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Upbeat by Andres Rotmistrovsky

Upbeat by Andres Rotmistrovsky… Every time I feed a CD into the player to listen to it for the first time, I do so with the excitement of a child at Christmas unwrapping presents. I never know what is inside the wrapper! A few bars into Andres Rotmistrovskys’ CD “Upbeat,” and I had a smile on my face, as I knew this was a good one! I will go into the tracks shortly but first let’s talk about the players.

Hailing from The Big Apple we have Argentina born Andres on Bass. I won’t go into details here but trust me this cat has credentials (Okay, maybe a few… He has played and/or recorded with artists including Joan Baez, Sertab Erener, Paquito D’ Rivera, Eva Ayllon, Leon Gieco, Marta Gomez, Eva Cortes and Gregorio Uribe Big Band.)

Rounding it out is a mighty fine combo…

Matan Chapnitzka: Tenor Saxophone
Evgeny Lebedev: Piano
Marcelo Woloski: Percussion

I am told that this recording came together with only one rehearsal and the session took only a few hours! Quite impressive for a first time Solo album.

The majority of the music is Andres’ compositions and there is definitely a serious Latin groove here. Brazilian tempos and syncopated beats make me believe I have found a Mini “Escola De Samba” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samba_school) as I do have a soft spot for Brazilian Music! As the title says most of the tracks are nicely upbeat with a few slower ones to let us catch our breath.

Here are some of my favorite tracks:

“Odessa” is the perfect opening tune. The group is tight; Clear sax melody and runs, rhythmic piano, the bass shines through and then there is that amazing Samba drum work. As a bass player myself, I am drawn to the percussive aspect and how the bass and drums interact. The syncopation is insane and Marcelo is simply a beast! This piece would have my friend Sue from Fortaleza up on her feet dancing.

“Placita de Mi Infancia” (which means the little plaza of my childhood) is a smooth Bossa that conjures up fond memories. This piece is a great example of musical imagery. Solos from bass, piano and sax while solidly supported by the percussion accentuate the great talent these performers bring to the table.

“Alone Together” is a high precision piece that has the intricacies of butterflies in flight. We are presented a strong Latin tempo where the Piano and Bass intertwine gracefully making this Jazz Standard their own.

“Cancion en Cinco” alludes to the time signature this piece is in. It is kind of like Brubeck’s’ “Take Five”… only Latin. There is a certain folkloric feel here yet there are very sophisticated changes and delivery to this tune.

“El Viaje” (The Voyage) is a upbeat “Joropo” . You might remember I referenced this tempo in my review of Patrick Andys’ CD “Joy”  (“I Belong to You” was the tune).

Again, the universal nature of music spans the globe!

As far as I am concerned, “Upbeat” by this very talented newcomer, Andres Rotmistrovsky is superb beginning to what should be many more musical masterpieces.

You have to hear this one for your self!

Bien hecho Andres!

Upbeat by Andres Rotmistrovsky available at Amazon.com

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Andres Rotmistrovsky

    February 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Dear Raul and everyone at Bass Musician Magazine,

    Thanks a million for such a descriptive and positive review of my brand new -and debut- album!

    I appreciate it coming from such a great website as this one is and I look forward to keep reading and enjoying the music you are sharing.

    All the best, always!

    Andres Rotmistrovsky

  2. Raul Amador

    Raul Amador

    February 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Andres,
    You are very welcome, Nice job on this debut album.
    Now , I would like you to help clarify some definitions on the rhythms. I identify them by the terms I am familiar with ( Like Bossa and joropo). They do have different names in different places like “Zamba” and “Chacarera”.
    Could you expand on this a little for our readership? I am impressesd that there are universal similarities around our planet!
    Thanks and much continued success!

    Raul

  3. Andres Rotmistrovsky

    February 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Hi Raul,

    Thanks for pointing that out!
    Let me add that even though Bossa Nova (that nice and slow rhythm from Brazil) might have a similar vibe to what you mention on “Placita de mi infancia”, on that tune we are actually playing a feel based on the Argentinian “Zamba” -which is very different than the Brazilian Samba that starts with “S”. The Zamba is in 6/8 and most of the times it is played accenting the 2nd and specially the 3rd quarter note -some people feel it in a slow 3/4.

    Even though the Venezuelan Joropo is a fast and energetic 6/8 groove, on “El Viaje” we are instead feeling it more like a Chacarera, which is a rhythm from Argentina that is usually faster than the Zamba, but somehow shares a similar approach to dividing and accenting the rhythms in the 2nd and the 3rd quarter note specially. Chararera is mostly played with a laid back feel, even though it is faster than the Zamba, in opposition to the Venezuelan Joropo which has more of like an ‘on top of the beat’ feel.

    I invite you all to comment and share your thoughts!

    Thanks again for the review!

    Andres

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