Bob Albanese — Time Remembered
(Mayimba, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-12-06
In relation to the broad streams of jazz, pianist Bob Albnaese fits into a fairly traditional post-bop style, the territory occupied by Bill Evans or Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock when they’re avoiding the electric and funky stuff. For this trio outing, he’s joined by drummer Willard Dyson and bassist Eddie Gomez, and they tackle a set of Albanese originals and some tunes penned by others (Bill Evans, Clare Fischer, Billy Strayhorn). Albanese’s piano touches on many aspects of the instrument’s history in jazz, with hints of stride, gospel, blues, and latin, all with a fluid lyricism that’s easy on the ear and mind. His playing is never aggressive or abrasive, and the rare touches of dissonance pass very quickly. Gomez provides some of the album’s highlights, with great solos, sometimes including vocalizing along with his bass notes. My favorite moments are on the upbeat tracks, especially the latin-inflected “El Raton,” where Dyson propels the energy, building on standard patterns to create an infectious groove. Another standout is “Herbie Lix,” a quick-tempo tune based on, you guessed it, a lick from Herbie Hancock. It’s a kind of neo-bop workout that pulls out the stops with its fast unison melody. The lengthy “Furmina Daza Suite” climaxes with Albanese’s flashiest work, where he goes for broke and seems to have more than ten fingers at work. Two vocal tunes finish off the set: “The Place” features ukulele and what sounds like bongo drums, and “Changes” has one of those self-referential lyrics that describes its own theoretical structure. These show a less serious side, but border on sappiness in spite of their light-hearted nature. Other tracks strike more pensive moods, and while they’re lovely and well-played, they don’t distinguish themselves from thousands of other jazz piano recordings. My taste in jazz runs toward the more outside, but for listeners looking for good recordings of classic sounding new music, Albanese delivers the goods.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more