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Mike DiRubbo: Repercussion (2009)

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Mike DiRubbo: Repercussion How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The immediate appeal of alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo's Repercussion is the replacement of the piano by the vibraphone as the rhythm section's harmony instrument. Guitar-based and piano-less rhythm sections have made their way into the mainstream, leaving the vibraphone-based rhythm section still a novelty.

DiRubbo is certainly not the first to employ such a format. Trombonist Grachan Moncur III

Grachan Moncur III
Grachan Moncur III
b.1937
trombone
's Evolution (Blue Note, 1963) had Bobby Hutcherson
Bobby Hutcherson
Bobby Hutcherson
b.1941
vibraphone
on vibes with no piano and saxophonist Wayne Escoffery
Wayne Escoffery
Wayne Escoffery
b.1975
sax, tenor
's Veneration: Live at Smoke (Savant Records, 2007) used Joe Locke
Joe Locke
Joe Locke
b.1959
vibraphone
to splendid effect. Drummer Ralph Peterson
Ralph Peterson
Ralph Peterson
b.1962
drums
's Fo'Tet Augmented (Criss Cross, 2004) pits clarinetist Don Byron
Don Byron
Don Byron
b.1958
clarinet
against vibraphonist Bryan Carrott
Bryan Carrott
Bryan Carrott
b.1959
vibraphone
.

The vibraphone provides more wide open space when used in place of a piano, charging the remaining instruments the responsibility of carrying additional creative water. In this way it is perfect as a harmony instrument or for soloing.

But enough about vibes, they are not leading the date. DiRubbo is an alto saxophonist and a darn good one at that. A student of the late Jackie McLean

Jackie McLean
Jackie McLean
1932 - 2006
sax, alto
, his tone is full-choked like Dexter Gordon
Dexter Gordon
Dexter Gordon
1923 - 1990
sax, tenor
and King Curtis
King Curtis
King Curtis
1934 - 1971
saxophone
's tenor saxophones.

DiRubbo illustrates these characteristics on the opening original minor blues, "Repercussion." Nelson lays down a skeleton riff that this picked up by bassist Dwayne Burno

Dwayne Burno
Dwayne Burno
1970 - 2013
bass
and drummer Tony Reedus
Tony Reedus
1959 - 2008
drums
(who passed away shortly after this recording). Nelson's tone is sharp and close, like that of a marimba, and DiRubbo soars in an understated way through his serpentine head and solo.

Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
1920 - 2012
piano
's "The Duke" is one of the two standards on the disc. It is presented coolly, not veering far from the song that enchanted Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' Miles Ahead (Columbia, 1957) sessions. DiRubbo keeps his groove going through the remainder of the disc, providing a fully satisfying jazz offering.

Track Listing: Repercussion; The Duke; Lunar; Highbridge Lullaby; Nightfall; Deja Vu; Too Late Now; Nelsonian; Pisces Rising.

Personnel: Mike DiRubbo: alto saxophone; Steve Nelson: vibraphone; Dwayne Burno: bass; Tony Reedus: drums.

Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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