WBGO Radar

Leo Genovese: Seeds

Cover to Leo Genovese album Seeds

“I had a chance to go to the Amazon two years ago,” says keyboardist and composer Leonardo Genovese.

“Spent some time completely away from cement and civilization – anything that we deal with every day.  After that, music sounded different.”

Genovese releases his new recording for Palmetto Records, Seeds, on August 20th. More an exploration of sound than a garden variety jazz recording, Seeds germinates in the mystical. 

There are experiments with electronic textures  in “PPH” and “Chromatic Hymn” that bookend this recording.  Moments of dark beauty in “Los Ejes De Mi Carreta” follow exhuberant pianism in “Our Historic Future.” 

Esperanza Spalding’s voice floats in and out of the ether.  Dance beats pulse and a Farfisa organ flashes.  This is a wild, weird and sometimes chaotic world. Sounds are ephemera.

None of this feels unusual to Leo Genovese.  He was raised by biochemists in Argentina.  “The lab has always been in my house.  From my bed to all these weird machines was only a couple of steps away,” he says.  “All these explosions.  There was a lot of experimentation around always….a lot of weird smells and noises that really inspired me. And they keep on doing that.”

Genovese's trio performed on WBGO’s The Checkout.  He didn’t play any music to support this recording. It was vast and open-ended, freewheeling to the point of annihilating any sense of order. 

This is the space where Leo Genovese thrives.  He never left the jungle. “I want to try to stop putting barriers and concepts into things,” he says.  “You go there and that’s what it is.  It’s the frogs and the bats and the birds and the monkeys.  Everybody’s singing and it’s good.  It’s community.”

There is life in Seeds.  “Also it’s inaudible if we want it to be,” says Leo Genovese.

                - Josh Jackson, VP of content, WBGO

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