115

Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Solo

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Solo The metamorphosis of Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba has taken a gifted player from a fiery caterwauler to a nimble, introspective musician. His early recordings were fueled by youthful enthusiasm and the encouragement of the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Haden and Jack DeJohnette. Like his musical compatriot, the French phenom Jackie Terrasson, he has talent on loan from the jazz gods.

Twenty years later and now in his early forties, Rubalcaba reveals a more introspective side, one he has hinted at on albums like Paseo (Blute Note, 2004); his duo with Joe Lovano, Flying Colors (Blue Note, 1998); and Charlie Haden's Nocturne (Verve, 2001). Like his countryman Bebo Valdes, he blurs the lines between jazz, classical and folk, easily convincing you there need be no distinction.

The disc begins with the spiritual "Rezo, a short prelude of Afro-Cuban chant which he turns into quieting silence. Next he moves into his familiar "Quasar, with a hypnotic repeating left hand and dancing right. The pianist bases four improvisations—"Paseo Illuminado, "Paseo en Media Luz, "Paseo Azul, "Paseo Morado —on John Coltrane's "Giant Steps. The revolutionary form, with its famous changes, forms a loose skeleton for the changing improvisations. Rubalcaba displays not only a fertile mind for rhythm, but also a keen sense of creation.

The disc ends with the snail-paced bolero "Besame Mucho. Comparing this version to his 1991 take on The Blessing, we hear a more complex higher level of communication. Yes, the firebrand youngster has become a master musician.


Track Listing: Rezo (Praise Be!); Quasar; Silencio (Silence); Paseo Illuminado; Cancion Para Dormir En El Sillon (Lullaby); Paseo en Media Luz; Cancion De Cuna Del Nino Negro; Faro (Beacon); Paseo Azul; Sueno De Munecas (Dreram Of The Dolls); Paseo Morado; Prologo; heres That Rainy Day; Nightfall; Besame Mucho.

Personnel: Gonzalo Rubalacaba: piano.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "San José Suite" CD/LP/Track Review San José Suite
by Nigel Campbell
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Second Stream" CD/LP/Track Review Second Stream
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Basement Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Basement Blues
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "I Just Want to Get Paid!" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Want to Get Paid!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 15, 2016
Read "Euro Swing Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Euro Swing Vol. 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!