Cuban pianist Aruan Ortiz brought his quartet of Abraham Burton (saxophone), Peter Slavov (bass) and Eric McPherson (drums) into Small's for six sets of intriguing (mostly) original music that revealed an impressive approach to improvising and composing. Ortiz began the third set Mar. 10th with his composition "El Mago , introducing the piece with a flowing folkish motif and hammering rhythmic repetitions that recalled Gonzalo Rubalcaba's extensions of Keith Jarrett. Burton joined in, picking up the melodic line, initially blowing a brooding romantic tenor over the leader's subtle montuno, then increasing the dynamic intensity to a fever pitch, screaming at the top of the tenor's voice and plunging into its deepest depths, Ortiz' piano ringing powerfully in the background driven by McPherson and Slavov's pulsing rhythms.
On "Invisible , Burton coolly blew the familiar Ornette melody while Ortiz mined the composition's virtually unexplored harmonic potential in a call-and- response conversation with McPherson over Slavov's walking bass line. On his own "Green City , a lyrical line a bit like "They'll Never Be Another You , the pianist played with a boppish originality. The set's final selection "Alameda , an exciting modal original by the leader with an elusive rhythmic feel, provoked impassioned performances by the entire band, especially the shrieking Burton and Ortiz, who gave positive meaning to the term intelligent design.
~ Russ Musto
Recommended New Releases
· Yosvany Terry Cabrera - Metamorphosis (Ewe/Kindred Rhythm - Koch) · Rick Haydon & John Pizzarelli - Just Friends (Mel Bay) · Peter Madsen - Prevue of Tomorrow (Playscape) · Paul Motian - Garden of Eden (ECM) · Mario Pavone - Deez to Blues (Playscape) · Enrico Pieranunzi - Live In Paris (Challenge)
~ David Adler, NY@Night Columnist, AllAboutJazz.com
· Ran Blake - All That is Tied (Tompkins Square) · Theo Jörgensmann - Directions (Fenom Media) · Marty Grosz - Chasin' The Spots (Jump) · William Parker - Long Hidden: The Olmec Series (AUM Fidelity) · Mario Pavone - Deez to Blues (Playscape) · Luis Russell - The Luis Russell Story: 1929-1934 (Retrieval-Challenge)
~Laurence Donohue-Greene, Managing Editor, AllAboutJazz-New York
· Elton Dean/Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Tony Levin - Elton (Duns Limited) · FAB (Joe Fonda/Barry Altschul/Billy Bang) - Live at the Ironworks, Vancouver (Konnex) · Joseph Holbrooke Trio (Derek Bailey/Gavin Bryars/Tony Oxley - The Moat Recordings (Tzadik) · John Hollenbeck Jazz Big Band - Joys & Desires (Intuition) · John Stevens Fast Colour - Antwerp 1988 (Loose Torque) · John Tchicai - John Tchicai with Strings (Treader)
~ Bruce Gallanter, Proprietor, Downtown Music Gallery