The promising young pianist celebrates the release of Rhizome, his inspired sophomore album and his first on Blue Note, with a six-night residency at the venerable subterranean club. Like Ahmad Jamal’s 1994 album with the Assai String Quartet, Almazan augments his core ensemble with densely orchestrated strings, resulting in a chamber jazz aesthetic that explores the musical roots of his native Cuba, with a nod to the operatic zarzuela tradition. Cascading flourishes give way to pizzicato ostinato plucking, complemented by a rhythmic backdrop that uses tom hits and hand claps to maintain a percussive clave. At 30, Almazan is a pianist to watch.
Aug. 12-17, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m., 2014
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 13, 2014