Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Live at the Munchner Klaviersommer 1994|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Improvisation With a God
Don Fanning | Portland, Or, USA | 11/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Improvisation & Technical Brilliancy Extended Beyond Mortals
In this performance Gonzalo Rubalcaba unleashes a frenzied and exalted force that reveals its dynamism in the form of Be-bop improvisations, that truly animates and expands upon the language of Bop. A dissertation presented here of this performance would be unjust and could never measure up to the actual experience of what will be witnessed herein. While it is true that Gonzalo did not invent the language of Be-bop, his performance here is an obvious testimony unparalleled in improvisation-execution of this idiom with passion, technical craftsmanship, and a vision that his contemporaries could never dream of.
What separates Gonzalo from other virtuosos on the highest technical plane is of course his personality and life experience. Gonzalo grew up with music symbiotic with Jazz (especially in the form of Bop) in a place and culture that is so intensely passionate about music, that it is performed with the utmost conviction and reverence. A perpetual existence of musical self-expansion, experience, and being/living the music along with his personality-makeup is the source of this musician-magician. My favorite CD by Gonzalo is "Diz". I have to say that I have never heard of anyone who has that special/unique way of improvising in such a hyper-fast tempo with phrasing abilities of fiery passionate melodic invention and taste. Of course I would be remiss if I was comparing his music to all the different so-called forms and idioms of jazz music. I am only referring to his ability to interpret and execute his unique style of virtuosity within the idioms he plays. Compared to others who try to perform within this area, Gonzalo's note choices, direction, passion, and variations/permutations exceeds others in that he has created a universe to their world.
There is always someone being marketed as the next jazz pianist virtuoso that has the classical thing, the Art Tatum thing, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Hancock, etcetera. The truth is that many memorize patterns and cliches from the masters, yet never have indulged in the life of creating their own universe. A case in point is the release of a very young and talented pianist that has just released a live CD that burns and is definitely musically very satisfying. However, the technical highlights of this CD and his other CDs are obvious groupings of patterns and chromatics ala Tatum that are very predictable. Many such players do not have that vast a vocabulary and creative use of it. I do enjoy most of these players, yet none (even players of other instruments) take you into uncharted realms that actually shock you with unpredictable impulses of spontaneous direction and terrain. Before I discovered Gonzalo, Joey Defrancesco was the only one that could spin-out lines relentlessly with that type of intense fever. Although, Joey plays bass lines with his feet at the same time while using both hands (plays the B-3)! I have seen both musicians live several times along with Brecker, Hancock, Branford, and so many others. I have never seen a human being of any type of music play like this with the exception of Allan Holdsworth of whom I've seen live 12 times. Gonzalo's performance on this DVD transcends the word virtuoso.
Rogue Guitar | Kansas City | 11/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This guy is parting the sea of jazz pianists everywhere - watch and you'll know why. After enduring criticism of being "too flashy" and "not enough substance" he made the extremely tasteful "Inner Voice" CD, It's funny you won't hear those criticisms anymore! Then he went back to doing what he does - frighten with his virtuosity and charm with his touch and sensitivity!
Most of the songs on this DVD are from his excellent "Diz" CD (except Autumn Leaves and Con Alma) and he gives them extended treatment here. Julio Barreto is killin' on drums, adding just the right amount of push and pull. Ron Carter is, well, Ron Carter the consummate professional. If you are fan of jazz piano trios, you won't be disappointed. My only letdown is that Giant Steps is not included - check it out on YouTube (not for the faint-hearted)."