Gabriele Poso-Awakening.

Label: BBE Music.

Release Date: ‘30th’ of March 2018.

New Release Of The Week.

Italian multi-instrumentalist and master percussion Gabriele Poso’s lifelong love affair with music began after he discovered his family’s record collection as child. This was a cultural awakening for Gabriele Poso who was soon discovering the delights of jazz, soul and Afro-Latin music. Before long, Gabriele Poso wasn’t content just to listen to music, and wanted to learn how to play an instrument. Over the next few years, Gabriele Poso  learnt to play a number of musical instruments, but one of his favourites was the guitar, which even today, plays an important part in his life as a professional musician. It’s often the guitar that brings life and meaning to some of his finest compositions. However, later in life when Gabriele Poso discovered percussion this was a life-changing experience and something that gave him: “a real reason to live.”

It turned out that Gabriele Poso was a natural percussionist who was blessed with flair and talent. Over the next few years, he spent time studying with master percussionists in Italy, Puerto Rico and Cuba where he completed his musical education. 

Having learnt from the best, Gabriele Poso embarked upon a successful musical career, and has already released a trio of albums and the critically acclaimed compilation Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums) on BBE Music in 2017. Just over a year later, and Gabriele Poso will return on ‘30th’ of March 2018 with his much-anticipated fourth album Awakening. It’s the latest story in the Gabriele Poso story.

Gabriele Poso was born on the ‘22nd’ of October 1978 in Sardinia, which is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. However, the Poso family moved to Lecce, where Gabriele Poso grew up and his love of music began.

This came after Gabriele Poso discovered his family’s record collection, which was akin to cultural awakening for him. Soon, he was discovering the delights of Afro-Latin music, jazz and soul which would influence him when he embarked upon a career as a professional music. That was a long way down the line.

Having discovered and immersed himself in the family record collection, Gabriele Poso decided that he wasn’t content just to listen to music, he wanted to play music. Over the next few years, he learnt to play a variety of musical instruments, including the guitar, which even today, plays an important part in his life as a professional musician. It’s often the guitar that brings life and meaning to some of his finest compositions, and which he uses when he’s writing new material. This was all still to come.

Later, Gabriele Poso discovered the world of percussion, which was a life-changing experience, and gave him what he describes as: “a real reason to live.” Soon, he was enjoying and understanding percussion, and music was becoming a way of life for Gabriele Poso.  He was a natural percussionist, who was blessed with flair and talent. Despite this, Gabriele Poso wanted to learn from the best percussionists in the world. 

In 1998, twenty year old Gabriele Poso enrolled at the Timba school of music in Rome, where he studied percussion under Roberto Evangelista. Once he had completed his studies in Rome, Gabriele journeyed to San Juan, in Puerto Rico in 2001, where he studied at the prestigious Universitad Interamericana De Puerto Rico. After completing his studies in Puerto Rico, Gabriele headed to Cuba, where he spent time studying at the world-renowned Escuela National De Arte, in Havana. This was where Gabriele Poso completed his musical education.

By the time Gabriele Poso returned from Havana, having completed his musical education, he had only featured on the one recording, DJ Jazzy Jeff’s 2002 single Rock Wit U. This only came about when DJ Jazzy Jeff was struggling to find a conga player, and someone suggested they try Gabriele Poso. He was drafted in at short notice, and this proved to be the break that Gabriele Poso had been looking for. Over the next few years, he would work with a number of artists.

This included the American producer Osunlade, who Gabriele Poso first met when  he was studying in Puerto Rico. Soon, the pair became friends and decided to collaborate together. Having worked together, the next natural step was for Gabriele Poso was to record his debut album. 

Gabriele Poso returned in 2008, with his debut album From The Genuine World, which was released on Osunlade’s Yoruba Records. It was well received by critics and launched Gabriele Poso’s career.

Over the next few years, much of Gabriele Poso’s time was spent playing live. Sometimes, he worked alongside some of the highest profile producers, including Louie Vega, Boddhi Satva and Osunlade. On a couple of occasions he cowrote songs, but most of the time, Gabriele Poso put his considerable skills as a percussionist and multi-instrumentalist to good use. However, after spending three years working with other people, the time came for Gabriele Poso to record his sophomore album.

Gabriele Poso returned in June 2012 with his much-anticipated sophomore album Roots Of Soul which he had written, recorded, produced and mixed.  In the studio, Gabriel Poso became a one man  band, switching seamlessly between instruments. Joining him, were a trio of guest vocalists, Osunlade, Nailah Porter and Tanya Michelle who played their in the sound and success of Roots Of Soul. When it was released to critical acclaim on ‘12th’ June 2012, it was hailed by critics as Gabriele Poso’s finest hour.

