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...

11

Fabian Almazan: Rhizome

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "The Elders"

Pianist Fabian Almazan may have initially been recognized for his prodigious skills as a member of Terence Blanchard's ensemble but his debut Personalities(Biophilia Records, 2011) unveiled not only the depth he possesses as a musician but also something Blanchard realized in many of his own recordings—Almazan's forte as a composer. This should not come as a surprise since the young New York based rising star is involved not only in jazz but also filming scoring projects which included a Sundance Composers' Lab 2011 fellowship.

His sophomore release, Rhizome follows in the same intellectually stimulating vibe of its predecessor unveiling a fresh concept of jazz and chamber music with Cuban influences. Almazan's compositions are cerebral yet emotionally centered, incorporating his jazz trio (bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Henry Cole with string quartet and vocals. Yet one of the most stimulating selections is the cover of Wayne Shorter's "The Elders" from Weather Report's beloved yet infamous 1978 album Mr. Gone (Columbia) which at the time received an incredulous "one star" review by Down Beat.

There are insights into both Shorter's compositional brilliance and Almazan's astute arranging which captures the original's ethereal mood while giving it new life. In place of Jaco Pastorius' percussive bass slaps, handclaps are used to create the rhythmic dance-like procession as the strings and piano trade the haunting melody. The piece is sprinkled with intricate electronic colors—synths, bells, and other noises as the progression moves towards a stormy crescendo. Is this neoclassical electronic jazz or simply a fresh versioning of misunderstood music from a 1970s and 80s jazz super group? It makes no difference on this fascinating ride. Kudos to Fabian Almazan.

Track Listing:

Personnel: Fabian Almazan: piano, electronics, handclaps; Linda Oh: bass; Henry Cole: drums; Camila Meza: vocals; Sara Caswell: violin; Tomoko Omura: violin; Karen Waltuch: viola; Noah Hoffeld: cello.

Title: Rhizome | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Artist Share

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Interviews
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Alcanza

Alcanza

Biophilia Records
2017

buy
Rhizome

Rhizome

Artist Share
2014

buy
Personalities

Personalities

Biophilia Records
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "when the shade is stretched" CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "The Hands" CD/LP/Track Review The Hands
by John Eyles
Published: February 12, 2018
Read "Transition" CD/LP/Track Review Transition
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 30, 2018
Read "Cosmic Language" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Language
by Chris May
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Never Stop II" CD/LP/Track Review Never Stop II
by Samuel Stroup
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "Automatic For The People - 25th Anniversary Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Automatic For The People - 25th Anniversary Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: November 12, 2017