Rebecca Cline / Enclave

Enclave Diaspora

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Their follow-up recording to the 2005 Zoho label release Enclave has pianist Rebecca Cline and saxophonist Hilary Noble expanding on their Latin jazz concept, as a diaspora indicates. The use of the word "enclave" wields a double entendre, the meaning of the term as a collective, encased and insular whole, while in the implied sense it is within the clave beat of Afro-Cuban music. This recording uses both wholly descarga and samba rhythms, while in other instances extends the flavor of what Eddie Palmieri calls Afro-Caribbean music with the jagged edged spirit of improvisation based post-bop and modern neo-jazz. Rebecca Cline is an incredibly gifted pianist as heard on the original Enclave CD, and here she's doin' it again. Whether in clever, energetic, or wildly untamed motions, it is clear that Cline's immense talent should always be allowed to cut loose, and never be held in check. Noble's tenor sax sometimes strays from pure tonality, but his flute playing is quite riveting and powerful, and he co-composed most of this material with Cline. It does not hurt this tandem one iota in that they have retained the excellent rhythm team of electric bass guitarist Fernando Huergo and drummer Steve Langone as holdovers from the Zoho project, as they are excellent musicians who stoke the burning coals of the group to red-hot proportions. The most impressive unison between flute and piano is heard during "Rue De Buci," a melody that concurrently flies left and right, similar to what Dave Valentin and Chick Corea might do together. From monster plod to sprint and strut, "A-Frayed" is a compelling time and pace changeling, all cued by Cline's utter virtuosity. Hard Latin funk is easily within the purview of the quartet during "Crossroads" as Noble's tethered tenor urges on the impressive, fist pumped chords of Cline. At their purest in the Afro-Cuban vein, Cline's original "Moab" -- inspired by spaghetti westerns and specifically the Arches National Park in Utah -- is based in the 6/8 Abakua rhythm of traditional folkloric soul, and the spirit of late masters Ernesto Lecuona and Frank Emilio Flynn. Where contemporary jazz goes is in Cline's hands for the 3/4 to 4/4 swinger "Mars Bars," while a loping piano with cross rhythms and Noble's playful tenor identify "Blue Cross." There's a laid-back theme of nurturing motherhood in "Iya Modupue," a ballad for insensitive people ignorant of the downtrodden "Nameless," and a three-part "Suite for Yemaya" for the goddess of salt waters, with improvised, peaceful flute and piano, a brighter chant-like staccato section, and a Brazilian contemporary samba. Noble can at times be shrill or out of tune, but never a stark distraction, while the rhythm section is unstoppable, especially the ultra-passionate Cline. As overwhelmingly impressive a pianist and composer as she is, it seems she's loaded with more potential to be realized. She's one of those few performers where you can't wait to hear what she'll do next, and could listen to her forever and a day. Rebecca Cline is clearly the rising star of this fine ensemble, and one to keep the light on for.

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