album reviews

Jose Roman Duque’s New Jazz Fusion Masterpiece – Jorodu

After taking a seven-year hiatus from putting out any personal projects, drummer and composer Jose Roman Duque aka Jorodu blesses the music world with a new album entitled Jorodu. As a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Jorodu possesses a profound musical background and has established himself as a force of influence in the spheres of Jazz, R&B, Latin, Rock, World Music and Pop. Jorodu’s musical accomplishments include writing the scores for two independent films in Spain, publishing an instructional manual on drumming, and teaching.

Jorodu is a full-length album composed of nine tracks. It is an acoustically rich offering that is built upon a musical landscape of jazz-fusion, though the work draws from elements of classical, funk, psychedelic, r&b, and progressive rock genres. Jorodu was able to round-up a cast of musicians that he has worked with in the past. This effort further enhanced the wholeness of the album as listeners get to feel the union between musicians who worked on the project through its music. Not only is Jorodu responsible for the album’s compositions, but also played bass, drums, keyboards, percussion, piano, and work as the project’s producer along with Erik Aldrey.

Jorodu Track-by-Track Review

1-Fortuna non Omnibus Aeque: Jorodu opens with the night air of Fortuna non Omnibus Aeque (Fortune cannot take size for everyone). The track has a moving upbeat rhythm and some excellent work by Phil Sargent on guitar. Jorodu’s keyboard lead later in the track makes fabulous conversation with the spectacular efforts he puts down on drums. Manu Koch serves up an enchanting layer of sonic brilliance on the rhodes and synth that makes everything melt together.

2-Nulla habeo nomen: Jorodu stirs up an episode of psychedelic funk with this delightful piece called Nulla habeo nomen (I have no name). Rodrigo Gamboa guitar play is transcendent, along with Emigdio Suarez work on the synth. Jorodu serves up a unique bassline and a dramatic landscape to this epic composition with some startling keyboard measures.

3-Ubi Umbra Vivit: This piece is full of enchantment and has a scheme of mystery and intrigue. Jose Gallegos puts down a tasteful layer of piano that wonderfully compliments Jon Durant’s work on cloud guitar. Javier Espinoza plays a riveting bass. Jorodu remains crisp and sharp on the drums. All together we have everything needed for the chase of Ubi Umbra Vivit (When Frank lives).

4-Verbum Dimissum: A succulent rhythm that stands to the foreground for its multicolored sonic landscape. Listeners get to feel a consistent vibe throughout the album that is innovative and intelligible.

5-Victa lacet Virtus: Jorodu takes a shift of tempo with this downbeat gem that is eloquently seasoned by the voice of Beatriz Malnič. The contemplative mood of Victa lacet Virtus (Overcome by virtue lies) is truly one of embellishment.

6-Edo Vade A Gades: Very tastefully executed Jazz sequence and intense display of exotic instrumentation. Phil Sargent sounds great on nylon strings guitar. We also get to hear a taste of Mike Effenberger on piano and Nate Therrien vigorous performance on bass.

7-Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis, Tertius: This is a gathering of instruments that are looking to express themselves under the roof of Jorodu, a stirring composition.

8-Ludo Duo: Opening with the marvelous sounds of nature, the essence of Ludo Duo (game two), though experimental in its undertaking, proves to be a great example of what can be done in terms of transit musical structures.

9-Armor MCMLXXX: Jorodu concludes this blissful offering with the joys of youth as Armor MCMLXXX (Love 1980) proves to be a timely outro to this masterful body of work.

Jorodu is a tremendous album with a great musical scheme that is inventive and has a strong sense of creativity within the boundaries of free-spiritedness. As the album’s composer and leading instrumentalist, Jorodu has reached a level of genius that is both imaginative and consistent with the face of a generation’s mood. Thank you for giving humanity a piece of joy through music.

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