Home » Jazz Articles » Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Skyline


Album Review

Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Skyline


Sign in to view read count
Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Skyline
Substantial yet serene, sophisticated yet soothing, Skyline oozes with the earthiness of New York City. Here, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba merged their broad skills into an assemblage of erudite conversations, each package wrapped with beauty and delicate care. Of the many common threads heard in this collection, none could be more precious than time. Yes, of course, the trio had a wealth of rich pockets, but the reference is made to time of another nature. They were in no rush. They let the music develop at its own pace. Good things come to those who wait. In the case of Skyline, that would be great things.

Befitting a long overdue reunion, the trio chose to play with old friends. Familiar tunes were reimagined and reenergized with the clearly abundant joy of playing together. A snareless DeJohnette created the necessary Afro-Cuban bolero feel for the timeless standard "Lagrimas Negras." Rubalcaba crescendoed softly and again vigorously, while Carter deftly raised the conversational bar. Carter then reached into his hip-pocket for "Gypsy." A tune first recorded some forty years ago with Chick Corea and DeJohnette, had a luster to it, a shiny new coat. Carter's walking bass allowed Rubalcaba to freely move about. Articulating every note, Rubalcaba again took his time, and explored the boundaries of Carter's stellar composition. It was time for DeJohnette to look into his treasure trove. Out came "Silver Hollow." Well sequenced, Rubalcaba was now able to move deeply in turnabout. The mesmerizing tune heightened his emotional scale, eliciting a heartfelt dive, anchored by Carter's steady, sturdy core. Years before, Rubalcaba wrote a piece dedicated to Carter. There was an entirely different vibe this time around with Carter actually playing on "Promenade." The circumstances and the depth of composition coupled to keep the sentiment and warmth of the recording session intact.

After a return to the Afro-Cuban sound of "Novia Mia," the trio transitioned to "A Quiet Place." This vintage Carter work of art was given a makeover. Its appeal, however, was mostly steeped in the grace of connectivity. The trio had reached a zenith of collective happiness and ease of conversation. In 1984, DeJohnette had honored Ahmad Jamal in song with his composition, "Ahmad the Terrible." Rubalcaba had both the pleasure and the challenge of adding his own voice, while capturing a screen shot of Jamal. With DeJohnette's groovy patterns and flair to play off, Rubalcaba moved brightly and boldly, succeeding on both counts. While Carter, forever the centerpiece, the rock, the engaging conversationalist, propelled the vocabulary. After the recording session was finished, or so they thought, the trio stayed in the studio and continued to play. They weren't recording anymore, just having fun noodling around together. Well, perhaps accidentally on purpose, it was still recording. It turned out to be the final track. "RonJackRuba" is the epitome of improvisation. Completely off the cuff, just messing with some grooves. It resulted in a cool fly-on-the-wall moment to be shared by all.

Skyline is a breath of fresh air, the very definition of jazz. Three cool cats chilling out and digging on each other. Skyline is a Grammy-worthy project.

Track Listing

Lágrimas Negras; Gypsy; Silver Hollow; Promenade; Novia Mia; A Quiet Place; Ahmad the Terrible; Siempre Maria; RonJackRuba.


Gonzalo Rubalcaba: piano; Ron Carter: bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums.

Album information

Title: Skyline | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: 5Passion

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Ngo Ma
The Gennett Suite
Buselli / Wallarab Jazz Orchestra
The Stage Door Still Swings (And Movies Too)
The Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.