The Record (Bergen County, NJ)
GONZALO RUBALCABA, “BEST OF GONZALO RUBALCABA” (MILAN)@@@@
By RON FOX
Date: 07-04-1997, Friday
Section: LIFESTYLE / PREVIEWS
Edition: All Editions — 5 Star, 4 Star, 3 Star, 2 Star, 1 Star
Column: QUICK SPINS
When the best material of a highly innovative artist is gathered,
there’s nothing left to do but attach the maximum four-star rating to
the album and spiritually embrace it.
Whether it’s a soft solo or a torrent of sound, Rubalcaba supplies
outstanding piano work. In his native Cuba, Rubalcaba was a prodigy who
lived up to his promise. At 33, he’s become an important figure in
Gonzalo has a well-rounded repertoire and each of the cuts on this
compilation is a many-faceted experience. He switches speeds and musical
modes so swiftly, there is no tiring of his performance.
The only disappointment is that there is no information included to
identify the outstanding sidemen who helped make these pieces rank as
the best of Rubalcaba. Among the mounds of sounds on “Concatenacion,” is
a mysterious, spacey, keyboard sound, plus a gorgeous alto sax solo. On
“Pisando El Cresped,” there is no telling who delivered its beautiful
flute solo or who handled the soft vocal over the haunting synthesizer
sound in “Concatenacion.”
Each of the cuts was written by Rubalcaba, who cut his teeth in
Cuba playing in the orchestra of Enrique Jorrin, creator of the cha-cha.
And each track underscores the versatility of his musical thought
processes, as well as the passion and beauty of his playing.