Michel Camilo: Rhapsody in Blue (2006)
Written just one year after "Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin's three-movement Concerto in F emphasizes rhythm much more than its predecessor. With this extended piece, Camilo is free to ride the swinging vehicles of the Roaring Twenties with aplomb. The pianist's intense rhythmic drivehe was a percussionist with the National Symphonyhelps him to interpret this piece with accuracy. You can feel the syncopation of ragtime as the orchestra builds momentum. In the second movement, a deep blues oozes through as open trumpet and violins carry the theme with passion. Camilo's piano interpretation carries a powerful wallop, particularly on the Allegro Agitato movement, where he brings the session to a boil.
Prelude No. 2 was originally titled "Blue Lullaby. Here, the pianist provides a dreamy soliloquy without orchestra that timidly unleashes Gershwin's magical spell. The blues comes woven throughout its lovely texture as Camilo closes the album with quietude. He's captured the heartfelt passion in Gershwin's compositions, as well as the composer's overt rhythmic connection to early jazz.
Track Listing: Rhapsody in Blue; Concerto in F: (Allegro; Adagio - Andante Con Moto; Allegro Agitato); Prelude No. 2.
Personnel: Michel Camilo: piano; Ernest Martinez Izquierdo and the Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya.
Record Label: Telarc Records