Mike DiRubbo - Repercussion

album review


Release date: July 7th 2009

Availability: CD, MP3 Download

 Mike DiRubbo: Repercussion cover

The rise and rise of vibes based jazz continues with this fine release by alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo partnered by Steve Nelson.

Mike DiRubbo studied with Jackie McLean at Hartt School, CT, but is more than a disciple of the great man; much of the playing on "Repercussion" appeals more to the lyricism of John Coltrane than to acid tone and approach of his teacher.

Steve Nelson, who has played and recorded with Jackie McLean – and also with jazz greats Grant Green, Kenny Barron and Johnny Griffin amongst many others – brings a strong Milt Jackson derived influence to his perceptive vibes playing. As recent releases by Christian McBride and Ken Fowser have reminded us, the rewards from the more open sound and approach achieved by replacing piano with vibraphone in the classic sax led quartet are considerable, an approach trailed by Milt Jackson and then, in great partnerships with Joe Henderson and then Harold Land, by Bobby Hutcherson.

The quartet is completed by Dwayne Burno on bass and Tony Reedus on drums, a very effective combination on one of the best jazz albums of the summer.

 Mike DiRubbo photo
Mike DiRubbo

There are nine compositions by Mike DiRubbo, the two non-originals being Dave Brubeck's "The Duke" and the Burton Lane standard "Too Late Now".

The uptempo material - "Repercussion", "Lunar", "Nelsonian" (written as a feature for Steve Nelson)- produce great jazz with inventive solos and great rhythm support.

"Nightfall", "Highbridge Lullaby", "Pisces Rising" and "Too Late Now" are evocative and contemplatory with wonderfully long and involving soloing from both of the principals.

"The Duke" and "Déjà Vu" are successful mid tempo pieces.

An album of great quality.

If Posi-Tone maintains the quality of its recent releases, it will be laying claim to the Criss Cross mantle as the label producing the best "Blue Note" jazz of the decade.

In memoriam: Tony Reedus died in 2008 shortly after this recording was made

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