Mike DiRubbo: Repercussion (2009)
Seven originals among nine songs usually means the music will be fresh. Originality and improvisation are key ingredients to saxophonist Mike DiRubbo's Repercussion.
After playing clarinet in his early years, DiRubbo, a native of New Haven, Connecticut, switched to alto saxophone and later studied under Jackie McLean. His associations include Eric Alexander, Jim Rotondi and Michael Weiss. On Repercussion, he is supported by vibraphonist Steve Nelson, drummer Tony Reedus and bassist Dwayne Burno.
The title song is an upbeat piece where Nelson's vibes function as a rhythm guitar. Burno's bass line helps carry the piece, likewise with Reedus' crisp work on the drums and cymbals. After DiRubbo's lead, Nelson solos.
"Lunar" injects more energy. The quartet is sharp, with all players showing their chops, whether in lead or background. The alto is out front early, followed by Nelson. After DiRubbo's brief lead, he and Nelson engage in an extended dialogue, setting up the song's conclusion.
"Nightfall" is a more easygoing selection with Nelson, Reedus and Burno setting down a walk-in-the-park pace while DiRubbo leads. As he does throughout, DiRubbo makes it seem effortless, demonstrating several multiple-notes-per-second phrases, including one extended roll. Reedus mixes some rim shots with the cymbals during Nelson's solo.
Though DiRubbo is the bandleader for this set, Nelson is as much of a force. The sax and vibes complement each other well and with Reedus and Burno providing the backdrop, Repercussion scores well.
Track Listing: Repercussion; The Duke; Lunar; Highbridge Lullaby; Nightfall; Déjà
Personnel: Mike DiRubbo: alto saxophone; Steve Nelson: vibraphone; Tony Reedus: drums; Dwayne Burno: bass.