Mike DiRubbo


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Alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo studied with Jackie McLean, and has played with highly regarded musicians like Eddie Henderson, John Hicks, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. Chronos, his sixth CD as a leader, finds him fronting a stripped-down sax/organ/drums trio, with hard-grooving and occasionally skronky results. This isn't an out-jazz record, but it has its moments, particularly on the title track, where DiRubbo repeats a three-note phrase with ferocious intensity before commencing a solo that gets unexpectedly harsh. For most of the disc, though, he's a stabilizing force, keeping things cool and boppin'. Keyboardist Brian Charette is the wild card, playing an almost psychedelic melodic figure at the end of "Excellent Taste," which he wrote. Drummer Rudy Royston gets plenty aggressive at times, too, especially on "Eight for Elvin," named for Elvin Jones, who once hit his kick drum so hard on a date with John Coltrane that it broke. Chronos occupies an interesting middle ground between soul-jazz and free jazz, and will likely provide plenty of pleasure to fans of either or both.

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