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Bob Albanese: Time Remembered

Dan Bilawsky By

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Memory is one persistent traveler. Whether we know it or not, memories always follow us on our journeys, influence our choice of direction, and work their way into our everyday encounters to some extent. Nobody is completely immune to the charms and ills carried in memories, but some are more susceptible than others. In fact, some readily choose to be susceptible, letting their memories take root in their work and allowing art to absorb and, subsequently, radiate experience. Such is the case with pianist Bob Albanese.

On Time Remembered, Albanese delivers one slice of life after another. There's the oft-performed, Bill Evans-penned title track, a first-take recording summing up the meaning of esprit de corps, as Albanese, bassist Eddie Gomez, and drummer Willard Dyson emote and emerge as one; there's "Changes," a winning send-up of music theory that points to Albanese's chordal studies while nodding toward songsmiths like Bob Dorough and Dave Frishberg; there's a solo piano performance of Clare Fischer's "Pensativa," serving as a tribute to the man that Albanese considered a mentor; and there are original dedications of various shapes and sizes—an appealing "Pastels (Waltz For George)" in honor of the late George Mesterhazy, a multi-sectioned "Furmina Daza Suite" for Mrs. Albanese and the beagle in this couple's life, a song dubbed "Herbie Lix" that was sown from a melodic motif that Herbie Hancock tossed off at the Plugged Nickel in 1965, and a piece called "El Raton" that references the author's four year stint with flutist Mauricio Smith's Latin dance band.

The aforementioned pieces are, obviously, personal in nature, touching on influences, friends, and glimpses of life gone by. But Albanese doesn't force listeners to take his experiences as their own. Instead, he creates music that invites those on the receiving end to find their own story embedded in the sound(s). You don't have to know Albanese or see things from his vantage point in order to appreciate the hope, beauty, loss, enthusiasm, humor, grace, and vitality that lives in this music. You need only sit down without distraction and take in this album to discover those truths.

Track Listing: Time Remembered; Isfahan; El Raton; Pastels (Waltz For George); Herbie Lix; Pensativa; Furmina; The Place; Changes (AKA “Jazz Harmony Lesson In A Song”).

Personnel: Bob Albanese: piano, ukulele, melodica, vocals; Eddie Gomez: bass; Willard Dyson: drums.

Title: Time Remembered | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Mayimba Music

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