Fabian Almazan’s trio at the Village Vanguard, March 2013

13 Mar

This week at the Village Vanguard, Fabian Almazan (http://www.fabianalmazan.com/home.html) is performing with his trio, bass player Linda Oh (http://lindaohmusic.com) and drummer Henry Cole (http://www.henrycolemusic.com/bio-album-credits), whose playing is sharp, precise, powerful.

Tonight, or rather last night (Tuesday March 12th), the band’s synergy made for a lovely set (I attended the 11pm set). Almazan’s musical vocabulary is sophisticated, complex and rich. The band ended the evening with “Tres Lindas Cubanas,” one of my favorite songs, which is on Almazan’s album Personalities. And the band opened the set with the tune “Personalities,” which, naturally, gave its name to the album.

At times Almazan’s playing is so elaborate and of such high level that a non jazz listener’s attention may drift, but the pianist always knows how to revitalize the room and recapture his public. Almazan’s sound is most generous and his creative spirit astounding. I was particularly taken by several melodies and very amused by the tune the band played right before the last one: it is “Duck T9,” in reference to what Almazan described as his generation, the T9-keyboard generation. T9 is about predictive text on phones, but nothing is predictive about Almazan, except perhaps his sense of humor and clarity of sound.

Oh’s playing added to the quality of the trio with her subtle melodic lines and brilliant solo. The band just recorded Almazan’s second album….which should be released around June. Stay tuned!

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