Exposé Online banner

Miguel de Armas — What's to Come
((Not on label) no#, 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-06-05

What's to Come Cover art

Cuban pianist Miguel de Armas makes his album debut under his own name with What’s to Come, a collection of ten varied tunes that presents his nimble keyboard work with a backing of bass and percussion, plus varying other instruments on the different tracks. In spite of the billing as a quartet, de Armas and drummer / percussionist Michel Madrano are the only musicians to appear on all the tracks. They are joined by bassist Marc Decho on most tracks, though Roberto Riverón and Mathieu Sénéchal handle the low end at times. Two different guitarists (Elmer Ferrer and Galen Weston) shine one one track each; two percussionists (Arien Villegas and Carlitos Medrano) fill out the rhythm on most tracks; and other guests include Alexis Baró (trumpet, flugelhorn), Jane Burnett (soprano sax), and Alexandre Laborde (accordion). Piano forms the backbone of all the pieces, but de Armas does venture into different synth sounds at times, providing a welcome change of pace. Stylistically, he presents an integrated blend of latin and jazz, sliding the balance between the two poles from side to side on different tracks. His playing is lyrical and melodic, and the lead lines are catchy without sounding cliché. The percussion is what really makes the music, however, presenting infectious grooves on every track, sometimes slow and sensuous, sometimes energetic and bouncy. The two guitar spotlights are both excellent, with Ferrer’s legato playing bringing Allan Holdsworth to mind on “A Song for My Little Son,” and when combined with the percussion, resembling Holdsworth’s short stint in Gong. Weston’s turn on “His Bass and Him” has a little more edge to it, though the track focuses on other instruments more, leaving him only a short solo. My favorite track is “Freddie’s Drink,” which closes out the album on a high-energy note, with a busy unison bass line on piano and electric bass that jumps out of the gate and leads into a lush melodic line. Sénéchal gets the bass solo on this one, with a flashy blues-inflected section backed by congas and sparse chords from piano and synth. After a percussion break, a coda features an echoey synth lead that finishes the piece nicely. What’s to Come is a fun album to listen to, with the percussion especially sounding crystal clear in the mix, and with no tracks over six minutes in length, there’s no time wasted on over-indulgent soloing.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Miguel de Armas

More info
http://www.migueldearmas.com/contact/

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Altered States feat. Otomo Yoshihide - Lithuania and Estonia Live – You want insanity and unpredictability? Look no further. This album consists of live recordings by this Japanese group from two different Baltic new music/jazz festivals and two tracks recorded for...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues