Rachel Z – Sensual (ENG review)

Ozmosys Media Group/ Dot Time Records March 29th 2024
Rachel Z – Sensual (ENG review)

March seems to be the month when all pianists from around the world have decided to release their albums; indeed, we have turned down a large number of them, preferring originality, as always, to more classical forms of jazz. “Sensual” embodies the beauty of family, relationships, and the art of experiencing the fullness of life with every sense. “Sensual” is a sonic love letter from Rachel Z to her husband and to the musicians in her life who have become closer than blood, using the medium of jazz and rock that have been so integral to her life.
And it is true that this album exudes all these feelings; listening to it evokes a sense of happiness and joy, yet the architecture of the compositions is complex, and the arrangements conform to the culture of these young artists, with pop/rock influences never far away. The album’s title, “Sensual,” stems from Rachel Z’s reflections on experiencing the vivacity of being alive. “Pure sensuality knows no bounds,” says Rachel. “Each sense allows us to focus on the unlimited potential for joy and presence in the present moment.” Over the years, Rachel Z has grown as an artist with a deep and refined identity. Now, she brings this artistic identity to the meeting of the musical personalities closest to her, creating collaborative art that blends minds, souls, and senses. The music of “Sensual” and its creation thus reflect the experience of sensuality itself: experiential, alive, and wonderfully interpersonal.
The musicians on this album are truly fascinating in their approach to music, starting with composer and pianist Rachel Z – Piano and Electronica, whose distinctive style is marked by her lively musical phrases and rhythms, Omar Hakim – Drums: Tracks 2, 3, 5, 8 & 9, an formidable drummer who offers here a work of incomparable delicacy, Mino Cinelu – Percussion: Tracks 1, 4, 6 & 7, a name that needs no introduction… Tony Levin – Bass: Track 8, Matt Penman – Bass: Track 1, 4, 5, 6 & 7, Jonathan Toscano – Bass: Tracks 2, 3 & 9, three excellent bassists. An album that truly comes into its own after numerous listens, as there are details to savor here and there on each track of this album, one can even perfectly imagine this group on stage.
“Sensual” is much more than an album; it is the synthesis of Rachel Z’s journey as an individual, as a collaborator, able to see and experience the world around her with an eye for beauty that is always present but so often overlooked. “With this recording, this music, I hope people will wake up to their connection with friends, with nature, with their dreams, with the power to create worlds,” says Rachel. “It’s a sensual life.”
Such generous words as this album belongs in the “essential” category, offering as much joy as poetry or romance to those who grasp it.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, March 11th 2024


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