The Boston-based quartet Enclave, co-led by saxophonist/percussionist Hilary Noble and pianist Rebecca Cline, explores the fiery traditions of Afro-Cuban rhythms with an edgy jazz fusion slant. Enclave Diaspora
, the group's second release, is an engaging set of Noble/Cline originals, chock full of rhythmic and harmonic surprises.
The musicianship here is first-rate, as demonstrated on energetic romps like "Rue de Buci" and "A-Frayed," where Cline whips up a rich blend of off-beat montuno patterns and single note runs on the Fender Rhodes. Noble stand front and center throughout with his biting tenor tonesteeped in the influence of Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter. Slow tempo pieces like "Iya Modupue" and "Nameless" showcase the saxophonist as an inventive and lyrical performer.
The three-part "Suite for Yemaya" and the disc closer "Blue Cross" stand out as disc highlights. The latter, an insatiable drive to the finish, features go-for-broke soloing and tight ensemble interplay.
When not blowing, Noble adds solid percussion to the rhythmic fire of drummer Steve Langone. Both Langone and electric bassist Fernando Huergo navigate the disc's many odd-metered, syncopated jaunts with ease and finesse. Huergo contributes impressive solos on the tightly arranged "Chorinho pra lemanja" and the 6/8 "Moab."
Enclave is one of the more refreshing and unconventional Latin jazz bands around; mindful of the past with all eyes on the road ahead.
Personnel: Hilary Noble: tenor saxophone, flute, congas, djembe, cajon; Rebecca Cline: piano, Fender Rhodes; Fernando Huergo: electric bass; Steve Langone: drums, chocalho, pandeiro.