Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mike DiRubbo Chronos Posi-Tone 2011


One consistency with Posi-Tone artists would seem to be outside of dynamic instrumentalists there are some top notch composers sprinkled throughout their roster of talent. Chronos offers up nine originals and to be honest, the odd metered sonic playground normally has me running in the opposite direction but Di Rubbo digs deep and keeps the organ format fresh by offering up exciting new rhythmic foundations from which to build his solo work from and DiRubbo is as equally talented on the bandstand as he is while working as a composer. Organist Brian Charette is as much to be commended as the most underrated and subtle king of swing Rudy Royston on drums.

"Minor Progress" is a DiRubbo original that is loaded with stop time breaks and a delightful rhythmic articulation that leaves the listener what comes next. Most artists attempting such an adventurous foray into a more free form jazz movement would have my musical gears not to mention my interest stripped in seconds but DiRubbo here is first rate and the rhythm section provides just the right balance to make this a most memorable way to kick off a stellar release. The mid tempo "Lucky 13" is a deceptively subtle tune when compared to others but is not lacking in originality and actually aids in the ebb and flow of a particularly well thought on effort on DiRubbo's part. "Ritual" showcases DiRubbo's creativity with ideas of forward motion while working an odd-metered funk tune that is built off the organic licks and finesse of Charette and drummer Royston. "Eight For Elvin" is a tight riff on legendary drummer Elvin Jones complete with a poly rhythmic drum solo that is right smack dab in the middle of the head in the more Elvin Jones type fashion. Unabashed creativity and the ability to think and play outside the box while never mangling the form and functionality of their original compositional intent. Conjecture? Perhaps...I prefer to think of it as the blatently obvious but why?

On "More Physical" DiRubbo does not engage in the more traditional tenor/drum Coltrane/Jones inspired dialog in this setting. Organist Charett's closer establishes an inventive sonic playground and evolves into a bash fest for Royston who simply swings like a beast. While far from what one would consider free jazz, there is an open compositional style to DiRubbo that seems to have rubbed off in part to organist Charette. No overt attempt at joining the odd metered flavor of the month club here and there is no need. Flavor, texture, and the ability to work without that proverbial harmonic net have Chronos ahead of its time and without an ounce of  the self indulgent preoccupation that would weigh down a similar release. One of the more interesting releases from Posi-Tone that will have you coming back for more as the disc seems to give up something new with each subsequent spin.

Tracks: Minor Progress; Chronos; Lilt; Rituals; Nouveau; Lucky 13; Excellent Taste; Eight For Eleven; More Physical.

Personnel: Mike DiRubbo: saxophone; Brian Charette: organ; Rudy Royston: drums.