March 4, 2024

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CD review: Tasha Smith Godinez – Out Of The Desert 2022: Video, CD cover

Thanks to Dorothy Ashby, Alice Coltrane and Brandi Younger, the harp, an instrument that was considered purely academic, is increasingly confident in jazz.

But the list of jazz harpists does not end with these names. Today we introduce you to the new album of the talented performer, composer and teacher Tasha Smith-Godinez, professor of harp at the University of San Diego, California and head of the Harp Academy in the same city.

Tasha Smith-Godinez studied harp at the University of San Diego, where she now teaches, and at the French private conservatory l’Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris. Tasha is the lead harpist in academic orchestras in California and Mexico, but her creative interests extend far beyond narrow genre boundaries. In her own work (and on her account there are several albums recorded mainly on her own Ennanga Records label), Smith-Godinez combines jazz, academic music, ethnic motifs and even a bit of avant-garde delights in an original and creative way. The album Out Of The Desert demonstrates this to the fullest.

The title of the album has a double meaning. Breaking out of the desert is a breath of fresh air and a musical sense of freedom after covid restrictions (most of the compositions of this fully authored album were born during the lockdown period). But at the same time, Tasha also means the real desert, the Lower California desert in the area of ​​the Sea of ​​Cortez. Watching the sunrise in this area, where the desert meets the Pacific Ocean, inspired Tasha to create one of the most beautiful compositions on the album, in my opinion: El Amanecer. In general, a number of plays here are connected with certain facts of the biography of the harpist.

She dedicated the opening play with the telling title Mulatta to her parents, thanks to whose union African-American and Caucasian blood merged in her veins. And in The Path, the silver sound of harp strings is intertwined with the sound of the waves of the ocean and the voice of her three-year-old son playing with his mother on the beach. However, not only the harp sounds in the album. Together with Tasha Smith-Godinez, the most experienced musicians took part in the recording of the album, her old friends and partners – violist Domenico Hueso, who worked with such outstanding masters of different directions as Placido Domingo, Yo-Yo Ma and Aerosmith, as well as percussionist Christopher Garcia, who played by Frank Zappa. Together they create the unforgettable sound of Out Of The Desert – an album worth listening to.

1. Mulatta (feat. Christopher Garcia & Domenico Hueso)
2. The First Garden
3. Wind: Where Are You Now: (feat. Christopher Garcia & Domenico Hueso)
4. Infancia
5. Quiet Memories (feat. Christopher Garcia)
6. The Path
7. Come Back to Me… (feat. Christopher Garcia & Domenico Hueso)
8. El Amanecer (En el Desierto de Baja California)
9. My Soul Floats on the Sea: Floating on the Sea
10. My Soul Floats on the Sea: In the Depths (feat. Christopher Garcia & Domenico Hueso)
11. My Soul Floats on the Sea: Drifting (feat. Domenico Hueso)
12. My Soul Floats on the Sea: Landlocked (feat. Christopher Garcia & Domenico Hueso)
13. My Soul Floats on the Sea: Return and Ascent

Tasha Smith Godinez – Composer | Harp

Christopher Garcia – Percussion | Vocals

Domenico Hueso – Viola | Vocals

New CD – 2022 – Buy from here

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