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Aruán Ortiz Quartet, ORBITING

Aruán Ortiz Quartet -][- ORBITING – [Fresh Sounds | New Talent, 2012 | Review] –

From my perspective with each musician we’re blessed to encounter they ultimately derive from a different place artistically. With that said, this is obviously a good thing because with each prelude into the abyss of music they will inevitably have a desire to take center-stage, deploy and unleash into the atmosphere creative, unique and enjoyable music similar to but mostly unlike their contemporaries hopefully capture the minds, hearts and souls of music lovers.

Classically trained violist and pianist, Aruán Ortiz born in Santiago de Cuba arrives with his fourth and latest album negotiates his way through and beyond the scope of his previous projects with a transforming palette of sounds land firmly with a translucent and thought-provoking endeavor titled “Orbiting” on Fresh Sounds | New Talent.

The gifted pianist opens with a brilliant solo interpretation of “Ginga Carioca” originally pen by Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal. “Ginga” is smothered with attractive blend of colors, rhythms and passionate nuances decoded from a jazz perspective.


“Orbiting” was inspired at Aruán’s arrival in New York in 2008. In time, he shared the stage with an enumerable array of gifted musicians. Therefore this experience infused new ideas and philosophies he decided to create a body of fresh sounds through his voice on “Orbiting.” The title track was influenced by the incomparable Bill Evans sings increasingly with a chorus of rhythmic voicings falls in at the number two spot of rotation. Gilmore on guitar, his voice resonates amid the cast of incumbents with an irresistible hook and expands his octave range with unhurried riffs of impetuous chops navigates purposefully through this immense canvas of unblemished sequence of textures, tones and shades inscribed by this impeccable ensemble.

Conceived through the lens of a traditional concept of accompanied this project tells a personal story, Ortiz humbly plays somewhat the role of a sidemen in respect of some of the most pliable players in the music industry David Gilmore, Rashaan Carter, and Eric McPherson adapted their songs to score as a unit a montage of noteworthy compositions.

“The Heir” is dedicated to Ortiz’ son Damian, this plate of bendable tones and melodies underscored ascends into perpetual motion. Inevitably this gem marvels but it also captures Aruán’s spiritual side and relationship with his son, this conversation is sonically accentuated through the conduit of abstract improvisation embedded in the middle of the song.

Ortiz puts his unique spin to the flaming interworks of “Koko,” is aligned with the fervent off-tempo exchanges employed on “Wru,” both sizzle with boldness served up by the ensemble invokes contrasting to similar volume in timbre on this breathtaking homage to as he describes “the forefathers of the true art form” Charlie “Bird” Parker and Ornette Coleman respectfully.

“Green City” is another tribute, this time his thoughts linger around his time spent in Boston in the summertime features his winsome artistry on piano is soon joined by complimenting voices of Gilmore and friends. Melodically, this tune surges with a wealth gorgeous and transparent tones, gestures and finesse mingle as I hear them fall into the category of potentially being a masterpiece.

Finally, another beauty firmly holds its own weight “Alone Together” is sprayed with varied colors of simplicity, grace, humility and exceptional musicianship. Altogether, Aruán Ortiz’ “Orbiting” is unquestionably a real diamond in the ruff that arouses the appetite of discriminating enthusiast to savor, cozy up to and relish with each moment you listen.

Recommend: by Rob Young | Urban Flux Media | Review

The Band:
Aruán Ortiz – piano and all compositions
David Gilmore – guitar
Rashaan Carter – bass
Eric McPherson – drums

Produced by Aruán Ortiz for Fresh Sound | New Talent

At your leisure, visit pianist Aruán Ortiz online at aruán-ortiz.com for more details.