Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
243

Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Supernova

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count Views
Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Supernova Cuban Pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba burst onto the American jazz scene in the early 1990s with his over-caffeinated piano gymnastics. To be fair to the young performer, he had musical talent beyond his years, and with the State Departments restrictions on his appearances in the US he would squeeze an entire tour into one night’s concert. Since being allowed to move to the U.S. his music has relaxed, allowing him to develop at a somewhat sane pace.

He recorded Flying Colors, a session of duets with saxophonist Joe Lovano in 1997, a synthesizer and keyboards album Antiqua ala Chick Corea, and most recently Nocturne (Verve), a romantic slow-dance session of Cuban and Mexican tunes with Charlie Haden. Rubalcaba has branched out from his pyrotechnic-laden beginning as if in defiance of his critics to prove that he has soul.

Supernove proves the pianist has plenty of heart rooted in a traditional Cuban music past and a head pointed into a diverse North American future. This recording starts at the Buena Vista Social Club, performing music of his paternal grandfather Jacobo Rubalcaba. “El Cadete Constituitional” (or The Constituitional Cadet) opens as a throwback to early Cuban jazz, only to march to an ending with a very modern synthesizer solo. Rubalcaba’s roots run deep, and he displays them with much pride here. He applies the Mexican standard “Alma Mia” with an honest melancholy lyricism, and takes back the promise of bebop on “LaVoz Del Centro.” He hasn’t lost his desire for furious runs as he ignites on the aptly titled “The Hard One,” with bit of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” sampled for flavor. The title track parts one and two, performed by a very tight trio, sum up his musical stance this new millenium. He utilizes styles from his native land to Africa and Europe in a jazz tradition of varying rhythms and time into a wow-factored trio interplay. The record closes with the environmental piece “Oren” (or Pray) a drums heavy piano/synthesizer piece with a nod to the future.


Track Listing: Supernova 1; El Cadete Constitucional; Alma Mia; LaVoz Del Centro; El Manicero; Supernova 2; Otra Mirada; The Hard One; Oren.

Personnel: Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Latin/World


CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
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
Avatar
Avatar
Blue Note Records
2008
buy
Solo
Solo
Blue Note Records
2006
buy

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.