Alfredo Rodríguez, Coral Way, Mack Avenue ***1/2

Nothing feels boxed in on this latest from pianist Alfredo Rodríguez. And you get that same restless stylistic sense of exploration in a contemporary domain you also gain from a Jon Batiste album. Inspired by the city of Miami, guests include …

Published: 18 Aug 2023. Updated: 9 months.

Nothing feels boxed in on this latest from pianist Alfredo Rodríguez. And you get that same restless stylistic sense of exploration in a contemporary domain you also gain from a Jon Batiste album. Inspired by the city of Miami, guests include singers Alana Sinkëy and Cimafunk while the band that tend sympathetically to the twists and turns of Rodríguez' exhilarating piano lines are guitarist Juanma Montoya, bassist Yarel Hernandez, drummer Michael Olivera, percussionist Marcelo Woloski, trumpeter Carlos Sarduy who stands out in some heartfelt pastoral passages, altoist Regis Molina and trombonist Denis Cuni. You don't need to place this necessarily on a jazz shelf as there are lots of crossover elements and maybe in that latter side to the record it loses us a bit. But the well picked tunes include a lively cover of Juan Luis Guerra’s 'La Bilirrubina', a perky take on classical staple Beethoven's 'Für Elise' and plenty of optimism thrown in for good measure on an album that never takes itself too seriously. Out today

Alfredo Rodríguez, photo: via Bandcamp

Tags: Reviews

Mulgrew Miller, Solo in Barcelona, Storyville *****

Pianist Mulgrew Miller who died a decade ago remains a strong influence on a range of pianists including our own Julian Joseph, Trevor Watkis and newcomers such as Sultan Stevenson. The American's style was expansive as it was imaginative, at home …

Published: 17 Aug 2023. Updated: 9 months.

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Pianist Mulgrew Miller who died a decade ago remains a strong influence on a range of pianists including our own Julian Joseph, Trevor Watkis and newcomers such as Sultan Stevenson. The American's style was expansive as it was imaginative, at home with standards from decades before just as much as he was with the developments in the jazz piano canon ushered in by among others McCoy Tyner in the 1960s. This exemplary solo piano set - certainly high up among the bes solo piano releases in 2023 - from the Jordi Suñol archives was recorded at the Lliure theatre in Barcelona in 2004 and includes Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Cole Porter repertoire. Highlights include a sumptuous take on 'It Never Entered My Mind'. A must for piano jazz lovers. Out tomorrow