By Russ Tarby
When he was a young person, bassist Edgar Pagán sensed a rising brotherhood among the many musicians he jammed with on the South Aspect of Syracuse. These days, because the longtime bandleader of Grupo Pagán, he nonetheless encourages that familial really feel amongst his bandmates, nevertheless it’s significantly robust with keyboardist Invoice DiCosimo.
“Billy and I’ve been working collectively for greater than 20 years,” mentioned Pagán, who now lives in Baldwinsville. “He’s at all times encouraging, at all times supportive.”
DiCosimo, who lives in Cicero and chairs the Syracuse College Jazz Research program, returns the praise.
“Individuals who know Edgar or have carried out or achieved session work with him can see and really feel that he has a fantastic supportive sensibility as a performer,” DiCosimo mentioned. “I’m proud to have him as my musical brother.”
Now these two musical brothers have joined collectively to report a seven-track CD known as “Con Moto” showcasing 5 unique compositions and two full of life covers.
In Spanish, “Con Moto” means with movement. And this disc – expertly produced by Jimmy Haslip, a founding member of the jazz-fusion group The Yellowjackets – makes all the fitting strikes.
“Jimmy Haslip brings in a extremely good vibe, very therapeutic,” Pagán mentioned. “He performed a whole lot of devices on this recording, I imply he’s a world-class bassist, however he additionally performed drums, and his method to producing is intelligent, attention-grabbing and contemporary.”
DiCosimo agrees. He was most impressed by Haslip’s “dedication to the mission and his perception in our musical imaginative and prescient.”
Session drummer Korma Auger’s relentless drum beats kick off the opening tracks, “So It Begins,” and DiCosimo takes it from there with alternating smooth, melodic piano traces with more durable, extra aggressive chording. Haslip and Jimmy Branly add percussive results whereas Nick Kellie contributes a short however ear-catching guitar break.
“Samba Pagán” begins with DiCosimo’s synth creating lovely flute traces adopted by different woodwind sounds earlier than Pagán’s 5-string bass kicks in to push the melody ever upward. Some catchy conga slapping offers the samba an actual Caribbean really feel.
A chunky “Blues Clues” has DiCosimo leaping from piano to Hammond B-3 organ and again once more whereas Auger’s snare drum and cymbals are blended entrance and heart, a Haslip trademark.
The primary of the 2 covers, Steppenwolf’s 1968 hit “Magic Carpet Trip,” additionally options the keyboardist’s B-3 expertise and offers Pagán an opportunity to shine vocally, complemented by pleasing concord back-ups. A tip of the hat to Haslip, who made positive Edgar’s terrific tenor comes by loud and clear.
The estimable jazz pianist Jeff Lorber makes a visitor look on keyboard bass, and electrical guitarist Jeff Richman delivers a decidedly dreamy lead whereas drummer Gary Novak lays down a rock-steady beat.
The second cowl, Warfare’s 1973 million-seller, “The Cisco Child,” is delivered right here minus vocal. Whereas Pagán absolutely is aware of the phrases and may deal with the singing, this association introed by Richman’s wah-wah impact, focuses on DiCosimo’s funky B-3 remedy well-supported by Pagán’s bass.
“Con Moto” cruises towards the end line with “Taino Spirit,” an upbeat homage to the various indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. It’s a joyful drum-and-conga bonanza with polyphony aplenty.
And a heartfelt “Present the World” climaxes the report. A sluggish, moody bonus monitor co-written by Pagán and Syracuse songwriter Bob Halligan Jr. DiCosimo’s resonant piano work totally helps Pagán’s ardent vocal on this track devoted to worldwide peace, love and unity.
Because the lyrics dream of “no extra destruction, let’s clear the air // There’s a lot magnificence for us all to share,” these sentiments are seconded by the Senzoku Gakuen Faculty Music Choir from Japan.
“Present the world this may be achieved,” Pagán pleads. “Present the world we are able to dwell as one.”
For CD information, go to edgarpagan.com.