Later in 2012, Gabriele Poso released Roots Of Soul Remix. This remix album showed another side to Gabriele Poso’s music, and introduced it to a new audience.

Nearly two-year later, and Gabriele Poso returned with his eagerly awaited third album, Invocation in April 2014. It had been recorded in Berlin between August and December 2012. Not only was Gabriele a one man band, who arranged, recorded, produced and mixed Invocation, he also decided to record all the vocals. This made sense as Invocation was a very personal album, and one which  Gabriele Poso explained: “represents my feelings, all my emotions and all my fears.” This personal and powerful album won the approval of critics, and was showered with praise and plaudits upon its release.  

Just over a year later, and Gabriele Poso returned with the second remix album if his career, Electric Invocation. When it was released in May 2015, Electric Invocation continued to introduce a new audience to Gabriele Poso’s music. 

Since then,  Gabriele Poso has spent much of his time touring Invocation. Each night, he puts on a spectacular and memorable stage show which received praise and plaudits from critics. However, when he found some free time, the alt-jazz star compiled Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums) for BBE Music. This captivating and eclectic compilation was released to widespread critical acclaim in January 2017, and was the latest chapter in the Gabriele Poso story.

Three years after the release of Invocation, Gabriele Poso is preparing for the release of his much-anticipated fifth album Awakening, which will be released on the  ‘30th’ of March 2018. The Italian multi-instrumentalist and master percussionist has written, eleven new songs and decided to cover Roy Ayer’s classic Everybody Loves The Sunshine. The twelve songs were arranged, recorded and produced by Gabriele Poso  and became Awakening.

Awakening is probably the most rounded release of Gabriele Poso’s two decade career, and features a talented and versatile multi-instrumentalist and master percussionist at the peak of his powers. However, when Gabriele Poso began work on Awakening he was at a crossroads, and wondering about his future career as a musician after a life-changing event?

“The birth of my eldest son Viktor caused me to question my career in music and explore other, more ‘secure’ options, but thanks to my wife I quickly realised that to be different from your neighbor doesn’t make you wrong. After all, in this life, does anyone really have any security? So actually Viktor and my family have become my super power: they teach me to believe in myself more than I ever did before. This album is all about that realization; that Awakening.”

Spurred on by his wife and the birth of his son Viktor, Gabriele Poso began work on Awakening which is an ambitious genre-melting album where elements of Afro-Latin, jazz, soul and dance music are combined by Gabriele Poso and the various guest artists. However, the glue that holds each of the arrangements together is Gabriele Poso’s unique and inimitable layered live percussion sounds. They play their part in Gabriele Poso’s musical Awakening.

Opening Awakening is Playa 80 where a myriad of percussion and handclaps are joined by thunderous 4/4 dance beats. Soon, hi-hats hiss, metal pans rattle  and provide a contrast to the pounding 4/4 beats. They’re augmented by the percussion and together, create an irresistible and uplifting call to dance.

A lone piano opens Awakening before a flute enters and flutters high above the arrangement, adding to the ruminative sound. Meanwhile, flourishes of piano accompany the flute, before a spiritual sounding vocal is added. Soon, percussion is added before the piano plays and the tempo rises and a dancefloor friendly paean is unfolding. It features a shimmering Fender Rhodes, flute, percussion which accompany the heartfelt vocal. Later, lush strings are added and sweep and swirl. However, when the vocal returns it becomes a soliloquy as Gabriele Poso delivers the lines: “I’m a warrior fighting for love, fighting for the heart without love.”  Latterly, as his vocal soars high above the arrangement, instruments are dropped in at just the right time, playing their in a carefully crafted seven minute epic paean.

As Cumbachero opens, percussion and drums sets the scene before  a guitar and funky bass are added. Soon, Gabriele Poso adds a chanted vocal before a piano and blazing horns enter. They’re joined by otherworldly sounds  before the horns return and then are replaced by harmonies as an alto saxophone. Before long, the rest of the horn section return and join the Fender Rhodes. It remains when the arrangement is stripped bare and just the percussion and harmonies remain. However, soon, this irresistible, joyous and hook-laden floor filler rebuilds, before reaching a crescendo.

The tempo drops on Adorando as percussion plays before the prowling bass makes its impression felt, and the braying horn is joined by keyboards. Gradually, this genre-melting, cinematic track begins to reveal its secrets. Braying, wailing horns are added as the rhythm section add the heartbeat as jazz and funk are combined with Gabriele Poso’s trademark percussive sound. The result is a beautiful, cinematic track that is rich in imagery.

