by Tom Haugen
Bill DiCosimo and Edgar Pagan have been playing together for two decades now, and have collaborated with legends like Ismael Miranda, Lou Gramm and Bela Fleck, among others along the way. On this first solo outing, the pair offer 5 originals and 2 covers, where funk, jazz and blues are all embraced and delivered with an unparalleled amount of skill.
“So It Begins” starts the album with no lack of grooves, as Karma Auger’s keen sense of drumming and DiCosimo’s deft keys steer a very warm opening, and this creativeness continues to the very playful “Magic Carpet Ride”, where Jeff Richman’s strong guitar work and Pagan’s gritty yet tuneful vocals steer the psychedelic atmosphere.
Near the middle, “Samba Pagan” benefits much from DiCosimo’s synth flute in the dreamy landscape, while “Blues Clues” indeed touches on the blues amid Jimmy Haslip’s synth, Pagan’s bass work and Nick Kellie’s agile guitar lines.
“Cisco Kid”, the album highlight, has DiCosimo switching to B3 as Pagan’s voice is used more as an instrument alongside plenty of dynamic musicianship, and “Show The World” finishes the listen with DiCosimo’s sublime piano complementing the emotive singing from Pagan as much soul enters the exit that’s inspired by and dedicated to peace, love and unity in the world.
Con Moto doesn’t fall into an any easy classification, although it’s highly diverse, full of culture and is never short on fusion, as all 7 tracks impress us with their timeless nature and contagious energy.