May 28, 2024

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CD review: Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette – Skyline 2021: Video, CD cover

Jazz history is unthinkable without the three names on the cover of this album! This is the very first and, I dare to think, a compelling argument in favor of the true amateur not passing by this release.

We owe his appearance to the wonderful pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, a native of Havana, who moved to the Dominican Republic in 1991, and since 1996 has been living and working in Miami, the center of the Cuban diaspora in the United States. In 2010, the Latin jazz star founded 5Passion Records. His eighth release was Skyline, the first in Gonzalo’s planned trilogy of piano trios. And in this project, legendary musicians work with him: Rock Carter and Jack DeJonette. As Rubalcaba says in liner notes, built as a dialogue with journalist Ted Panken, “It doesn’t matter what kind of music you give them, they end up converting that music into something individual. And this is of great importance to me. ” And although it was Rubalcaba who was the initiator and the main driving force of the project, on the cover, by right, all three names are on a par.

Each of the participants brought their gifts to the project. For Ron Carter, these are Gypsy, which he played with Corea, Williams and Henderson in 1979, and A Quiet Place, first performed a year earlier (with DeJonette on drums, by the way). Jack suggested the pieces Silver Hollow (he had already played it with Rubalcaba in 1991) and Ahmad the Terrible, as the title suggests, imbued with the spirit of Ahmad Jamal’s pianism. Rubalcaba brought four compositions to the project. One of them, Promenade, he dedicated to Ron Carter in 1998 – and now the hero of the dedication himself participates in its performance. But the pinnacle and even the symbol of the album, I would call another piece: Lágrimas Negras, the Cuban standard of the 1920s, which three outstanding musicians turned into an amazingly beautiful synthesis of Latin jazz with post-bop. And next to it, as another symbol, this time of the celebration of improvisation, I would stage a play with the significant name RonJackRuba: the session was already over, the three giants decided to just play for themselves. The wise engineer Jeff Anderson left the studio, but left all the equipment on – and we got the opportunity to hear these games of the gods, completing the brilliant album.

Listen to Skyline!

1. Lagrimas Negras
2. Gypsy
3. Silver Hollow
4. Promenade
5. Novia Mia
6. Quite Place
7. Ahmad the Terrible
8. Siempre Maria
9. RonJackRuba

Gonzalo Rubalcaba – piano
Ron Carter – bass
Jack DeJohnette – drums

Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ron Carter & Jack DeJohnette - Skyline | Play on Anghami

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