Buscando La Vida

“No Estamos Solos (We Are Not Alone)”

(La Musica Artesanal)

The pandemic has been rough on man`/y musicians, but Henry Cole faced some particularly grueling challenges. In the early days of COVID-19, the drummer-composer’s New York City apartment was gutted by fire. He returned to his native Puerto Rico, but subsequent pandemic lockdowns made jobs scarce. Fortunately, a ray of light shone on Cole in the form of a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation New Jazz Works grant. The drummer, who has played with Miguel Zenón, David Sánchez, Gary Burton and Fabian Almazan, among others, set out to craft a work that would honor his ethnic roots, as well as recognize the trying moment in time in which we’re living. The resulting Buscando la Vida (La Musica Artesanal) does just that, as Cole’s music reflects the struggle to triumph over adversity, or as he puts it in his album notes, the “fight or fly energy we carry — the life inside us and around us.” That theme is evident from the album’s opening track, “No Estamos Solos” (“We Are Not Alone”), a soaring, sweeping melody in which Cole’s jazz ensemble, Villa Locura, is bolstered by the mighty, Netherlands-based Metropole Orkest. The song was inspired by Cole’s realization that, even by serendipity, you could meet people who think and feel similarly, who’ve experienced similar situations, and that the universe needn’t be quite so lonely, even during a pandemic that’s robbed so many of so much. “In the midst of so much death,” Cole says, “I decided to look for life.”

Purchase Album:

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz