Alex Bellgarde Quartet: Caminando (2006)
The set opens with the title tune, featuring a tranquil Cuban percussion groove behind a sweet and simple meloodic line from Hove. "Got Lip," a burning up-tempo romp, sounds like a cousin of Coltrane's "Giant Steps"; "Nature" opens on some dark Afro-Cuban percussion that leads into a piano sparkle which introduces a brooding saxophone interlude. "Timba Time" has pianist Diaz splashing right colors across the keyboard behind Hove's searching alto, before the tune shifts into a spicy Latin rhythm.
There's a lot of land (and some sea) between Monteal and Havana. But Alex Bellegarde and his musical compatriots transcend geography on a sonic visit to the land between with "A Blues or Not," a tart, boppish Blue Note-esque blower, before closing with "En Moin de Deux," an insistent free jazz affair that gives the leader a chance to show off his chops.
Track Listing: Caminando; Got Lip, Native; Timba Tune; Brown's Groove; A Blues or Not!; Driving on a Rainy Night!: La Vaca; Desert; En Moins de Deux.
Personnel: Alex Bellegarde: bass; Yoel Diaz: piano; Erik Hove: alto saxophone; Yvon Plouffe: drums; Orlando Lavielle: congas
Record Label: Justin Time Records