2

Mike DiRubbo: Threshold

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Mike DiRubbo: Threshold Mike DiRubbo's eight disc as a leader, Threshold finds the ever inventive alto saxophonist in a solidly hard bop environment that is reminiscent of Blue Note records of the 1950s but has a clear modern edge. In addition to leading a superb and sympathetic quintet, DiRubbo penned eight of the nine tracks on this riveting record with a momentum that never slacks from the first note to the last.

DiRubbo's acerbic, passionate tone marks his tight and intelligent improvisations that seamlessly arise from the intricate and memorable heads of each composition. His embellishments of the melody on the dynamic title piece are simultaneously raw and elegant while his haunting spontaneous lines on the contemplative "Salter Of The Earth" burn with intense poetry. His stimulating ad-lib flourishes add a cinematic mystique to the vivid "1970" while trumpeter Josh Evans' mellow, burnished horn takes an expansive and charismatic solo.

The modal and riveting "Sun Steps" opens with the unaccompanied clarion call of the frontline. As the music evolves DiRubbo and Evans weave elegiac motifs around the core theme. Bassist Ugonna Okegwo's inspired and lyrical string work makes for a satisfying conclusion.

Elsewhere Evans blows a Levantine influenced extemporization on the dark and dramatic "Pace," perhaps the most innovative tune of the album. Pianist Brian Charette's crisp overlapping sonic clusters with the right amount of angular dissonance put a deliciously shadowy spin on the fairy tale ambience.

Drummer Rudy Royston provides both rhythmic support and propels the bands' ensemble play and spirited exchanges. He versatility ranges from the subtle sophisticated brushwork on the undulating "Faith" to the complex and fiery beats on the Latin-esque "Curvas Perigosas." Together with Okegwo he creates taut but still swinging backdrops against which the others' free flowing phrases echo as, for instance, on the simmering and soulful "Where There's A Willis There's A Way."

Threshold is a tad more traditional than DiRubbo's previous releases, especially ones from the preceding five years. It is his and his sidemen's unparalleled musicianship and captivating creativity that makes this, nevertheless, a provocative and enjoyable work

Track Listing: Threshold; Where There's A Willis There's A Way; Sun Steps; Pace; Faith; Curvas Perigosas; 1970; Salter Of The Earth; Bloomdido.

Personnel: Mike DiRubbo: alto saxophone; Josh Evans: trumpet; Brian Charette: piano; Ugonna Okegwo: bass; Rudy Royston: drums.

Title: Threshold | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Interview
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Escualo" CD/LP/Track Review Escualo
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Ullr" CD/LP/Track Review Ullr
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Leaps In Leicester" CD/LP/Track Review Leaps In Leicester
by John Sharpe
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Green With Envy" CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Move Upstairs" CD/LP/Track Review Move Upstairs
by James Nadal
Published: May 27, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.