Ángel Ontalva & Vespero — Carta Marina
(Bandcamp no#, 2018, CD / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2019-02-20
October Equus’s guitarist Angel Ontalva and Russian spacerockers Vespero have joined forces to record and release an interesting album of seven instrumentals, Carta Marina, that spans both of their worlds. Spanish for marine chart or map, Carta Marina takes the listener on a long strange journey above and below the seas, mixing Vespero’s cosmic electronic excursions with October Equus’ progressive jazz. The album opens with the title track, an eerie melodic intro that emulates Edgar Froese’s guitar hero days in Tangerine Dream. Angel’s soaring guitar riffing is complemented by Vespero’s violinist. Next is “Sea Orm,” a bit slower journey through the ocean depths, followed by the imaginatively titled “Giant Lobster between the Orkneys and the Hebrides.” This instrumental has an eerie Twilight Zone quality that slowly evolves into ethnic world music with a bit of jazz fusion. “Insula Magnetica” is a slow atmospheric piece that reminds me a bit of the Legendary Pink Dots’ “Evolution” from their 1991 album The Maria Dimension. Then we are treated to the delicate “Sledges Crossing the Gulf of Bothnia,” a wonderful psychedelic jam augmented with harp. Continuing North around the Arctic Circle we reach “Horrenda Charybdis Near Lofoten,” a dissonant dark jazz fusion jam. And the album closes with “Ziphus,” another dark cavernous aquatic journey through the deepest realms that just slowly fades away. This album is a change of pace for both artists and shows them reaching out into new musical directions.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more