Ángel Ontalva — Mundo Flotante
(octoberXart Records ao01, 2012, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-09-07The busy and profusely arranged material on these twelve tracks don’t sound like the work of your typical guitarist, in fact there is as much space given to other instruments (keyboards, flute, saxes, and more) as there is to Ontalva’s main instrument. This is more than anything a showcase for his powerful compositional work and arranging, offering an abundance of melody, complexity and angularity, all fused within various elements of the progressive rock idiom. There are some quieter and pastoral moments backed up against more powerful rock dynamics, some with a symphonic touch, others leaning towards something a bit more avant, but all in good taste and completely listenable. Ontalva is joined by some of his bandmates from October Equus (keyboardist Victor Rodriguez, bassist Amanda Pazos Cosse, saxophonist Fran Mangas, and cellist Pablo Ortega joins on one track) along with drummer Toni Mangas. With the exception of one guest vocal spot, this disc is entirely instrumental. Four pieces open the disc, clocking in around four minutes each, defining the parameters of Ontalva’s vision. From there we go into the album’s centerpiece, the five-part “Suite Sendas de Ofir,” which approaches the eighteen minute mark, covering a lot of territory, a veritable banquet of ideas served up for the listener, ever interesting and captivating. Three more cuts close the disc, including the beautifully introspective “Aurelia Quiere Saber,” featuring the man theme played on melodica. Fans of Änglagård, However, Happy the Man, and other forward-looking mainly instrumental ensembles – as well as Ontalva’s regular band October Equus, will find plenty of interest here.
Related artist(s): Ángel Ontalva
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more