Album Reviews

DiCosimo/Pagan

Con Moto

Artist:     Bill DiCosimo/Edgar Pagan

Album:     Con Moto

Label:     SubCat Records

Release Date:     01.08.21

What we have here is a tidy, filling serving of meat-and-potatoes electric fusion—or perhaps some kind of spicy barbecue would be closer to the mark, since Bill DiCosimo and Edgar Pagan assemble their musical recipe from across the world. Jam-happy jazz and blues are the main touchstones where the compositional structures are concerned, while the tonal palette is spruced up with flute, organ, funky keyboard and guitar tones, not to mention a small rainbow of worldly percussion.

If it’s a recipe that’s pretty familiar, it’s also one that’s perennially fresh as long as everyone’s clearly having fun. Although Con Moto is their first EP made as a duo, DiCosimo’s keys and Pagan’s bass have meshed together in a great many sessions and shows over two decades, and their comfortable chemistry makes the mostly-instrumental affair feel smooth and effortless. It’s a sound for summer festivals or sunny-day picnics: bright hooks, bubbly rhythms, a Latin groove here or dash of wah-wah there.

From simmering blues shuffle to slinky gypsy dance (with a refreshingly sweet-toned take on “Magic Carpet Ride” in between), it’s a half-hour taste of summer sun that rarely stops cooking. The only slight departure comes at the end with the closing “Show the World,” which is possibly the reason it’s listed as a bonus track. Pagan takes the mic (with some soulful choral chanting as backup) for a piece of easygoing reggae-pop all about positive vibes and coming together. Even if that one gets a bit smooth-jazzy for some tastes, the theme and performance are too sincere to write off. Through this whole quickie, that fun inner positivity is always what it’s all about.