Review: Aruán Ortiz Quartet Feat. Antoine Roney - Alameda
|Artist:||Aruán Ortiz Quartet Feat. Antoine Roney|
|Date of Release:||2009|
|Label:||Fresh Sound New Talent|
|Country of Release:||US|
|Sub-Genre/s:||Contemporary, Modern, Avant-Garde, Post-Bop|
|Date of Review:||2011/11/14|
The Aruán Ortiz Quartet Featuring Antoine Roney's Alameda was released on the Fresh Sound New Talent label in 2009. What have we been missing all this time!
Amazing ivories wizard Aruán Ortiz assembled an equally amazing line-up for his quartet in Abraham Burton on sax, bassist Peter Slavov and drummer Eric McPherson, and on top of that featured saxophonist Antoine Roney as special guest on three tracks. Apart from Ortiz himself and his outstanding keyboard work, particularly notable are 'angry' saxophonist Burton whose energy well matches that of Ortiz, and special guest Roney who draws deeply from the tradition yet seems to move equally deeply into the future. Laying down some outstanding grooves to bind it all are McPherson and Slavov.
Presenting some outstanding modern jazz, Ortiz is nonetheless firmly anchored in and draws upon the musical traditions of his native Cuba to the sensitive ear. Seven of the eight tracks on Alameda are very fine Ortiz originals, while the eighth is a superb arrangement of Chopin's Etude No.6, Op. 10, exploring the pianist's classical training.
Throughout, the ensemble playing is as much a dream as the soloing. This is modern jazz at its finest, and if you associate 'modern jazz' with being inaccessible, you'd be totally on the wrong track here. Alameda is beautifully accessible at all times. Ortiz is simply one of the most amazing keys talents to have emerged on the US - and increasingly, international - scene in more recent years, and his improvs are nothing short of breath-taking. Burton's often sound like those of an angry man, wonderfully so, while at other times he follows the more mellow moods with great elegance. And special guest Roney's lines are something nearly out of this world. Firmly grounded in the past, they seem to reach out to an as yet unknown future, with inspiration and intuition rather than a clever idea, and always with invention and imagination.
But above all, the real star to emerge on Alameda has to be Ortiz himself, as a highly innovative player, composer and improviser who always remains rooted in intuition and inspiration. Ortiz simply inspires, he is a truly awesome talent.
One really could hardly wish for a more consistent album than Alameda, nor a more spellbindingly compelling one. If you are looking for jazz that is at once thoroughly modern and still beautiful and accessible, then this has to be it.
The Aruán Ortiz Quartet Featuring Antoine Roney's Alameda is one of those rare modern jazz albums that is a must have for any true jazz aficionado. And it is as fresh, and indeed refreshing, as the day it first left the production line even two years on.
1. Alameda - 7:31
Aruán Ortiz - piano & Rhodes
Abraham Burton - sax (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6-8)
Antoine Roney - sax (tracks 2, 4, 8)
Peter Slavov - bass
Eric McPherson - drums
Alameda can be purchased from:
Amazon.com (also as MP3s)
Amazon UK (also as MP3s)
and other online sources and better CD stores
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