Executed and stylized within the heart of Tango, Pablo Ablanedo's octet features distinguished jazz trumpeter Phil Grenadier and other prominent Boston-based musicians. The Argentinean composer/pianist incisive arrangements, charted with layered horns and contrapuntal theme-building exercises are contoured by breezy choruses, buoyant jazz improv and the inherent festivities often resident within the Latin jazz element. Ablanedo's compositions contain a broad dynamic scope in concert with the percussionist's driving cadences and multi-hued shadings; rays of sunshine intersect these alluring works.
Ablanedo's colorful compositions present variances and shifts in momentum via capacious balladry; on "Antiphona," Grenadier adds a regal perspective atop drummer Franco Pinna's rolling toms patterns and cymbal hits that pace the tempo. Ablanedo sprinkles his notes like raindrops, outlining a pastoral backdrop.
One of the more popular The Beatles cover tunes in jazz, "Norwegian Wood" is given a sleek, yet understated makeover, with calming horns stating the primary theme. But the jazz element appears in full force due to Fernando Brandao's soft flute passages, aligned with Fernando Huergo's deep bass lines and the frothy percussion grooves. As tenor saxophonist Kelly Roberge raises the pitch, leading to the refrain of the memorable hook.
Grenadier launches a high-flying attack on the album closing "Las Buenas Nuevas," accentuated with textural sonic attributes and nimble percussion patterns. Ablanedo frames the developments with dainty block chords that conjure notions of a calm seascape, reinforcing that the bulk of the program tenders lucid imagery and prismatic hues. He combines the best of several musical domains, compromising technical excellence and shifty arrangements, dappled with harmonically inviting choruses.
Track Listing: Mirando al Cielo; Silence; Departido; Antiphona; ReContraDoble; Como Te Quiero; Norwegian Wood; Almita (vocal); Almita; La Vaga; Las Buenas Nuevas.
Personnel: Fernando Brandao: flute, alto flute, bass flute; Phil Grenadier: trumpet; Daniel Ian Smith: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone and laughs; Kelly Roberge: tenor saxophone and clarinet; Eric Hofbauer: guitar; Pablo Ablanedo: piano and composition; Fernando Huergo: bass; Franco Pinna: drums; Bertram Lehmann: percussion; Greg Hopkins: trumpet (1,2,4,5, 7); Katie Viqueira: voice (8).