Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

390

Jose Rodriguez: Moments In Life

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Sometimes fascinating listening experiences can emanate from surprising sources. Such is the example with Moments in Life, an excellent CD from bassist Jose Rodriguez. Here a string quartet plus rhythm section delivers a five-finger handful of wide-ranging, highly enjoyable music with more than a dollop of Latin sauce.

While there is no straight ahead jazz or exotic experimentation either in repertoire or its performance, in Moments in Life Rodriguez has chosen a series of selections from well-known resources that are performed elegantly and beautifully. The playing across all of the selections is filled with passion and a Latin flair. Even the inclusion of "America the Beautiful" is performed with restrained gusto.

Rodriguez, who has performed with some of the best-known groups in jazz and Latin music, is well-known among Latin, jazz, and classical musicians in the New York City area. With Moments in Life he steps out here most admirably as leader.

In addition to the aforementioned "America the Beautiful," Rodriguez presents "Caribbean Fantasy," a mini-suite of diverse rhythm and tonal texture. It includes the Caribbean rhythms and dances with danzon, cha-cha, reggae, and mambo features. The piece flows through these dance types quite smoothly. When performed with this string/rhythm instrumentation, the suite selections take on an added tonal dimension. This is fun music. An outtake of the mambo segment of "Caribbean Fantasy" is offered as its own selection. Caliente con brio—hot, for sure.

The title selection, "Moments in Life" is a beautifully composed and performed piece. It haunts and attracts with its lines. While not clichéd or imitating them in the least, there are very distant overtones here of such beautiful selections as "Stormy Weather" and Thad Jones's "A Child is Born." All moments in life, those minor and major—all beautiful.

Rodriguez, trained as a classical bassist (he also plays electric bass in other formats), sends up a fine solo performance of "Dragonetti Waltz #3" recorded in live performance. Domenico Dragonetti, an Italian classical bassist, blew fire as a bassist in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Rodriguez demonstrates great virtuosity as he scampers across the strings and neck.

The ensemble of strings plays impeccably on this CD. There is a lustiness to the overall sound that is most refreshing and stimulating, enhanced by the excellent recording and production values on this CD. The rhythm section drives along marvelously, led by Rodriguez's exquisite bass playing, but never overburdens the delicacies of the strings. Pianist Matt Kanelos comps and solos ("Caribbean Fantasy/Mambo") with the class that permeates this CD. Manuel Alejandro Carro's percussion pushes and throbs both in the ensemble and solo.

Moments in Life is an excellent CD by outstanding musicians, possessing many fine musical attributes and moments—and it's fun.

Track Listing: America the Beautiful; Caribbean Fantasy; Moments in Life; Caribbean Fantasy/Mambo Outtake; Dragonetti Waltz #3 Live.

Personnel: Victor Costanzi, Roland Satterwhite: violins; Ralph Farris: viola; Jose Rodriguez: double bass; Matt Kanelos: piano; Manuel Alejandro Carro: percussion.

Title: Moments In Life | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Infra" CD/LP/Track Review Infra
by John Eyles
Published: October 7, 2017
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Matt Marshall
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Potsdamer Platz" CD/LP/Track Review Potsdamer Platz
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Peninsular" CD/LP/Track Review Peninsular
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Edit Peptide" CD/LP/Track Review Edit Peptide
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Humanity" CD/LP/Track Review Humanity
by Jim Olin
Published: October 5, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor