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  • Writer's pictureArashk Azizi

Jazz Meets Hip Hop: A Masterpiece in 'EQuilibrium'

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Roman Gastelum's "EQuilibrium" is an artistic masterpiece, showcasing his unique blend of jazz and hip-hop influences, resulting in an album that takes listeners on a mesmerizing journey through his musical world. With a roster of accomplished musicians from the Los Angeles music scene, Roman has created a collection of tracks that beautifully entwine different musical elements, providing a fresh and captivating listening experience.

"Sensational music, full of sentimentality." These words perfectly encapsulate the essence of "EQuilibrium." Roman Gastelum and his team have skillfully crafted melodies that not only touch the soul but also transport us on an introspective journey within. The album's standout feature is the incredible synergy between the bass and melody, as they intertwine seamlessly, creating a harmonious soundscape that's nothing short of breathtaking. In many instances, the melody line finds its completeness through the bass, showcasing the intricate connections within the music.

What sets "EQuilibrium" apart is Roman Gastelum's ability to fuse distinct genres, primarily boom bap (Hip Hop) and bop/post-bop (Jazz), into a new and unique style that is distinctly his own. Saxophone, trumpet, and electric piano take the lead in most tracks, but the composition style ensures that bass and drums play equally vital roles in shaping the music.

The rhythmic patterns in this album are nothing short of exquisite. Each track unfolds a new revelation, introducing the audience to a fresh pattern and showcasing the versatility of the musicians involved. From the gentle and ever-evolving eight-beat rhythmic pattern in "Headway" with its exquisite trumpet solo to the captivating triplet pattern in "No Biters," with its epic guitar solo, every song has a distinctive rhythm that keeps the listener engaged.

"Bella" is a beautiful ballad, a love song performed by the piano, which paints a vivid picture of a rainy day's serenity. "Illusory Truth" wows with a saxophone and electric guitar duet that leaves the audience spellbound. "Lunacy" is a masterpiece of multi-rhythmic lines, where melody and bass contrast and complement each other in perfect harmony. It's also the first track on the album to feature full vocals, adding yet another layer to the already rich composition.

"Vermont Ave" introduces a distinguishable syncopated beat pattern, creating a fascinating interplay between the piano, electric guitar, trumpet, and saxophone. "Not Sure Yet" brings a strong hip-hop leaning vocal style, harmoniously contrasting with the jazzy instrumental arrangement, resulting in a magnificent creation. "Pavlov's Dog" stands out with its engaging bassline and enthralling saxophone and trumpet staccato notes that drive the rhythm and pave the way for a stellar vocal section and later amazing synth solo.

The album gracefully concludes with "Breather (Reprise)," taking us back to the sixth track and leaving us with a sense of awe.

Throughout each track, it's essential to pay attention to the underlying components, especially the ever-evolving drum and bass patterns that constantly keep the listener engaged.

Roman Gastelum's "EQuilibrium" is a tour de force in the world of music, achieving a remarkable balance between jazz and hip-hop. It's a testament to his artistic vision and his ability to seamlessly weave together different musical elements. Whether you're a jazz enthusiast, a hip-hop aficionado, or simply a lover of good music, "EQuilibrium" is an album that should not be missed. Roman Gastelum has, without a doubt, created a musical masterpiece that will resonate with listeners for years to come.

Roman Gastelum, a talented bassist, vocalist, lyricist, and composer based in Los Angeles, CA, has delivered his greatest artistic achievement to date with "EQuilibrium." His influences span a wide range of musical genres, from jazz and hip-hop to classical, funk, soul, and more. An active presence in the Los Angeles music scene, Roman is not only a recording artist but also a passionate private lesson instructor, a thoughtful lyricist, and a creative composer. His eclectic progressive rock project, "Jigsaw Falling," showcases his versatility as a musician.


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