10 Songs, 1 Hour, 5 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The young Cuban-born pianist Fabian Almazan has studied classical music and orchestration and toured with trumpeter Terence Blanchard. On his fine 2011 debut, Personalities, his trio includes bassist Linda Oh and drummer Henry Cole. A string quartet appears on the title track and on Almazan’s evocative arrangement of the Adagio movement of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 10. That latter cut is far from a straight rendition of the classical piece: electronics, acoustic piano, bass, and rumbling drums join the string players in this version. Almazan plays a Fender Rhodes electric piano on “H.U.Gs,” a track with an unusual sense of forward motion. The pianist displays sensitivity that recalls prime ‘70s Chick Corea or Keith Jarrett while retaining a distinctive voice. A few compositions by Cuban composers are included: Carlos Varela’s Nueva Trova gem “Bola de Nieve” and a rooted but expansive take on the classic “Tres Lindas Cubanas.” The ballad “Una Foto,” which features a lyrical solo by Oh, subtle drumming by Cole, and expressive work from Almazan, closes the album on a reflective note.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The young Cuban-born pianist Fabian Almazan has studied classical music and orchestration and toured with trumpeter Terence Blanchard. On his fine 2011 debut, Personalities, his trio includes bassist Linda Oh and drummer Henry Cole. A string quartet appears on the title track and on Almazan’s evocative arrangement of the Adagio movement of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 10. That latter cut is far from a straight rendition of the classical piece: electronics, acoustic piano, bass, and rumbling drums join the string players in this version. Almazan plays a Fender Rhodes electric piano on “H.U.Gs,” a track with an unusual sense of forward motion. The pianist displays sensitivity that recalls prime ‘70s Chick Corea or Keith Jarrett while retaining a distinctive voice. A few compositions by Cuban composers are included: Carlos Varela’s Nueva Trova gem “Bola de Nieve” and a rooted but expansive take on the classic “Tres Lindas Cubanas.” The ballad “Una Foto,” which features a lyrical solo by Oh, subtle drumming by Cole, and expressive work from Almazan, closes the album on a reflective note.

TITLE TIME
8:33
7:12
9:18
5:21
5:48
5:51
6:48
6:02
4:59
5:53

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