Dave Rivello

Facing the Mirror

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Dave Rivello debuts his large ensemble with this recording, an impressive beginning by the young composer/arranger/conductor. Taken under the wing of Bob Brookmeyer as a student, Rivello grew to impress his teacher with his harmonic gifts and dedication to writing for a big band, leading the veteran to pen praise-filled liner notes (not an easy request, as Brookmeyer has seen and done it all during his long career as a bandleader, star soloist, composer, arranger, and sideman) for this CD. Rivello's music is deep and full of "the sound of surprise" (as the late writer Whitney Balliett put it), while the 12 musicians interpreting it under the leader's baton obviously worked long hours to meet its challenges. The opening track, "One by One by One," is an intricate miniature suite, with segues between sections to set up soloists Eli Asher on trumpet and pianist Red Wierenga. The infectious "Dancing in Circles" begins with a circular vamp by the rhythm section around which the reeds and brass weave their rich textures. Rivello's elegant scoring of brass and reeds in the brief finale, "Chorale," is the perfect ending to this rewarding CD. Don't be surprised if Dave Rivello evolves into one of the major composers for large jazz ensembles, much like an earlier Brookmeyer pupil, Maria Schneider.

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