Danny Coleman’s New Jersey Stage Review of Sol Celebration
ROCK ON! This Week’s Sound Bites…3/22/18
By Danny Coleman
Jersey Shore area artist Gil Velazquez has done it once again. He has released more music and done so in the shortest of manners; a three song EP titled, “Sol Celebration.”
Velazquez draws from a range of influences. Which are evident in this far too short collection of well written reflections he has assembled. “I’ve slowly been working on this project and it’s a very interesting set of songs,” he stated in a recent interview. “I’ve got so much in my head and in my heart musically that I just can’t paint myself into a corner with what I record.”
The collection is a triumph over sadness and loss and served as an outlet for Velazquez.
Track number one is a heavily latter day Carlos Santana influenced piece with Rob Thomas type vocal inflections called, “Out of My Mind.” The song begins with some nicely done guitar work and swells, setting the Latin tone for the rhythms to come. Gil performs all of the instruments and did some drum tracking on this cut which immediately breaks into an upbeat Latin percussion laden toe tapper after the intro. The thing which stands out a bit is the vocal track; something Velazquez doesn’t always employ, let alone with the strength that he does here. “Gotta get you out of my mind, it’s gonna take a lot this time,” no explanation needed here as to this one’s inspiration; the only thing more prominent may be the soaring guitar solo in the middle and at the end.
Track number two is the title cut which once again has a very Latin flavor and is a return to Velazquez’s trademark; an instrumental work that can best be described as big. Every step of the way, this tune swells, ebbs and flows (mostly flows) and is reminiscent of something from a movie soundtrack. Well placed percussion and a backdrop of keys at opportune times with searing yet sometimes weeping guitar and a great drum track take you on the emotional journey that he intended to convey when it was recorded. This was 10 years in the making and is very personal for Gil, “Sol Celebration” was a genesis of dealing with loss in a spiritual way years ago when my dad passed,” he explains about the EP in the disc’s booklet. “Years later while finishing up on this production, my mom was transitioning from living independently to a nursing home. She was a lover of life, food, music and people. Her passing while I was finishing this production really struck once again the analogy of our, “Sol” our inner light that I believe does transcend into another light, another energy. I feel it has to be a celebration in some ways as our souls move on.”
“Somebody,” is the final offering and starts off with a keyboard intro which transitions into vintage Velazquez; heavy rhythms and eerie sustains of single notes. Shortly into this more of a rock sounding and definitely driving tune there is a solo with a Wah Pedal buried just beneath the surface of his in your face solo. “Sometimes somebody just says good bye,” is the simple message punched home with authority in this once again, reality based tune.
Overall, “Sol Celebration” is a quick trip through the musical and at times eclectic mind of Velazquez. We feel his ups, downs and intentions not only lyrically but through the music as well; a rarity in much of today’s pop driven commercial market.
To discover more about Gil Velazquez and find out how to obtain his music; please visit www.gilvelazquez.com.
That’s it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week….ROCK ON!