Submitted by DAG Klassical (Venezuela).
With the help of a cast of Venezuelan studio musicians, Lakewood’s Morris Northcutt has created a stirring collection, ranging from Latin American to Country and Western, all performed with the passion and grace that the South American nation is renowned for.
“Each one of these songs tells a story,” Morris Northcutt says. While Venezuela has been in the news for all the wrong reasons of late, the Lakewood-based trumpeter wanted to shine a light on the beauty of the nation’s culture. He recruited a collection of Venezuelan studio musicians to serve as his guides and set about bringing the country’s tradition to life. The resulting collection ranges from jubilant to deeply mournful – a musical testament to the Venezuelan people’s resilience.
There is a moment towards the end of the opening track ‘Romanza’ in which Morris’s trumpet soars to the top of the mix, revealing the virtuosity that he humbly conceals. He treats his source material with the utmost reverence, serving the melody above all else. While ‘Tonada’ is an exceptionally collaborative affair, Morris’s trumpet playing, with his evocative tone remaining front and center.
From the mysterious harmonies of ‘Tonada del Cabrestero,’ to the dreamy balladry of ‘Romance Del Diablo,’ each track takes on a life of its own. The album is constantly evolving, with surprises around every corner, including a fiery rendition of Jerry Reed’s classic ‘Lightning Rod.’
‘Tonada’ was meant to serve as a bridge between cultures and continents – a reminder that we often have more in common than we think. The entire experience was transformational for Morris.
“Expressing human emotion and connection has always been at the heart of my playing but learned to feel it at a much deeper level through the experience I’ve shared with the Venezuelan people.”
Thanks to its universal themes and irresistible rhythms, ‘Tonada’ will resonate with a diverse audience. One doesn’t need to be a Latin-American music aficionado to be moved by this album. It is a deeply human work of art that will find a place in the hearts of music fans everywhere.