Cuban pianist-composer Fabian Almazan’s ambition and fearless approach to complexity, makes him one of the rising stars on piano today. On his multi-layered 9-piece suite album Rhizome, released in 2018 with his group Alcanza he seamlessly blends Shostakovich-like compositions with modern and contemporary Latin music and post-bop jazz. This has resulted in a startling and path-breaking album, which has been received as an absolute triumph. In keeping up with Almazan’s huge vision, it is a conceptual album, an hour-long, nine-movement suite that explores questions of self-discovery, identity, and human beings’ place in a complex and sometimes forbidding universe.
Meza’s pristine vocals give life to Almazan’s thought-provoking lyrics, and although she sings exclusively in Spanish, the beauty and grandeur of the music are more than enough to transcend linguistic boundaries—a feature that characterizes Almazan’s entire body of work, as his music so thoroughly defies categorization and classification. The two most striking qualities of the suite are its energy and it’s emotional potency. Almazan brings the striking bassist Linda May Han Oh (Pat Metheny) and drummer Eric Doob. Alcanza is joined by the String in Residence to bring you this suite, this journey, especially for MJAZZ19.
Strings in Residence
For this concert the Mara Tieles StringLAB will join in as Strings in Residence. The string quartet led by alt violin player Mara Tieles (Cuba) works majorly with classical and contemporary classical musicians but loves to collaborate with groups such as Snarky Puppy and The Cinamatic Orchestra. On behalf of Mondriaan Jazz, Tieles formed a string quartet that will collaborate with Camila Meza & The Nectar Orchestra as well as with Fabian Almazan & Alcanza.
”Alcanza is a triumphant accomplishment, and, more important, gorgeous music.”
Jazztimes – 2017