Jazz artist Mauricio Morales is scheduled to release his debut album Luna Friday. The record, set for release through Outside In Music, is an enjoyable first outing from the up-and-coming bassist. That is proven in part through the musical arrangements that make up the record’s body. They will be discussed shortly. The sequencing of those arrangements makes the record even more unique. It will be discussed a little later. The album’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered, they make Luna a promising start for Morales.
Luna is a positive first offering from up-and-coming jazz musician and composer Mauricio Morales. It is a presentation that is certain to appeal to a wide range of jazz fans. That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are distinctly modern in their sound and stylistic approach. More specifically, they present a stylistic approach that will appeal to fans of modern fusion jazz. That is the case even with the semi-neo-classical elements incorporated into some of the works. From one to the next, each arrangement is unique, so listeners never get the same kind of work twice here. The album’s opener/title track for instance features its own standout work from Morales on bass. His seamless performance here pairs with a trumpet line that echoes hints of Miles Davis to make the arrangement so much more engaging and entertaining. The percussive piano line that opens the song is such a stark contrast to the more relaxed portions of the song, too. The complexity and balance among it all makes the song a powerful introduction to the album and to Morales and his fellow musicians. ‘Colibri’ by comparison is a direct contrast to the energy and sound of ‘Luna.’ This six-minute-plus opus is clearly a two-movement composition. Its first movement, which runs approximately three minutes, 10 seconds, is a clearly very reserved work. Its saxophone line and piano pair up to make this portion of the song a reserved, emotional moment. Its natural progression into the song’s second movement, which is far more active, will keep listeners just as engaged as that second movement itself. While still very active, the movement exhibits a sound and stylistic approach that is itself apart from that of ‘Luna.’ It’s one more way in which the musical arrangements and variances therein show their importance to this album. As if that comparison is not enough proof, the reserved yet still optimistic sounds of ‘Garden of Hope’ shows even more, the variance in the album’s musical arrangements. The gentle, flowing duo of the harmonica and piano in the song’s opening bars throws back to some of the sounds of the 1970s and 80s. The addition of the strings and the controlled percussion to the mix along with the synthesizer enriches the song’s arrangement event more. The whole does well to present the sense of optimism and hope noted in the song’s title. The sense that it generates is that sense of happiness that slowly grows in a person following that inner battle with one’s self, eventually peaking as the hope and positivity outdoes the sense of pessimism that precedes these positive emotions. It is yet another way in which the album’s musical content proves so important the record. What’s more, it serves even more, to show Morales’ talent as a composer. When all of this is considered along with the rest of the album’s other arrangements, the record’s musical content in whole forms a strong foundation for this album. Building on that foundation is the sequencing of that noted content.
The sequencing of Luna’s content is important because it does more than just engage listeners through balanced energies. Rather, it keeps listeners engaged through that aspect and the seamless transitions. The transitions ensure that the record flows solidly from beginning to end. What’s more, Morales noted himself during a recent interview, that the album is actually a sort of musical autobiography.
“Luna is a tribute to childhood,” said Morales. “Every song depicts a different layer of my own growth. Conceptually I am attempting to tell a story through my music. Each piece represents a chapter in the journey that Luna is meant to be.”
“Many of the songs spring from natural elements, ranging in inspiration from the beauty of the moon to the ravages of an earthquake,” he added. “They are journey-like episodes with pockets of tension juxtaposed with joy. The overarching takeaway is that Lunarepresents the pursuit of a childlike peace of mind and excitement about life.”
Keeping that in mind, Morales’ efforts to tell a story through his album paid off. The story and the pictures that are painted therein are so rich. It is a fully immersive story that audiences will appreciate. The result is that audiences will agree that the album’s sequencing proves to be just as important to the whole of Luna as its arrangements. It is not the last of the album’s most important elements. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.
The production that went into Luna is worth examining, too because of its effect on the record’s general presentation. As has already been noted, there are some songs featured in this record in which there is a lot going on. Additionally, there are moments that are simpler. In both instances, the instrumentations are expertly balanced. No one musician’s part outweighs those of his/her fellow performer. What’s more, the emotional impact in each song is fully impacting thanks to that time and work put into each arrangement. This has already been slightly pointed out. The fact of the matter is that the album’s production brings out the best in each song. The result is that it leaves listeners realizing that this record is just as enjoyable for this aspect as much as for its content. All things considered, the album’s production, content, and sequencing joins together to make the album in whole a promising start for Mauricio Morales that any jazz fan will enjoy.
Mauricio Morales’ debut album Luna is a positive start for the up-and-coming bassist. It gives listeners plenty to enjoy beginning with its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements in question each exhibit a certain fusion approach, but are still unique from one to the next. Audiences never get the same song from one to the next in these arrangements. The sequencing of Luna’s arrangements is important to its whole because it effectively tells the story that Morales set out to tell through the album. The record’s production brings out the best of each song, bringing everything full circle. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered, they make Luna a record that gives great hope for Mauricio Miles’ future in the jazz community. Luna is scheduled for release Friday through Outside In Music.
More information on Morales’ new album is available along with all of his latest news and more at http://www.facebook.com/mauriciomoralesmusic
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