every way, the album is tightly arranged and produced, capturing all the different moods of the guitar in its interaction with Latin percussion and the other instruments. This new Tomas Rodriguez album will be sure to please fans of his earlier releases “Guitarra de mi Alma” and “Dialogue”, as well as fans of Latin, Classical, Flamenco and Latin American guitar and acoustic world music.