The New York jazz scene is virtually awash these days with sibling pairings of extremely talented young musicians, including the Rodriguez Brothers. Trumpeter Michael and pianist Robert have already earned excellent reputations as highly skilled players for their sideman work; on Conversations, the two prove themselves to be equally capable as composers and co-leaders of their own group, here with Carlos Henriquez and Ricardo Rodriguez splitting bass duties and Antonio Sanchez on drums.
Tenor saxophonist David Sanchez guests on two tracks, but the date is primarily a quartet outing, a somewhat rare configuration for a trumpet-featured group, but one that clearly exhibits the brotherly simpatico and broad harmonic palette they share, giving the unit an impressively large sound that belies its small size. Michael's hard-bopping opener, "Rowdy Rod, displays the influence of Woody Shaw, while Robert's "Guayaquil pays homage to his Latin roots with its Ecuadorian cumbia rhythm. The rest of the date is equally varied. Robert's "Lerida is a beautifully moving jazz waltz sharply contrasted by Michael's incendiary "Rude Awakening, on which Sanchez's burning tenor joins the frontline.
"Spin, composed by Robert, again shows off his sophisticated use of rhythms with its shifting odd meters, while the fugue-like "Intro To Conversations reveals his strong classical background. The title track, by Michael, flows nicely from the prelude and pays tribute to another major influence, trumpeter Tom Harrell. Saxophonist Sanchez rejoins the group for Robert's "Midnight Excursion, a swinging jaunt on top of a Puerto Rican bomba rhythm. The date ends fittingly with an arrangement of the Cuban classic, "El Manicero ("The Peanut Vendor ), on which Michael's muted horn and Robert's spacious chords confirm an original outlook towards the Latin and jazz traditions.
Track Listing: Rowdy Rod; Guayaquil; Lerida; Rude Awakenings; Spin; Intro To Conversations; Conversations; Midnight Excursion; El Manicero (The Peanut Vendor).
Personnel: Robert Rodriguez: piano; Michael Rodriguez: trumpet, flugelhorn; David Sanchez: tenor saxophone (4 & 8); Carlos Henriquez: bass (1, 3, 4, 7 & 8); Ricardo Rodriguez: bass (2, 5, 6 & 9); Antonio Sanchez: drums.
The best show I ever attended was the Zawinul Syndicate at the Blue Note in 1997. Being the youngest kids in the room, the host put us right in front of the band. The afro-beat electric set blew the roof off the building, an unforgettable sound
The best show I ever attended was the Zawinul Syndicate at the Blue Note in 1997. Being the youngest kids in the room, the host put us right in front of the band. The afro-beat electric set blew the roof off the building, an unforgettable sound. After, my girlfriend and I just sauntered up the stairs to the green room to meet the
band. I posed for a picture with Joe, after talking a little bit about boxing and how to stay healthy while the other guys in the band tore through a bucket of fried