Roxana Amed

(Sony Music Latin 19439860962)

It’s easy to gravitate toward a sense of exoticism with Ontology. While vocalist Roxana Amed finds joy and takes pride in the cultural roots of her musical inspirations, upon further exploration Ontology reveals much deeper ethnic and experiential reflection. “Tumbleweed” emphasizes perspectives shared by Amed and saxophonist Mark Small through its sonic structure. The rest of Ontology encompasses Amed’s quest to discern where, when and how her bond with Argentina can and/or should meld with American jazz and other artistic vantage points. “Milonga Por La Ausencia” is noteworthy in this regard. Not initially set to be recorded and done with minimal planning,—between Amed’s performative honesty, the lyrics’ emotional directness and the embrace of a song form important to Argentinean expression—the track shrewdly exemplifies the coexistence of Amed’s thoughts, feelings and the inevitability of change. Only the title track—which references the study of the nature of being and was chosen for how Amed felt it perfectly characterized her inner ruminations—better embodies Ontology’s conceptual objectives.