Exposé Online banner

Miguel de Armas — What's to Come
((Not on label) no#, 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-06-05

What's to Come Cover art

Cuban pianist Miguel de Armas makes his album debut under his own name with What’s to Come, a collection of ten varied tunes that presents his nimble keyboard work with a backing of bass and percussion, plus varying other instruments on the different tracks. In spite of the billing as a quartet, de Armas and drummer / percussionist Michel Madrano are the only musicians to appear on all the tracks. They are joined by bassist Marc Decho on most tracks, though Roberto Riverón and Mathieu Sénéchal handle the low end at times. Two different guitarists (Elmer Ferrer and Galen Weston) shine one one track each; two percussionists (Arien Villegas and Carlitos Medrano) fill out the rhythm on most tracks; and other guests include Alexis Baró (trumpet, flugelhorn), Jane Burnett (soprano sax), and Alexandre Laborde (accordion). Piano forms the backbone of all the pieces, but de Armas does venture into different synth sounds at times, providing a welcome change of pace. Stylistically, he presents an integrated blend of latin and jazz, sliding the balance between the two poles from side to side on different tracks. His playing is lyrical and melodic, and the lead lines are catchy without sounding cliché. The percussion is what really makes the music, however, presenting infectious grooves on every track, sometimes slow and sensuous, sometimes energetic and bouncy. The two guitar spotlights are both excellent, with Ferrer’s legato playing bringing Allan Holdsworth to mind on “A Song for My Little Son,” and when combined with the percussion, resembling Holdsworth’s short stint in Gong. Weston’s turn on “His Bass and Him” has a little more edge to it, though the track focuses on other instruments more, leaving him only a short solo. My favorite track is “Freddie’s Drink,” which closes out the album on a high-energy note, with a busy unison bass line on piano and electric bass that jumps out of the gate and leads into a lush melodic line. Sénéchal gets the bass solo on this one, with a flashy blues-inflected section backed by congas and sparse chords from piano and synth. After a percussion break, a coda features an echoey synth lead that finishes the piece nicely. What’s to Come is a fun album to listen to, with the percussion especially sounding crystal clear in the mix, and with no tracks over six minutes in length, there’s no time wasted on over-indulgent soloing.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Miguel de Armas

More info
http://www.migueldearmas.com/contact/

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Joie Tet - All Structures Unstable – It starts with an aggressive riff on the bari sax run doubled an octave lower with a harmonizer; a bit later you get a distorted melody played on an instrument you can't quite identify from the...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues