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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.
Personnel: David Virelles: piano, pump organ, Wurlitzer organ; Ben Street: acoustic bass; Andrew Cyrille: drums, cowbells, gongs, maracas, hoe, miscellaneous percussion.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.