Back in 1976, Roy Ayers released the original version of Everybody Loves The Sunshine, which is regarded as the definitive version this classic song. Covering such a well known and much-loved song is never easy, so rather than stay true to the original, Gabriele Poso reinvents it and takes it in an entirely new generation. He stretches the melody, and sometimes, it heads in an entirely new and unexpected direction. Later, though, this cover stays true to the original version as crisp beats provide a backdrop for the backing vocalists whose contributions veer between soulful and jazz-tinged. Meanwhile, Gabriele Poso plays everything from keyboards, vibes, percussion and a bass synth during this summer anthem in-waiting.

After percussion opens Words Never Work, Gabriele Poso’s heartfelt, soulful vocal is accompanied by keyboards, stabs of blazing horns, drums, a bass synth and later, a flute. Later, washes of swirling Hammond organ are joined by a fleet fingered guitar solo that veers between jazz and rock as Gabriele Poso continues to deliver a soulful vocal. Everything seems to falls perfectly into place during this latest genre-melting hook-laden, anthemic paean with a summery sound.

Gabriele Poso successfully replicates the sound nightfall on The Night Falls before a myriad of percussion is added. Later, thunderous drums power the mesmeric sounding arrangement that is rich in imagery.

A spiritual sounding vocal sings call and response on Mi Amigo as percussion and a xylophone play. They’re soon joined by drums and a funky bass enter. They accompany an impassioned soliloquy while handclaps are added. Later, the spiritual sounding vocal returns and sings call and response against an understated backdrop. In doing so, they show another side to Gabriele Poso.

The sound of waves breaking on a  deserts beach opens Repulse Bay which is one of the shortest tracks on Awakening and lasts just 1.47. Soon,  keyboards, an accordion and flute unite to create a beautiful,  jazz-tinged soundscape that once again, is rich in imagery.

Percussion and a scatted vocal opens Sotto Il Campanile before pounding drums, a bass and guitar enter before horns soar above the arrangement as strings sweep. Still, though, Gabriele Poso’s galloping percussion is at the heart of the arrangement. It’s joined by harmonies, a plucked  guitar, the  bass and a lone horn. Everything falls perfectly into place and another beautiful, dreamy and summery track takes shapes. 

A probing bass and handclaps combine on Otro Barrio before cymbals crash, and percussion joins with a shimmering Fender Rhodes and flute. They provide the backdrop for an effects treated vocal as Gabriele Poso seems to draws inspiration from Herbie Hancock and Santana, as musical influences and genres melt into one.  Elements of funk, jazz, jazz-funk,  Latin and even electronica play their part in this explosive and irresistible floor filler that is full of twists and turns. 

6 In 4 scurries along with drums, percussion and bass at the heart of the arrangement which initially, is stop-start. Soon, though the arrangement is flowing along, and master percussionist enjoys the opportunity to showcase his considerable skills. Midway through the track, there’s a brief pause before normal service is resumed and this exquisite and irresistible percussive arrangement continues apace. 

This leaves just the extended mix of Words Never Work to close Awakening. It’s a near nine minute floor filling epic which closes Gabriele Poso’s eagerly awaited fourth album Awakening on a high.

Just over a year after the release of Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums) the Italian multi-instrumentalist and master percussion returns with his fourth studio album Awakening. It will be released on BBE Music  on the  ‘30th’ of March 2018 and is finest album of Gabriele Poso’s two decade career.

Awakening features elements of Afro-Latin, jazz, funk, soul and dance music which are combined by Gabriele Poso and the various guest artists that feature on the album. It finds the multi-instrumentalist playing an array of instruments, as well as the layers of live percussion that is the glue that holds each of the arrangements on Awakening together. 

The percussion plays a leading role on many of the tracks, and on other tracks plays a supporting role. On these tracks, Gabriele Poso deploys everything from 4/4 dance beats to blazing horns, lush strings, a shimmering Fender Rhodes and washes of swirling Hammond organ. They play their part in the sound and success of the slick, carefully crafted productions on Awakening where Gabriele Poso comes of age as an arranger and producer. However, that is just part of the story of Awakening.

Gabriele Poso is also a talented singer and songwriter who puts his considerable talents to good use on Awakening. It’s fourth and finest album of Gabriele Poso’s career and features cinematic tracks,  paeans, hook-laden anthems and floor fillers that showcase a talented and versatile  multi-instrumentalist and master percussion at the peak of his powers during this musical Awakening.

Gabriele Poso-Awakening.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: