The Before & After test I did with Miguel Zenon at the Portland Jazz Festival appears in the June issue of Jazz Times, now on news stands. Here’s a sample of his acute hearing and assessments:
3. Gonzalo Rubalcaba
“Los Buyes” (from Paseo, Blue Note). Rubalcaba, piano; Luis Felipe Lamoglia, alto sax; Jose Armando Gola, electric bass; Ignacio Berroa, drums. Recorded in 2005.
BEFORE: This is Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s group, all Cuban. Luis Felipe Lamoglia is a tenor player, but he sounds great on alto on this tune. It sounds like this is an arrangement of a Cuban traditional song. Great performance. Incredible band.
AFTER: Gonzalo is one of the most original voices on piano over the past twenty years. For me, he’s probably the most impressive pianist I’ve ever seen, in terms of playing the instrument with flawless technique and great sound. He’s one of those guys who can do anything he wants, at any moment. He’ll give you all the technique, but he also has a great feel and sensibility for improvisation.
The complete Before & After will be on the Jazz Times website eventually, with audio samples of the records he heard, but for now you’ll have to be content with the print version.