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The Carlos Abadie Quintet: Immersed in the Quest, Vol. 1

Jerry D'Souza By

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It would be a misnomer to call the Carlos Abadie Quintet a new band; after all, the group has been around for a decade. But it is one of those anomalies of fate that it is not better known. It should, and the reasons are manifested on Immersed in the Quest, Vol. 1, which carries a couple of originals and several standards to a highly satisfying listening experience. The years have honed quintet's approach, done with a great deal of clarity and vision, filling the music with depth and feeling.

New Jersey-born trumpeter Abadie has been living in New York City for the past 17 years. When not playing with his quintet he has been busy performing with, among others, Bill Dixon, David Murray, Kevin Mahogany and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Apparently, he can contribute to different styles of jazz.

"People on the Hill," which kicks off the CD, sits in well with the neo-hard bop tag Abadie gives his music. His intensity powers the tune, but he slows down to change the dynamics and let the song breathe. It's a thoughtful delineation that turns out to be the precursor for a host of inventive ideas that later take a nice turn in a conversation with drummer Luca Santaniello. Pianist Jon Lefcoski is an effortless player in full flow with an agile right hand that finds comportment in effective chord work.

"Action Jackson," written by tenor saxophonist Joe Sucato, sits in a similar groove. The arrangement ignites a whirlwind exchange between Abadie and Sucato, and the interpolations never flag, as they frame a bagful of ideas with energetic zeal.

The band impresses with its take on standards. Freddie Hubbard's "Hub Nub" serves Abadie's permutations well. He is in his element, creating an energetic atmosphere sustained by Sucato and Lefcoski's compelling piano.

The sublime "La Mesha" reshapes the tapestry bringing to the fore the quintet's strengths on a ballad. Abadie's enunciation is beautiful, a gently flowing string of ideas that give the tune a crystalline presence. Lefcoski is calmly resolute and, with Sucato gearing to the soft beauty, this is a wonderfully warm interpretation.

Abadie calls this Vol. 1 of his quest. Here's looking forward to more.

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