Rodríguez, Alfredo / Sounds Of Space
Album: Sounds Of Space   Collection:Jazz
Artist:Rodríguez, Alfredo   Added:May 2012
Label:Mack Avenue  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2012-10-05 Pull Date: 2012-12-07 Charts: Jazz
Week Ending: Nov 18 Nov 11 Nov 4 Oct 28 Oct 21 Oct 14
Airplays: 1 1 1 1 2 1

Recent Airplay
1. Nov 13, 2012: Rebop
4. Oct 27, 2012: Music Casserole
2. Nov 09, 2012: No Cover, No Minimum
5. Oct 19, 2012: No Cover, No Minimum
3. Oct 30, 2012: Rebop
6. Oct 16, 2012: Rebop

Album Review
librae jackson
Reviewed 2012-09-20
Alfredo Rodriguez/Sounds of Space/Mack Ave Records

“Sounds of Space” is the debut release from young Cuban pianist and composer, Alfredo Rodriguez. The fact that it’s co-produced by the infamous Quincy Jones is enough to garner attention. But the music, itself, is the determining factor in this project’s esteem.

Latin Jazz seems to be the natural category for this project, and yet it almost defies the genre, in that it can perhaps be more accurately described with the simple term: piano music. There’s so much more here than can be contained by the words “latin” or “jazz.” While naturally paying homage to such musical ancestors as Oscar Peterson, Ruben Gonzalez and Eddie Palmieri, this music stretches beyond the bounds (as it’s supposed to).

One significant observation that can be heard is the detailed proficiency of his piano playing, combined with a sense of exploration. While the influences are definitely present, Alfredo Rodriguez has a style that’s all his own. It’s as if he made a conscious effort to focus on what his particular instrument can do, while the cultural rhythms (though very present) are merely on the periphery. It’s all about the piano. The other instruments do their part to provide the background for a flavorful landscape, but the obvious leader of the ensemble is the pianist. The music, with its rich elements, extracted from the finest traditions, is anything but traditional. Alfredo Rodriguez sounds like a pioneer,in search of new frontiers; new notes; new chords; new musical spaces to fill (as the title “Sounds of Space,” may indicate).

Prodigy is a word that’s used loosely these days, but such a title is appropriate here. In the current crop of young jazz musicians, there are not many who are capable of doing what Alfredo Rodriguez does, seemingly with ease.

Recommended: 1, 6, 8 and 9 (though the whole album is great)

1. Qbafrica (5:20)
This first track opens nicely, with Alfredo playing the piano and melodica, at the same time. The bass and drums contribute toward a stellar groove, as the backdrop to the intuitive piano solo, throughout.

2. Sueno de Paseo (3:53)
Slow ballad, in a traditional Cuban style. The clarinet trades solos with the lush piano.

3. Silence (5:03)
Frenetic intro morphs into a cool groove, set off by a terrific bassline. In addition to the piano, terrific solos are offered by the acoustic bass and soprano sax.

4. Cu-bop (4:31)
As the title suggests, this track integrates Cuban rhythms with bebop sensibilities. The piano has an almost “Theloni-esque” sound. The bass solo is intricate.

5. April (6:20)
Semi-somber intro, leading into a plethora of pleasant notes from the solo piano, with no other accompanying instruments. Solemn and thoughtful conclusion, with notably innovative riffs at the very end.

6. Oxygen (5:49)
Relaxed, yet festive. Spacious piano playing ,throughout. Tight drums and bass.

7. Sounds of Space (4:45)
Mid-tempo, semi-cha cha sounding groove. Rich piano tones, over bass pulsations and nice drumming. Also features the clarinet.

8. Crossing the Border (6:45)
Appropriate title, as the piano solo evokes a sense of urgency. All piano on this track, except for some slight percussion at 1:00.

9. …y bailaria la negra? (6:52)
Very innovative track. Multiple styles are represented here, and the vibe is chill. Beautiful soprano sax solo at 3:40.

10. Transculturation (4:15)
Complex musical musings, with a great call and response segment, as the piano and clarinet trade ideas, back and forth.

11. Fog (4:53)
This song has the feel of a traditional Cuban ballad, but the horn arrangements give it a classical feel. The piano solo is absolutely splendid.

- Librae Jackson (brother brae)

Track Listing
1. Qbafrica   6. Oxygen
2. Sueño De Paseo   7. Sounds Of Space
3. Silence   8. Crossing The Border
4. Cu-Bop   9. ...Y Bailaria La Negra?
5. April   10. Transculturation
  11. Fog