176

Dafnis Prieto: Absolute Quintet

By

Sign in to view read count
Dafnis Prieto: Absolute Quintet Dafnis Prieto's latest release on the upstart Zoho label is The Absolute Quintet, a startlingly eclectic and occasionally maddening album. He creates strange shapes and shifting moods, which are handled adroitly by his bandmates in a unique bass-less setup. Violin and cello scrape against sax and organ, with Prieto's all-over drumming attempting to forge some unity. Prieto traces his influences back from Cuban culture to European chamber music and African percussion, and he seems to have assimilated them whole. These are no mere regurgitations, but freewheeling mash-ups that create entirely new species.

"The Coolest" is one such strange bird. Influenced by vocalist/rapper Carl Walker of the hip-hop group Opus Akoben and feeling like a tango performed by Weather Report, it's unclassifiable. The leisurely piano melody, buffeted by rumbling organ chords, stops time for a rapid-fire vocal solo. Then it swings back to its unassuming business, replete with tasty drum fills, feedback-soaked solos and a cowbell-tinged close. The key is its unselfconsciousness and the ease in which it jerry-rigs conflicting styles. Prieto makes it seem natural.

Not that he can't do normal. The gorgeous ballad "Afrotango" is anchored by the mellifluous blowing of Henry Threadgill (with whom Prieto worked on two Pi releases in 2001), who is backed up beautifully in a pizzicato chorus by Christian Howes and Dana Leong on violin and cello, respectively. Jason Lindner adds a mountainous solo of his own, peaking in reverberating swirls.

The centerpiece, though, is the conceptual "One Day Suite," a meditative three-part piece which reflects the shifting moods of a single 24-hour period. It's a monumentally understated performance, beautifully modulating in tone from the twinkling optimism of "Morning" to the resigned serenity of "Night.


Track Listing: The Coolest; Sensaciones; The Stutterer; Afrotango; One Day Suite: Morning; One Day Suite: Afternoon; One Day Suite: Night; New Elephant; Renew the Elephant; Innocent Bird

Personnel: Dafnis Prieto: drums; Jason Lindner: hammond organ & keyboards; Yosvany Terry: saxophone; Christian Howes: violin; Dana Leong: cello; Henry Threadgill: saxophone (4).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Zoho Music | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Prairie Burn" CD/LP/Track Review Prairie Burn
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Twin Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Twin Talk
by Mark F. Turner
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Old Locks And Irregular Verbs" CD/LP/Track Review Old Locks And Irregular Verbs
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 7, 2016
Read "Music Box Music" CD/LP/Track Review Music Box Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!