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 Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works" CD/LP/Track Review Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Vocturnal" CD/LP/Track Review Vocturnal
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "The Stone House" CD/LP/Track Review The Stone House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Four Plus Three" CD/LP/Track Review Four Plus Three
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "Penumbra" CD/LP/Track Review Penumbra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 10, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!