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Chronos Import

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Audio CD, Import, January 4, 2011
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Editorial Reviews


Piano has always been part of the package on saxophonist Mike DiRubbo's albums. Still, when DiRubbo made his Posi-Tone debut with Repercussion in 2009, he left the piano behind, relying instead on some harmonic underpinnings from vibraphonist Steve Nelson. Now, on his follow-up disc for the label, he moves into different piano-less territory with his first organ trio record. DiRubbo digs in on these nine original tracks, which shy away from organ group stereotypes. DiRubbo penned two-thirds of this material, with organist Brian Charette providing the other three tracks, and the majority of the songs lean heavily on their rhythmic foundations. The album opener, "Minor Progress," contains all sorts of stop time breaks and unison hits from the rhythm duo, while DiRubbo works his craft on top. Charette's organ works against the beat in certain places, obscuring the time a bit, but the up-tempo swing eventually takes over. Two Mike DiRubbo's, through the magic of overdubbing, work together at the outset of the title track, and this piece deals with tension and release, as the rhythm section moves in and out of a swing groove. DiRubbo's agile mind and audacious ideas come to the fore on "Ritual," an odd-metered funk tune in seven (with 6+8 subdivisions) that's built off looping licks and grooves from Charette and drummer Rudy Royston. While the mid-album "Nouveau" and "Lucky 13" are the least memorable performances here, the last three tracks are all winners: Charette's "Excellent Taste" lives up to its name and features some gorgeous saxophone work from DiRubbo, while "Eight For Elvin" whether earning its name from its placement in the running order or from the eight-bar, polyrhythmic, Elvin Jones-like drum solo sandwiched in the middle of the head never disappoints. Despite the fact that DiRubbo doesn't wield a tenor saxophone, the drum-saxophone dialog on this one seems to be a clear nod toward the John Coltrane-Elvin Jones connection. Charette's album closer, "More Physical," is playful at first. A slight tropical tinge, light and frothy sounds and looping ideas that establish the 7/4 groove are all in play, but things eventually turn physical when Royston starts bashing away toward the back end of the track. Chronos viewed as the personification of time in Greek Mythology is an apt reference point for this rhythmically vital set of music from saxophone scion Mike DiRubbo. --Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

It's funny, I don't own a single Mike DiRubbo album, which now sounds like a crime. But I actually own almost ever album his performed on as a sideman. Weird. I checked before I started writing this entry and its true! DiRubbo is one of those rare breeds in the new crop of straight-ahead musicians. His style is very reminiscent of his influences, Coltrane, Parker and his mentor/teacher Jackie McLean. But he has developed his own vision and approach which has made him an in-demand sideman since his debut in 1999. He has worked with a plethora of his contemporaries and legends including Steve Davis, Eric Alexander, Peter Washington, Harold Mabern, Bruce Barth and of course Jackie McLean. DiRubbo's latest, Chronos (PosiTone) is a sheer delight. It is a change in direction compared to the rest of his catalog. Mainly in set up. This outing is a trio lineup with the stellar Rudy Royston on drums and Brian Charette on organ. Organ sessions can be a tricky affair. The organ while emotional and funky can sometimes overwhelm the session. On Chronos it is a major compliment. This sounds like a group that has been together for years. Chronos is a face paced session with tracks like "Rituals" and "Minor Progress" moving with rich vibrant tones but also keep the listener engrossed with the individual activities of each performer. Charette's playing is really outstanding. On "Nouveau" the trio are in complete ballad mode. It helps temper the more upbeat rhythm of the opening tracks and displays the diversity of DiRubbo's talent. "Eight For Elvin" is DiRubbo's tribute to legendary John Coltrane drummer Elvin Jones. It's a moment where history meets influence and works perfectly. Royston is fantastic and infectious. Charette seems calm and relaxed. And DiRubbo intermingles with the two superbly and romantically. It would have been interesting to hear Coltrane mixing it up with Jimmy Smith or John Patton. Maybe the closet comparison would be Jimmy Smith's work with Lou Donaldson or the emotional work Jackie Mac did with Mal Waldron (piano). Chronos is definitely a side step for DiRubbo but its a beautiful side step that I think every jazz fan will dig. It's emotional. It's funky. It's crafty. And most of all it's got a vision and pace that is worth repeated listens. I really think you're all going to dig it. --Jazz Wrap

Posi-Tone Records is carving out a nice niche for itself by developing a fine catalog of mainstream jazz by up and coming musicians. Mike DiRubbo is an alto saxophonist with a nice dark and burnished tone that is framed well on this album by Brian Charette on organ and Rudy Royston on drums. This is not your average bluesy organ and saxophone date, although the music does come up through the tradition and is very accessible. Particularly interesting is the storming Rituals where the music builds to a feverish pitch with the leader over-blowing like Kenny Garrett or Jackie McLean at their most intense in a very impressive performance. But straight-ahead jazz is the order of the day with songs like Eight for Elvin and the enjoyable set ending bossa nova Viva O Rio De Janeiro, which finds the group grooving along in a sultry manner and suggests new vistas waiting to be explored on future dates. This was a solid and well done mainstream jazz date, of particular interest to organ/sax devotees, but amenable to all who enjoy subtle well played music. --Tim Niland, Music And More blog

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Minor Progress
  2. Chronos
  3. Lilt
  4. Rituals
  5. Nouveau
  6. Lucky 13
  7. Excellent Taste
  8. Eight For Elvin
  9. More Physical

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 4, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Posi-Tone Records
  • ASIN: B004GVC2F0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,823 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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