Pianist and composer Hilario Duran is originally from Havana, Cuba and emigrated to Canada in 1998. His music melds the traditional Cuban music he learned in his youth with modern jazz. Joining him on this album are hist trio mates Roberto Occhipinti on bass Mark Kelso on drums. The trio makes very exciting and high energy music, with all three instruments taking a deeply percussive and rhythmic role. "It's Only Seven" opens the album with fast and percussive trio interplay, dynamically shifting from fast to medium in tempo. A bass solo with soft piano and percussion accompaniment is featured before a strong trio finish that has a drum solo woven in. "Conversation With a Lunatic" has fast spritely trio playing in a nimble fashion. This song is a high wire act for piano, bass and drums will all of the instruments interacting well. "Havana City" changes pace with moody strings opening the performance with vocal and percussion accents added as well. Piano and percussion take over at a medium tempo, making room for a thick bass solo. The full trio returns with extra percussion, integrating well with the added strings. Rippling solo piano opens "For Emiliano" before the trio comes in fully, mining a deep Cuban influenced sound. The performance builds to a rumbling and complex conclusion. "Tango Moruno" is a medium paced lyrical improvisation, with the trio shifting in a subtle manner, and speeding up after a bass solo to conclude the song at a fast pace. Occhipinti's thick and deep bass is the centerpiece of "Danza Negro" providing the pivit point which the piano and drums revolve around. He and the rest of the trio are fast, rhythmic and powerful throughout this disc, which melds strains of American jazz and Cuban music in a deft and exciting manner.
Send comments to Tim.