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David Virelles: Continuum

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "The Executioner"

The Afro-Cuban connection is slightly transformed on nascent pianist David Virelles' inspirational trio set, featuring modern jazz luminaries, bassist Ben Street and drummer Andrew Cyrille. With his second solo outing and first for PI Recordings, the pianist has quickly surged to the forefront since migrating from Cuba to Canada, supporting distinguished saxophonist Jane Bunnett and receiving the first-ever Oscar Peterson Award.

On "The Executioner," Virelles commingles traditional Latin jazz values with futuristic ideologies and benefits from Cuban folklorist, percussionist Roman Diaz's prophetic recitations amid a series of highs, lows, and topsy-turvy passages. Using space as a fourth instrument where the musicians spawn a medium-tempo movement, leading to Cyrille's poetic solo, they subsequently propagate an open-ended musical vista. However, Virelles' supply executed and quietly melodic chord clusters segue to Diaz's forceful spoken word spot towards the finale. The pianist ups the ante with thick block chords and serves as the recipient of Diaz' articulations during a brief, yet conversational opus. The trio generates quite a bit of high heat on other tracks, but Virelles also conveys maturity by working within deftly enacted textural elements, while accenting, shadowing and stirring the plot along the way.

Track Listing: El Brujo and the Pyramid; The Executioner; Spectral; Unseen Mother; Royalty; Our Birthright; Short Story for Piano; A Celebration, Circa 1836; Threefold; Mañongo Pabio; To Know.

Personnel: David Virelles: piano, harmonium, pump organ, Wurlitzer organ; Ben Street: acoustic bass; Andrew Cyrille: drums and percussion; Roman Diaz: vocals and percussion; Roman Filiu: alto, tenor saxophones (7); Mark Turner: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet (7); Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet (7).

Title: Continuum | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Pi Recordings

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