Alfredo Rodriguez -][- SOUNDS OF SPACE –MP3– [Mack Avenue, 2012 | Review] –
Critically acclaimed producer Quincy Jones says this about pianist Alfredo Rodriguez … “One of the most prolific and gifted jazz pianists of the 21st century.” As I see it, no argument out of me Q is right on point about this extraordinary musician.
Whether pianist Alfredo Rodriguez is the best, finest or greatest or not isn’t for me to measure. “SOUNDS OF SPACE” on Mack Avenue should open whatever door he chooses to walk into.
Born in Havana, Cuba, pianist – composer Alfredo Rodriguez is the son of popular singer, TV presenter and entertainer. This explains his thirst to excel musically. While Rodriguez is formally classically trained at Conservatorio Amadeo Roldán and later at the Instituto Superior de Arte he met his greater challenge to perfect his skills on the streets and on stage.
The opening selection is an Afro-Latin inspired “Qbafrica” this jewel is a quantum of harmonically lethal doses of African rhythms and vibrant Brazilian melodies gets this session started. Rodriguez and his cast of comrade’s paint a culturally beautiful montage as a snapshot of what’s to come on this eleven piece celebration.
I’m genially intrigued by artist who infuses their gift and influences to score sounds that are creative, complex and imaginative. Rodriguez’ agility on the piano glides side to side flawlessly with amazing dexterity on “Silent.” His virtuosic approach to the keys glistens with excitement, power and seriously maddening proficiency.
The ensemble expands this plush palette with “Cu-Bop,” to sum it up this is jazz dipped in honey dripping with tasty Cuba sauce and spices gives this gem just the right melodic twist. In the meantime, Alfredo’s classical instruction is apparent on the fertile “April,” his delicate touch is disciplined, tranquil and shaped from the heart of his authentic voice.
“Oxygen,” is the next composition by Rodriquez. Along with his accomplishes they spin the wheel of jazz to unfold on a mid-tempo vibe that’s suited to sway with an unadulterated hippest and soul. “Sounds of Space,” the title follows horizontally with “Crossing The Border” to establish and imprint of the Cuban culture sonically.
The rifts and vision exhibited by Alfredo leaps with splendor, and complexity throughout this wonderful recording. “Y Bailaria La Negra? [A Ernesto Lecuona]” reflects the love he has for his native land at the nine, he mysteriously unearths the virtuosity of his overall concept as a composer and musician.
Alfredo Rodriguez is undeniably a man with hands and a heart of fire as demonstrated on “Transcultration.” His voice rumbles with unparalleled energy to give way to the ensemble to freely interject their consummate interplay into the belly of this thought provoking masterpiece. Rodriguez empties his soul into the final selection entitled “Fog” unveils note for note his poetic signature.
No doubt, as Q boldly stated about pianist Alfredo Rodriquez he is truly prolific and gifted jazz pianists. Rodriguez is definitely one of the hottest new artists to emerge in years, “Sounds of Space” embodies the quality of music, structure, and openness that most artists aspire to achieve and most jazz lovers long to hear. Highly recommended!
—Rob Young | Urban Flux Media | Review