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.
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more
Spirit - Son of Spirit / Farther Along & Future Games / Spirit of 84 – After Spirit’s first four classic albums, the band entered a period of fluctuating personnel, style, and success. The double-LP Spirit of ‘76 had marked the revitalization of the band around... (2006) » Read more