Edo Castro | Phoenix

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz World: World Fusion Moods: Featuring Bass
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Phoenix

by Edo Castro

Delightful jazz blended with tracks that reflect more of a world music blend creating wonderous soundscapes. An intimate showcase for the phenomenal talents of composer and bassist, Edo Castro. His talent for artist collaboration - inspirational.
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. Beneath an Evening Sky
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6:17 $0.99
2. Bone Dreams
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7:28 $0.99
3. Songs of the Electric Whales
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5:25 $0.99
4. Blue Asia
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6:10 $0.99
5. Chance of Rain
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5:11 $0.99
6. Phoenix
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7:22 $0.99
7. Blue's Gift, Part 1 (feat. Blue)
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1:31 $0.99
8. Amazing Grace
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6:24 $0.99
9. Blue's Gift, Part 2 (feat. Blue)
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9:35 $0.99
10. Rise
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7:42 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Edo Castro is an eclectic modern instrumentalist borrowing from jazz, ambient, folk and world music - a chameleon who adapts his musical surroundings to create his montage of compositions.

Phoenix, Castro's latest CD follows his first effort entitled simply "Edo", “The name Phoenix is not only a beautiful name, it's also the mythical representation of change or transformation. Phoenix is about transforming personal moments,” Castro explains. Many wonderful musicians are featured on this album including Mark Egan, former bassist with Pat Metheny, who has played on over 100 albums and is a guest artist on Phoenix.

Phoenix was produced by Ray Cooper on the boutique label, Passion Star Records.

Castro is a SF Bay Area Native who grew up in the Haight-Ashbury during the 60’s. “ I was influenced by Sly Stone, Tower of Power, Cold Blood and Santana. There was so much music going on, it was practically oozing out into the neighborhood. You couldn’t help not being affected,” Castro recalls.

He initially was a self-taught bassist but later attended the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. During his stay in Chicago he played with some of the finest young bloods of the music scene at that time including Jim Trumpeter, Fareed Haque, Mark Walker and Hassan Khan. Of course there were the jazz icons, Miles Davis Guitarist- Pete Cosey and drummer - Roy Haynes that Edo was fortunate enough to play with. Castro recalls,” After playing a set with Roy Haynes, there was a bunch of us standing around talking to him and out of the blue Roy handed me his card and said, ‘Man when you’re ready, come to New York give me a call. That was the greatest stamp of approval in front of all my peers.’

He completed his studies earned his Bachelor of Music degree in 1987 and continued to hone his craft in Chicago.


Reviews


to write a review

Kai Horsthemke

gorgeous and tasteful
When I first saw Edo Castro’s album ‘Phoenix’, two things about it set me on guard immediately: first, the image of a 9-string bass on the cover (I mean, who on earth needs these things?) and second, the inclusion of that awful and omnipresent tune, ‘Amazing Grace’. Well, that was then. ‘Phoenix’ is a near-completely beautiful, exquisitely crafted album. Castro is much more concerned with mood and texture, not to mention melody, than with extroverted, chops-flashing bravado. Case in point: who would even think of covering Ralph Towner’s breathtaking composition ‘Beneath an Evening Sky’? Castro does it full justice, with the elegant fretless melody set against a chordal backdrop, rendering the complex time signature of the piece almost unnoticeable. ‘Bone Dreams’ adds pedal steel guitar (Rob Powell) and tabla (Debropriyo Sarkar) for texture, and ‘Song for the Electric Whales’ is a moving (and sonically accurate!) tribute to these magnificent creatures. The blues-based ‘Blue Asia’ features like-minded Mark Egan on fretless 8-string bass, apart from Castro himself. ‘Chance of Rain’ reprises the ambience of the second selection, and the title track is the only real ensemble piece here: it contains few surprises but is a pleasant track nonetheless. The Native American flutes of Blue constitute the featured instrument on two evocative tracks (indeed, the sole instrument on the 9-minute-plus ‘… Part 2’; how is that for unselfishness on the part of the bassist?), and ‘Rise’ is the Methenyesque album closer, with Castro on nimble fretless. So, what about ‘Amazing Grace’, then? It begins promisingly, with Castro reharmonising this trite tune. But then the voices come in, and everything goes downhill from here. To me (as someone with a profoundly atheistic worldview), the lyrics have always been simple-minded, and while Castro’s changes here should be noted, the vocal acrobatics further propel this piece into the abyss of the eminently skippable, unconnected as it is from the rest of the CD. However, this is the only blemish on an album that is otherwise a veritable gem.

The Daily Vault

...a great pickup if you’re either in a mellow mood or looking to instill one
They don’t call it mood music for nothing. Whether my mood is upbeat or downbeat, serious or playful, extroverted or introverted, there are musical choices aplenty to complement, enhance or counteract it.
Edo Castro -- in addition to playing one of the coolest-looking instruments ever built, a fretless eight-string bass – on his sophomore solo release Phoenix delivers what I can only describe as mood music. It has flavorings of instrumental jazz, world music and New Age, but, perhaps surprisingly for someone whose primary instrument is generally thought of as a rhythm anchor, the emphasis is on sonic textures rather than beats or structures.

