REVIEW: Sozra - "Pulse: Music From The Home Planet"

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

PulseJohn Sosnowsky, a.k.a. Sozra, continues to follow his bliss by offering music that transcends physical limitations. The Earth Space Continuum was a reflective body that merged sound, space and color. On Sozra's latest release, Pulse, the listener is once again thrust into a wordless world where music and the sound of the voice are utilized as shadings for sound tapestries.

The opening track, Egyptian Caravan, delivered a medieval feeling suffused with a futuristic surrealism. Hanna Vo-Dinh provides the wordless vocalizations that carry an angelic sentiment. Another artist, Adiemus, had ventured into wordless vocalizations and saw the rise in their popularity via the Delta Airline commercials which utilized the track of the same name. It wouldn't be too surprising then to see the same situation arise with the flowing moods and textures of Sozra's work.

Jazzstar provided a folk-jazz hybrid while Elephant Swing seems to languish within the confines of a warm Serengeti Plain. The title track, Pulse, seems to enmesh the living energy of all life on the planet. It clicks like an etheric vibration that seems to belie the ability of all converging life forms. It is created with a bit of a fluid effect, yet there is also that haunting element that seems to encircle the universe itself.

Despite the quality of the vocals and the music, some of the tracks did become slightly monotonous after a point. The music clearly works as a reflective and meditative piece, however. The average listener may become rather disgruntled with the repetitive "ahh ah's" and "da da da-dums" that accompany each track. Vo-Dinh's vocals would have worked well with actual lyrics, but when trying to showcase the beauty of voice without lyrics, it can be a bit of a complex predicament to emphasize sound while maintaining ambience.

As a body of work for simple introspection and meditation, the CD would cascade folks over gentle clouds provided that the jazz elements didn't become too distracting. As a jazz album without the vocals, the CD is well executed but the vocal scat singing did get in the way to slightly blemish its beauty. There is no denying that there is a wealth of talent to be found here. However, the songs on this CD didn't seem to move me as much as The Earth Space Continuum. Those into improvisational jazz, however, won't be disappointed.

Contact Information:
Post: Sozra Music Group, P.O. Box 4, Union Bridge, MD, 21791
Phone: (301) 845-7148

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