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From Now On By Oscar Penas

There is an unmistakable fluidity of motion behind the compositions of Peñas, whether it be the classical trained style which he incorporates so effortlessly on the nylon string guitar or the influences of the eclectic musicians he surrounds himself with on this release. Peñas has taken his own path with modern jazz while incorporating subtle infusions of flamenco as well as Argentinean and Cuban influences in a sensuous smoldering burn of lyrical melodies where guitarist and composer play as one.

Perhaps the most engaging aspect of From Now On would be the freedom with which each member of this ensemble is able to leave their own indelible mark without ever distracting from the original intent of the compositions. Moto Fukushima is a musical chameleon perfectly blending his six string electric bass with the acoustic guitar of Peñas. Saxophonist Dan Blake, who may be best described as Ornette Coleman First Blood Part Two plays with unabashed freedom yet never overpowering. Drummer Richie Barsay whose immense knowledge of Brazilian music plays with a subtle and tasteful support adding a vibrant energy and swing to the mix.

Two special guests include drummer Franco Pinna from Peñas working trio and the legendary Gil Goldstein who assisted in the pioneering work of fusing jazz and flamenco. Goldstein is featured on the title track "From Now On" and his accordion again makes an appearance on "Julia" which while dedicated to Peñas late cousin has an optimistic energy that seems to encapsulate a celebratory view of life and perhaps the spirit of the Big Apple. The Brazilian influence is unmistakable with "Choro n.1 (Corpo) and "Choro n.2 (Corpo).

Oscar Peñas is a musical artist painting from a bold sonic color palette while striking a balance between the organic and vibrant sounds from his native Barcelona and those of the Big Apple.

A unique fusion of sound and vision that never borders on the tired or self indulgent but instead simmers to a slow boil of energy with a rich texture that Peñas can rightfully lay claim to as his own distinct voice.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Oscar Penas
  • CD Title: From Now On
  • Genre: World Music
  • Year Released: 2011
  • Record Label: BJU
  • Tracks: Contiumm; Choro n.1 (Corpo); From Now On; Samuel Smith; Encuentro; Choro n.2 (Corpo); Julia; Adeu.
  • Musicians: Oscar Peñas: nylon string guitar, electric guitar (1&8); Dan Blake: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone (5); Moto Fukushima: six string electric bass; Richie Barshay: drums and percussion, pandeiro (2). Gil Goldstein: accordion (3&7), piano (4); Franco Pinna: bombo leguero (3).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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