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...

162

Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Solo

By

Sign in to view read count
In recent recordings, Gonzalo Rubalcaba has reined in his considerable chops to pursue a more introspective direction, and Solo is a natural step in this direction. As the title hints, the recording finds Rubalcaba alone at his piano, ruminating. In this setting the pianist is more introspective than ever, frequently using silence as his means of expression. The only problem is, it doesn't necessarily work.

Rubalcaba has always worn his Afro-Cuban influences on his sleeves. This album is no different, with overt references in the song titles as well as in his playing. He plays a mixture of almost equal parts originals, improvisations, and pieces by others which fit into the overall theme of the album. And the mood often shifts, going from loud to soft, light to dark at the drop of a hat.

But ultimately, this album fails because of its lack of entertainment value. There just isn't enough here to merit multiple listens. "Rezo starts the disc off on a bright note, creating more of an atmosphere than a song. "Quasar continues on the right path with a realization befitting its title. But while Rubalcaba may be making a strong statement here, it falls on deaf ears due to its simple lack of a sound big enough to draw any attention to it.

That is not to say that his playing is bad. Rubalcaba is in fine form. Great solo pianists, however, are able to play intelligent music while also catering to the masses and drawing people into what they are saying. Playing solo (on any instrument) is always an extremely difficult task to accomplish that's only meant for the most creative of artists. For now, Rubalcaba should develop his ideas in more conventional settings. He still has time to become a great solo artist, and this writer has every confidence that he will.

Track Listing: Rezo (Praise Be!); Quasar; Silencio (Silence); Improv #1; Canci

Personnel: Gonzalo Rubalcaba: piano.

Title: Solo | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Playing Lecuona

Playing Lecuona

Sony Music
2016

buy
Volcan

Volcan

5Passion
2013

buy
XXI Century

XXI Century

5Passion
2012

buy
Fe...Faith

Fe...Faith

5Passion
2011

buy
Fe' ... Faith

Fe' ... Faith

5Passion
2011

buy
Avatar

Avatar

Blue Note Records
2008

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
May2Thu
Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Auditorium Parco Della Musica
Roma, Italy

Related Articles

Read Our Story Album Reviews
Our Story
By Troy Dostert
March 25, 2019
Read Influences Album Reviews
Influences
By Don Phipps
March 25, 2019
Read The Transitory Poems Album Reviews
The Transitory Poems
By Mark Corroto
March 25, 2019
Read Birckhead Album Reviews
Birckhead
By Mike Jurkovic
March 25, 2019
Read Live At Moods Album Reviews
Live At Moods
By Chris M. Slawecki
March 25, 2019
Read Live at Frankie's Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at Frankie's Jazz Club
By Jack Bowers
March 24, 2019
Read Asperger Album Reviews
Asperger
By Don Phipps
March 24, 2019