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Album Review

Pablo Ablanedo: Christreza


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Pablo Ablanedo: Christreza
This LP clocks in at around 38-minutes and is a bit of a tease since it progresses rather quickly and may leave many listeners wanting more. Here, Argentine-reared pianist/composer/educator Pablo Ablanedo's compositional gifts often take on cinematic film scoring intonations and developments, executed with jazz luminaries who the artist met while attending the Berklee College of Music in 1999.

Owing to his heritage, the leader infuses subtle Latin jazz foreground grooves into several movements, whereas the opener "La Senal" features moody horns, a Mideastern tinge, a heartening theme and an inward-looking melody line. However, drummer Franco Pinna delicately propels the band with metronome-like accents and the frontline's punchy choruses. But the following track "Karmavaleandro" offers a little big band arrangement solidified by Fernando Huego's profound electric bass lines with strong soloing by the saxophonists amid lots of counterpoint. Moreover, trumpeter Diego Urcola's ballsy and triumphant solo spot atop a medium-paced Latin vibe is harmoniously contrasted by Ablanedo's simple ostinato.

The leader's compositions are generated by textural layers and afford the soloists ample time to explore, enlarge and tighten the focus. Ablanedo is also a traffic director. Yet "Bipolarious" is anchored by the bassist's booming notes via an understated Latin beat and a modernistic arrangement that whizzes by, paralleling the hornists' linearly performed unison lines, abated by Ben Monder's lower register and dark-toned phrasings, leading to the ensemble's intense breakouts. Ultimately, it's a highly crafted showcase by an artist who substantiates his creative perspectives with compelling pieces that integrate a harmonious integration of structure and improvisation.

"Each year Newvelle records and releases six records exclusively on vinyl and with curated artwork and literature. The Newvelle model treats musicians right and uses the full available canvas of vinyl to make a unique and beautiful box set."

Track Listing

La Senal; Karmavaleando; Plaisantriste; Christreza; Ti Mi Do; Biploarious; Winter Variations.


Pablo Ablanedo: piano; Ben Monder: guitar; Chris Cheek: saxophone; Jenny Scheinman: violin; Anat Cohen: clarinet; Diego Urcola: trumpet; Jerome Sabbagh: saxophone, tenor; Fernando Huergo: bass; Franco Pinna: percussion; Daniel Ian Smith: saxophone.

Additional Instrumentation

Chris Cheek: soprano saxophone; Jerome Sabbagh: soprano saxophone; Daniel Ian Smith: additional instrumentation.

Album information

Title: Christreza | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Newvelle Records

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