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...

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

Related Articles

Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island" CD/LP/Track Review Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 18, 2018
Read "Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album" CD/LP/Track Review Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "Higher" CD/LP/Track Review Higher
by Jim Trageser
Published: August 16, 2018
Read "Mandala" CD/LP/Track Review Mandala
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Cull the Heard" CD/LP/Track Review Cull the Heard
by Samuel Stroup
Published: September 4, 2018
Read "Volume 5" CD/LP/Track Review Volume 5
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2017