Turnaround Records TR 1003
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Rivera (ts, ss); Jean Caze, Nick Roseboro (t); Beck Burger (Hammond B3); Zaccai Curtis (p); Mark Whitfield (g); Luques Curtis (b); Nathan Jolley, John Iannuzzi (d). Rec: January 2010
I have a very soft spot for Albert Rivera’s playing. This is the follow-up to his previous “Re-Introduction” and again utilizes the services of the multi-talented Curtis brothers pianist Zaccai and bassist Luques. There’s an empathy between the three of them that helps make Rivera’s music just that little bit different from anything else around and which is best personified on the outstanding haunting modal title tune “Inner Peace”. There are also two interesting trumpet players split between most of the tracks (Cage and Roseboro) and each shows distinctive and considerable promise. The opening track is in total contrast. A big back beat organ-based soul jazz stomper, which has been released as a single in the States. The same line-up with Whitfield and Cage is heard in a spirited all-out burner called “From All Angles”. But some of the tracks have a strong Spanish tinge, with Rivera’s soulful sound on both saxophones steeped in jazz tradition, but aware of contemporary leanings. Zaccai is a really impressive pianist and helps bring out the best in Rivera’s originals, which include an uplifting waltz (“While You Were Gone”), a heartfelt tribute on tenor to 9/11 (“Remembrance”) with sombre Roseboro trumpet, another standout track. And there’s a classic closing ballad. Nathan Jolley’s subtle sophisticated drumming fits in perfectly, while Iannuzzi really drives the organ-guitar tracks. I play this quite a lot, because, as said above, it is that little bit different.