Bob Rodriguez: Portraits (2009)
The pianist communicates great depth amid soul-stirring choruses and animated right hand leads. Rodriguez is a poet via his fusion of lush themes with probing storylines, all enamored by his gentle touch and acute penchant for modulating numerous undercurrents. They're highly-emotive pieces as he wraps each motif into a distinct muse or string of expressive statements that intersect and coalesce.
Rodriguez aligns grace, subtlety and warmth on the classic "Spring Is Here," where circular lower register chord voicings offer a glowing contrast to his upper register re-phrasings of the main melody. His improvisational panache is a study in alternating dynamics, often accentuated by his gentle touch and shifting pulses. And Rodriguez's "Ostinato On 'A'" is an entrancing and meticulously designed piece featuring a radiant chord-based ostinato and a memorable primary theme.
He ups the tempo while throttling from highs and lows with his ascending chord clusters on "August 1st." Here, the artist conveys a multicolored panorama, which pronounces a mindset that every note is critical to the song's success. Not that Rodriguez aims his sights from a purely technical level. On the contrary, he possesses the desire and insight to mold his craft from numerous trajectories and thought-processes to complement his enviable chops. A beguiling endeavor it is.
Track Listing: To Frederico; Waltz For Debby; Trials; Spring Is Here; All The Things You Are; Ostinato on 'A'; 'Round Midnight; August 1st; No Return.
Personnel: Bob Rodriguez: piano.
Record Label: Art of Life Records
Style: Modern Jazz