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...

156

Silvano Monasterios: Unconditional

Greg Simmons By

Sign in to view read count
Miami pianist Silvano Monasterios' Unconditional doesn't announce its qualities with musical histrionics: it's far subtler than that. This collection of eight original tunes shows craftsmanship, fine improvisation and coherence. Monasterios has constructed a compelling musical statement with an emphasis on composition and attention to detail. This is an entire album, not simply a collection of songs.

Even in places where the percussion is prominent, it is integrated with a vision that never becomes frenetic. There are passages on the album where the double team of drummer Rodolfo Zuniga and percussionist Jose Gregorio Hernandez are playing hard, with a mix of congas and kit that has the potential to be really loud. But nothing ever gets out of hand, remaining, instead, within the framework and relaxed feel of the songs.

Attention to detail adds discreet appeal to many of the compositions. "Sno' Peas" is a relaxed, mid-tempo workout. But midway through an extended piano improvisation, the drums and bass fall back under a quickened keyboard run—but only momentarily—until the original beat reemerges. It's a smart, subtle bit of composed drama in a place that didn't really require it, but is all the better for it. The album is full of these little touches.

Improvisation is prominent, mostly integrated within a laidback, even romantic atmosphere. But when Monasterios and company cut loose they really stick the delivery. "Forgotten Gods" features an aggressive solo, from tenor saxophonist Troy Roberts, that begins easily enough, but eventually blows like a freight train, deep and heavy, with fast finger-work and a harder-edged bite. It's a great moment—diverging from the overall sound just enough to fulfill the musicians' need to show off a little, but without breaking the established motif.

Unconditional is an album worth hearing all the way through. It never screams for attention, but rewards it very nicely.

Track Listing: Farmacia del Angel; Monsieur Petit Noir; A Song for Jacques, Part I; A Song for Jacques, Part II; Sno' Peas; Forgotten Gods; Unconditional; Black Saint.

Personnel: Silvano Monasterios: piano and keyboards; Troy Roberts: saxophones; Jon Dadurka: bass; Gabriel Vivas: bass (5, 7); Rodolfo Zuniga: drums; Jose Gregorio Hernandez: percussion.

Title: Unconditional | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Savant Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Very Early

Very Early

Silvano Monasterios
Jazz Impressions One

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Unconditional

Unconditional

Savant Records
2011

buy
Jazz Impressions 1

Jazz Impressions 1

Dogleg Music
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk CD/LP/Track Review
Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Pardes CD/LP/Track Review
Pardes
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Music for a Free World CD/LP/Track Review
Music for a Free World
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read "Happy Fire - New Kind of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Fire - New Kind of Jazz
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 16, 2018
Read "Body" CD/LP/Track Review Body
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "Live from San Pedro" CD/LP/Track Review Live from San Pedro
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 3, 2018
Read "Home Boy, Sister Out" CD/LP/Track Review Home Boy, Sister Out
by Chris May
Published: July 22, 2018
Read "Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Earth
by Chris May
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 1, 2018