All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

Aruan Ortiz Trio with Eric Revis and Gerald Cleaver: Hidden Voices

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Cuban born pianist and composer Aruán Ortiz is just now starting to broaden his long-overdue recognition after two decades as a leader or collaborator. More than ten years prior to his new trio release, Hidden Voices, he had drawn favorable comparisons to Chick Corea and Ornette Coleman with Aruán Ortiz Trio Vol. 1 (Pimienta Records, 2004). That outing featured an entirely different group but clearly set the groundwork for Ortiz' unique approach to creating and executing forward-looking music.

Hidden Voices is Ortiz' ninth outing as a leader or co-leader including the brilliant Textures and Pulsations (Self-Produced, 2012) with fellow pianist and author Bob Gluck. Ortiz has had an active presence as a side man as well, appearing on more than twenty recordings including those of trumpeters Steve Turre, Wallace Roney and bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding.

Manning the bass chair is Grammy winning composer Eric Revis who has worked with a wildly diverse array of musicians including Betty Carter, Peter Brotzmann and Steve Coleman in addition to leading a trio with pianist Orrin Evans and Nasheet Waits. Prolific and in high-demand, the drummer Gerald Cleaver came into his own with the 2008 Farmers by Nature (AUM Fidelity) with Craig Taborn and Wiliam Parker.

With the recent releases of a number of Cuban albums that have coincided with the easing of Cuban-US relations, fans of what Jelly Roll Morton referred to as the "Latin tinge" have had much to celebrate. However, Ortiz is not riding the wave of reinvented habanera, tango or danzón dance music. From the opening "Fractal Sketches" it is clear that Ortiz is only brushing against Cuban convention, opting instead for an avant-garde approach, lunging arpeggios and angular phrasing.

Neither does Ortiz abandon tradition, as heard on "Caribbean Vortex/Hidden Voices" where he introduces two well-known Cuban percussionists, Arturo Stable and Enildo Rasua, playing claves and adding a familiar rhythmic quality. True to the tune's name, it seems to have the power to pull one into a mesmerizing swirl of sounds, bookended by the resonating percussion. "Skippy," a frenetic piece at times, is anchored by a fine solo from Revis countering Ortiz raining down torrents of notes. "Analytical Symmetry"—despite the austere title—works around open phrases, patiently building like a visceral force.

Whatever Cuban influences that find their way into Ortiz' music, his intention seems directed toward creating enough disorientation to avoid locking his compositions into any one category. With Cleaver and Revis we hear a masterful balance between melody, tension and free jazz. Whether in the absence of tonal centers or in following more rigid guidelines, Ortiz and company play with a pliability and enthusiasm that is completely contagious. Hidden Voices would be ground-breaking in any musical context but as we look to the Cuban influence on the future of music, it serves to remind that true innovators will emerge from the opening of these expanding markets as well.

Track Listing: Fractal Sketches; Open & Close/The Sphinx; Caribbean Vortex/Hidden Voices; Analytical Symmetry; Arabesques of a Geometrical Rose (Spring); Arabesques of a Geometrical Rose (Summer); 17 Moments of Liam's Moments; Joyful Noises; Skippy; Uno, Dos y Tres Que Paso Mas Chevere.

Personnel: Aruan Oritz: piano; Eric Revis: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Title: Hidden Voices | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Intakt Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Open & Close/The Sphinx

Open & Close/The Sphinx

Aruán Ortiz
Hidden Voices

Koko

Koko

Aruán Ortiz
Orbiting

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Live in Zürich

Live in Zürich

Intakt Records
2018

buy
Cub(an)ism

Cub(an)ism

Intakt Records
2017

buy
Cuban Nocturne

Cuban Nocturne

Newvelle Records
2017

buy
Hidden Voices

Hidden Voices

Intakt Records
2016

buy
Orbiting

Orbiting

Fresh Sound New Talent
2013

buy
Orbiting

Orbiting

Fresh Sound New Talent
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read No One Is Alone CD/LP/Track Review
No One Is Alone
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read The Literature CD/LP/Track Review
The Literature
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Between the Silence CD/LP/Track Review
Between the Silence
by John Kelman
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Flying CD/LP/Track Review
Flying
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 19, 2018
Read "I Am" CD/LP/Track Review I Am
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Shadow Work" CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Viata" CD/LP/Track Review Viata
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "Seraphic Light [Live At Tufts University]" CD/LP/Track Review Seraphic Light [Live At Tufts University]
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 5, 2018
Read "Retro Report" CD/LP/Track Review Retro Report
by Kevin Press
Published: May 10, 2018
Read "Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor" CD/LP/Track Review Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor
by Chris May
Published: March 28, 2018