Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Aruan Ortiz: Orbiting

Aruan Ortiz (piano)
Orbiting (Fresh Sound/New Talent; 2012)
Eric McPherson (drums)
David Gilmore (guitar)
Rashaan Carter (bass)

Aruan Ortiz was one of the outstanding contributors to Esperanza Spalding little known first album, Junjo. His playing is calculating and well developed. I freely admit that I don't own much other than his previous quartet record and the Spalding album but I really believe he is a serious rising talent.

Only on the scene for a few years, he is slowly becoming a well known name within the scene. His style at times reminds me of a young Chick Corea. 

His second (fourth as leader) album with his quartet, Orbiting is a wonderful and elegantly executed session that takes chances when needed and stays reverent on others. "Orbiting" features a set of stellar performances by Ortiz and Gilmore. Ortiz seems to move freely and applies a great deal of emotion with each chord. Gilmore's patterns add a nice groove that also turns bluesy on the next track "The Heir." This number includes a number sparkling movements by Ortiz and McPherson that ascend into a massive crescendo towards the end.

Ortiz shows adventure and inspiration with his version of Ornette Coleman's "WRU." A good dose of improvisation by Ortiz and Carter. Their movement together is fluid yet pulsating.

Deep, emotional and intensely rewarding. Aruan Ortiz has produced a superb collection that pretty much everyone will find a big surprise. Orbiting is modern yet still rooted in tradition. Highly Recommended.

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