Album: self-titled (March 2017)
Genre: Instrumental / Jazz / Fusion / Chillwave / Indie / Bossa Nova
City: Wichita, Ks
Standout tracks: End Of The Earth, For Emma
Seen live: no
Rating: 10/10 PERFECT!
I was a bit surprised by this album. The similar artists I would recommend would not be similar, per se, but would fit a similar vibe I get when I listen to this. I am a fan of Tycho, Album Leaf, Bonobo, Vanilla, and I enjoyed several songs from the Samurai Champloo soundtrack. (Anime TV Series). I think it is the calming mood that listening to them always puts me in. I’m guessing that is why I believe they are similar.
–Trumpet cover of ending theme song
Something that standouts from an album overview standpoint, is that there is multiple styles, techniques, and effects put into the production of the tone of the trumpet. Some places the trumpet is reverb/echo. I can hear techniques for a raspy tone. Then there are various spots where he uses a mute for a particular mood. The engineer knew exactly how to spotlight the trumpet on this album. The truly impressive thing is that no technique seems to be OVER USED. Everything is tasteful and not over done. That is difficult to do in my honest opinion. Let me explain…
As kids, do you remember that one video you saw in school, with the animals, each with their classical instrument to help give them a mood? Peter and the Wolf. Each instrument has its own sort-of personality.
In a traditional jazz band you don’t give one single instrument the melody forever. You pass it to other instruments. There are several reasons for that. One is that the melody and personality of a song will start to stagnate. Essentially, the audience will start to get bored. Kenny G has this kind of problem. After awhile it’s just like … “We get it… SAX!” Without much change in the dynamic of the music, it’s just like a 30+ minute solo. Music like that is just background music. It doesn’t hold my attention.
The point I’m trying to get at, is this album has managed to avoid that issue with very clever effects changes and techniques. (the guitarists gets his time in the spotlight on occasion as well) It gives the listener a small, but necessary, break.
Each song is very different from the others. I imagine that keeping each song flowing into a new direction and keeping everything fresh is thanks to the guitarist and drummer. They each are are very low-key impressive, but make a point not to compete with the trumpet.
Anyway, lets talk about my favorite song “End Of The Earth”. Let’s talk about titles for a minute. With instrumental music, there are so lyrics. You just listen to the song and feel the mood of the song. The only words involved are in the title. ‘End Of The Earth’ puts very powerful images into the music for me. Armageddon, tidal waves, a crashing meteor, zombie apocalypse, etc. But let me plant this seed into your mind’s eye for you to listen to for yourself. “Earth” and “World” and synonymous to me. Think “End of the World”. Then think of a loved one who is your whole world. They are in a hospital bed at the beginning of the song. You look at a clock that seems to have stopped. They squeeze your hand and the musical tension matches the worry on their face. The beep of the monitor creates a rhythm with the machine helping them breathe. (i dont know medical terms shaddap) Each exhale feels like a sigh that brings no relief. You think back to all the good times you had with them. Tears swell up but you try to hold them back… until…
At 3:26 the wheels come off the wagon. You can feel them slipping. You squeeze tighter to hold on to whatever remains and the flood gates burst open with this powerful display of emotion. The best way to describe this section of music in terms of emotion, is pure, raw will to survive. Facing such sadness and wishing for any other way to deal with it. This part of the song is so tragic. I’ve listened to this song 10-20 times and it has brought me to tears each time. The imagery and overload of musical emotion is just so powerful. At 4:20 the long sustained note symbolizes a flat heartbeat. At 5:00 it reminds me of when Hendrix played the Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock. He used effects to symbolize planes dropping bombs and explosions and he snuck Taps somewhere in there too to protest the Vietnam war. In a similar way, you can feel the world falling apart here. The entire musical piece descends into chaos. Completely unhinged.
Listening to this at work has been difficult as I’ve had to stop working and try to dry my tears without my co-workers noticing. I’m telling you, It is that powerful.
Listen for yourself! Let me know if Odisea effected you like it did me. You can stream/download the album on BandCamp. It should come with a warning about making you cry uncontrollably in public.
It is my opinion that Odisea may not have as much success playing at bars as they would playing at Hotels. There is a speakeasy style bar in basement of the Ambassador Hotel. They might find larger success playing for political or business meetings in a more classy environment. Important dinner at fancy restaurants. The Mayor or other special interests might want to impress investors. Maybe somebody is hosting a special banquet. Or perhaps a lounge would like some live music to entertain their guests.
Anyway, hopefully you liked this review. Feel free to let me know what you think of Odisea in the comments. Make sure to like them on FaceBook to stay updated on new releases and upcoming shows.