Early tracks “Beneath An Evening Sky,” “Bone Dreams” and “Song Of The Electric Whales” have a contemplative, unrushed, elegant feel, becoming almost hypnotic in places. The synth textures, percussion and Debopriyo Sarkar’s tabla on “Bone Dreams” are especially evocative.

“Blue Asia” has greater structure, lending it more of straight jazz feel, but it could hardly be called mainstream when it’s built around a duet between two bass players, Castro and guest Mark Egan. This tasty cut also features intricate percussion work from Paul Van Wageningen and Ian Dogole, as well as production crisp enough to remind of Steely Dan.

“Chance Of Rain” and “The Gift Of Blue (Parts 1 & 2)” carry forward the earlier contemplative mood and pace, though “Chance” has a particularly steady-thrumming bass line that adds firmness and tension. In between, the title track returns to straight jazz, with a stuttering rhythm section underpinning some terrific sax work from George Brooks, complemented nicely by Lorn Leber’s electric guitar and Tommy Kesecker’s vibes.

Castro is a San Francisco Bay Area musician who has played with numerous local luminaries, including Jill Knight. Phoenix is his second solo outing and a great pickup if you’re either in a mellow mood or looking to instill one. While this is music you could work or play to, it’s most suited to simple contemplation, and isn’t that something we could all use a little more of in our lives?

The Daily Vault

...a great pickup if you’re either in a mellow mood or looking to instill one
They don’t call it mood music for nothing. Whether my mood is upbeat or downbeat, serious or playful, extroverted or introverted, there are musical choices aplenty to complement, enhance or counteract it.
Edo Castro -- in addition to playing one of the coolest-looking instruments ever built, a fretless eight-string bass – on his sophomore solo release Phoenix delivers what I can only describe as mood music. It has flavorings of instrumental jazz, world music and New Age, but, perhaps surprisingly for someone whose primary instrument is generally thought of as a rhythm anchor, the emphasis is on sonic textures rather than beats or structures.

Early tracks “Beneath An Evening Sky,” “Bone Dreams” and “Song Of The Electric Whales” have a contemplative, unrushed, elegant feel, becoming almost hypnotic in places. The synth textures, percussion and Debopriyo Sarkar’s tabla on “Bone Dreams” are especially evocative.

“Blue Asia” has greater structure, lending it more of straight jazz feel, but it could hardly be called mainstream when it’s built around a duet between two bass players, Castro and guest Mark Egan. This tasty cut also features intricate percussion work from Paul Van Wageningen and Ian Dogole, as well as production crisp enough to remind of Steely Dan.

“Chance Of Rain” and “The Gift Of Blue (Parts 1 & 2)” carry forward the earlier contemplative mood and pace, though “Chance” has a particularly steady-thrumming bass line that adds firmness and tension. In between, the title track returns to straight jazz, with a stuttering rhythm section underpinning some terrific sax work from George Brooks, complemented nicely by Lorn Leber’s electric guitar and Tommy Kesecker’s vibes.

Castro is a San Francisco Bay Area musician who has played with numerous local luminaries, including Jill Knight. Phoenix is his second solo outing and a great pickup if you’re either in a mellow mood or looking to instill one. While this is music you could work or play to, it’s most suited to simple contemplation, and isn’t that something we could all use a little more of in our lives?

Jean-Christophe Acquaviva

Masterpiece
Diversity is the word. Listening to PHOENIX is like watching a great movie. Lots of landscapes and feelings. You never get bored. EDO CASTRO you are a gift for our ears.

Jazz Man

Another outstanding piece of Bass Mastery !!
When I recieved my email that EDO had another CD I could not wait, and I was not disappointed ! This offering was awesome, and the quests on the album were superb. Thanks again Edo for showing us what imagination and talent can do ! I can hardly wait for your next cd !

Bill Harrison

Very expressive - from ethereal to grooving - great writing and playing!
The best place to start for me is that this CD is by a bass player but you wouldn't know it. Edo is first and foremost a composer here and the album is a complete statement from beginning to end. The bass playing is top notch and the sounds he draws from his many stringed electrics range from ethereal to deep and in the pocket. But Edo's respect for the music shines through so beautifully here as it often doesn't when a bassist gets the opportunity to "step out". There's no showing off here as the compositions and textures are pre-eminent. I especially like how Edo lets the other musicians express themselves in a very un-selfish way. In fact, expression is what this CD is all about.

Colin Jones

This is just brilliant! Listen to the samples if you don't take my word for it.
This is full of textures and subtlety and great ensemble playing. No fireworks, no virtuosity for virtuosity's sake, but a depth that bears repeated playing.

Ron Rutherford

A stellar recording!
Excellent stuff. Highly recommended.