New York based multi-instrumentalist Enrique Haneine dazzled the music world with superb pianism on the 2005 collaborative release At the End of the Day (Foxhaven, 2005). Ten years later, he leads his sextet on the gripping and spirited Instants Of Time this time from the drummer seat.
Haneine is a native of Mexico of Lebanese ancestry so he peppers his intricately designed compositions with a vibrant Latin groove and Levantine lyricism. Some pieces lean in one direction or another, most, however, are a deft blend of his many heritages.
The cinematic "Let The Cedar Tell The Story" has a definite Middle Eastern folk motif at its core. Haneine propels the tune forward with his commanding drumming, embellished with chiming, tambourine beats. Saxophonist Catherine Sikora blends east and west in an expressive and pastoral soprano improvisation as the band performs an exuberant chorus laced with melancholy.
Sikora opens the sensual "Esperanza," the most distinctly Spanish song on the disc, with her unaccompanied, thick and wistful tenor lines. Vocalist Lori Cotler steals the spotlight with her delightfully haunting wordless singing that undulates over trumpeter Lex Samu's clear burnished tones.
Samu's warm, languid phrases meander between Sikora's poetic tenor solo and trombonist Michael Rörby's pensive growl on the mystical "By Choice." The amalgam of rolling Afro Cuban flavored rhythms and lilting, Arabesque harmonies brings forth an Andalusian style romanticism to the richly textured music.
Rörby's expressive horn opens the simultaneously intimate and tense "The Tear And Smile Of An Angel." Over Haneine's percolating thuds and thrums the frontline blows a serpentine and soulful melody. Bassist Carlo De Rosa thrills with his virtuosity as he handles his instrument with breathtaking agility and vibrant spontaneity. His and Haneine's sharper, more angular refrains complement perfectly the horns' fluid interwoven vamps giving the track its dramatic edge.
Intriguingly inventive Haneine's first release under his own name showcases his many talents and skills. His evocative, richly colored works are sublimely balanced to allow for individual extemporizations without sacrificing their thematic essence. His brilliant percussion rivals his elegant and superlative piano playing heard on earlier albums and his leadership underscores synergistic individualism of his side musicians. Hopefully it won't be another 10 years before Haneine records again.
Bordeaux; Angularity Within; If You Know What I Mean; Houston; Esperanza;
Slippery When Dry; Inside the Journey; Color and Space; By Choice; The East Side
of Lloyd; The Tear and Smile of an Angel; Let the Cedar Tell the Story; Who’s
Lori Cotler -voice (1,5 & 7); Lex Samu: trumpet; Catherine Sikora:tenor and
soprano saxophones; Michael Rorby: trombone; Carlo de Rosa: acoustic bass;
Enrique Haneine: drums, cymbals, Udu drum & tambourine.
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