Fabian Almazan – Rhizome (2014)

If you’ve seen trumpeter Terence Blanchard live you are already well aware of pianist/composer Fabian Almazan. The Cuban-born pianist now residing in New York has talent and achievement which bely his age.

In 2011 he received the Cintas Foundation’s Brandon Fradd Award in Music Composition. This is an achievement bestowed on those who are influential in the development Cuban cultural heritage. Also in 2011, Almazan released Personalities on Biophilia Records/Palmetto Records. Personalities was a moving and nuanced collection of mostly jazz original compositions.

Fabian Almazan’s follow-up record, Rhizome (March 18, 2014 via Blue Note/ArtistShare), is an even more sophisticated blend of jazz where he gets to flex his composing arranging and production muscles. Almazan effectively employs a string quintet and drums and percussion to build an elegant mosaic. Camila Meza provides touches of acoustic and electric guitar and voice on four tracks, but the center piece to rhizome is Fabian Almazan’s piano and driving yet sophisticated arrangements.

With two recordings under his own name it’s clear that Fabian Almazan will be an influence in the jazz world for a long time to come.

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Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Chicago. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

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