Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pablo Ablanedo Octet(o) RecontraDoble CNM 2013

Pablo Ablanedo demonstrates a meticulous attention to detail while transforming incredibly complex music into a cerebral smorgasbord of delight.
Brent Black /

RecontraDoble refers to two pairs of voices moving in lyrical opposition to the other. This compositional techniques is reflected in two pieces on RecontraDoble that are based on a peculiar Argentinian folk bimodal scale...Unless you received an advanced degree in music theory this should be almost nothing to you and is the reason I tend to navigate away from the overtly theoretical presentation.

If you focus on theory you lose the inherent beauty and spontaneity of the creative process as demonstrated in this setting. The over analytical approach to meter and harmonic progression has almost nothing to do with with why we play music. The creative process is to transform a feeling or emotion into a more tangible presentation that transcends the limitations of the spoken word or pen and Pablo Ablanedo seems to have mastered this often overlooked conceptual notion of improvisational music.

Counterpoint, vibrant dynamics, an evocative ebb and flow all work in symbiotic harmony to tie together Argentinian music with the form and functionality of the music accepted in the United States as jazz. Without breaking down harmonics into root elements one might consider the sound of Bill Evans manipulating a Latin jazz exploratory, the results here are at times stunning. From the pastoral ballad of "Antiphona" to the deconstructed riff of "Norwegian Wood" the subtle nuanced layers from trumpeter Phil Grenadier and drummer Franco Pinna and executed with lyrical clarity and focus.

When attempting to marry the music of Argentina with the improvisational aspect of jazz there can often be a slight disconnect or dynamic tension in the attempted translation. An effortless almost evocative flow of music moves freely without constraint while pianist Ablanedo paints from a distinctive shaded harmonic color palette. An incredibly beautiful recording that raises the bar for others to follow.

Track Listing: Mirando al Cielo; Silence; Departido; Antiphona; ReContraDoble; Como Te Quiero; Norwegian Wood; Almita (vocal); Almita; La Vaga; Las Buenas Nuevas.

Personnel: Fernando Brandao: flute, alto flute, bass flute; Phil Grenadier: trumpet; Daniel Ian Smith: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone and laughs; Kelly Roberge: tenor saxophone and clarinet; Eric Hofbauer: guitar; Pablo Ablanedo: piano and composition; Fernando Huergo: bass; Franco Pinna: drums; Bertram Lehmann: percussion; Greg Hopkins: trumpet (1,2,4,5, 7); Katie Viqueira: voice (8).