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ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike DiRubbo: Threshold

Read "Threshold" reviewed by Edward Blanco

New York-based alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo is one of the most recognizable and formidable forces in the jazz world today. A former student of the late great jazz icon Jackie McLean and a fixture in the Big Apple's vibrant jazz scene, DiRubbo is no novice. He has a substantial discography, and experience performing with some of the best players in the world. The adventurous Threshold is the artist's eighth album as leader where--with the exception of Charlie Parker's Bebop classic ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike DiRubbo: Threshold

Read "Threshold" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Mike DiRubbo's eight disc as a leader, Threshold finds the ever inventive alto saxophonist in a solidly hard bop environment that is reminiscent of Blue Note records of the 1950s but has a clear modern edge. In addition to leading a superb and sympathetic quintet, DiRubbo penned eight of the nine tracks on this riveting record with a momentum that never slacks from the first note to the last.DiRubbo's acerbic, passionate tone marks his tight and intelligent improvisations ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Mike DiRubbo

Read "Take Five With Mike DiRubbo" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Mike DiRubbo:Born on July 25, 1970 in New Haven, Connecticut, Mike DiRubbo began his musical life as a junior high school clarinetist, and switched to alto saxophone at 12. A primarily self-taught saxophonist, he developed into a talented instrumentalist drawn inexorably to the notion of improvising. At a high school band concert, Mike had the opportunity to perform with the Dwike Mitchell--Willie Ruff duo, an experience that would add to his desire to be a professional musician ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike DiRubbo: Chronos

Read "Chronos" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Piano has always been part of the package on saxophonist Mike DiRubbo's albums. Still, when DiRubbo made his Posi-Tone debut with Repercussion in 2009, he left the piano behind, relying instead on some harmonic underpinnings from vibraphonist Steve Nelson. Now, on his follow-up disc for the label, he moves into different piano-less territory with his first organ trio record. DiRubbo digs in on these nine original tracks, which shy away from organ group stereotypes. DiRubbo penned two-thirds ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike DiRubbo: Repercussion

Read "Repercussion" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Over the past several years Mike DiRubbo has made engaging discs for the Criss Cross and Cellar Live labels. On Keep Steppin' (2001), Human Spirit (2003), and New York Accent (2006), the young alto and soprano saxophonist distinguished himself in bands comprised of some of the cream of New York City's straight-ahead players--Jim Rotondi, Joe Farnsworth, Mike LeDonne, and Peter Washington. One of DiRubbo's strengths during two of these sides is navigating the strong, expressive accompaniment of pianists David Hazeltine ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike DiRubbo: Repercussion

Read "Repercussion" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The immediate appeal of alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo's Repercussion is the replacement of the piano by the vibraphone as the rhythm section's harmony instrument. Guitar-based and piano-less rhythm sections have made their way into the mainstream, leaving the vibraphone-based rhythm section still a novelty.

DiRubbo is certainly not the first to employ such a format. Trombonist Grachan Moncur III's Evolution (Blue Note, 1963) had Bobby Hutcherson on vibes with no piano and saxophonist Wayne Escoffery's Veneration: Live at Smoke (Savant ...

INTERVIEWS

Mike DiRubbo: The First Priority? Recording This Band

Read "Mike DiRubbo: The First Priority? Recording This Band" reviewed by Scott Douglas

For New York Accent: Live at the Kitano (Cellar Live, 2007), his fourth record as leader, alto saxophonist DiRubbo chose to forego the studio for the room at Manhattan's Kitano Hotel. DiRubbo picked the setting in part because, with paid studio dates becoming increasingly rare for independent jazz musicians, he realized he needed to take the reins of getting his next record out. So he assembled a killer band--piano legend Harold Mabern, long-time bassist-of-choice Dwayne Burno and ...


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