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Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Inner Voyage

C. Michael Bailey By

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Incandesence at Absolute Zero. Cuban Pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba exploded onto the American Music Scene with his first Blue Note release Discovery: Live at Montreux (95478, 1990). The recording details Rubalcaba in an empathetic trio setting with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. The resulting music was a molten virtuosity quickening all in its aural path. Nine years later finds Rubalcaba still with Blue Note releasing a set of performances that, while laid-back, are still potently luminescent.

Maturity. The playing and composition here is mostly of a light and airy hew. The disc opens with two lightly kissed Latin ballads before erupting with a Post Bop Fury on "The Hard One", propelled by Michael Brecker's influential Tenor who returns on the convoluted blues, "Blues Lundvall". The disc high point is a very Latin Cool "Caravan". Rubalcaba turns Edward Kennedy the same way he did John Birks on Diz (dig that nosebleed swing on the bridge!). Inner Voyage finds Rubalcaba with the satisfying accomplishment of this fine recording.


Title: Inner Voyage | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Blue Note


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