Influenced by such diverse, but compatible artists as Astor Piazzolla, Igor Stravinsky, and Bill Evans, pianist/composer Pablo Ablanedo writes complex arrangements that address group improvisation, ambient soundscapes, and straight-ahead modal blowing. Featuring a group of young and ambitious fellow Berklee School of Music grads, From Down There is a cinematic and introspective debut. Many of Ablanedo's compositions feature striking violin lines via Jenny Scheinmann and mournful horn accents that devolve into swirling waves of slow tango. Ablanedo seems to be interested in mixing sounds from his native Argentina with progressive jazz that borders on the avant-garde. Indicative of this is "Chacarera de la Esperanza," with its atonal piano backgrounds against a weepy horn melody line that cuts to a flamenco-driven solo section. Similarly, the title track, with its odd time signature and rolling piano riff, starts out like a Dave Brubeck piece and quickly breaks down into an airy Bill Frisell-like improvisation featuring the plaintive call-and-response bends of brother-and-sister team Avishai Cohen and Anat Cohen, on trumpet and tenor saxophone, respectively. All in all, Ablanedo's third stream, world jazz compositions lend themselves to both intellectual dissection and late-night, after-dinner relaxation.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar