Lluís Vidal

Milikituli

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AllMusic Review by

Spanish uber-pianist Lluis Vidal leads his trio through a program of his trademark Spanish jazz compositions that are so innovative and full of mystery it's tough to get a bead on his methodics. Vidal is a very emotional player. He's not florid in any way, he swings too much for that, but his emotion makes him somewhat busy in his melodic constructions. And this is fine because he has so much to say. He would call himself an impressionist, but when the tunes swing this hard and offer such an array of colors and tonal variants, it's impossible to rein him in that way. For starters there's the title cut, which slips along at a sprightly pace, offering three or four harmonic variations on the theme, a bop line that has been inverted and extended into an intervallic skyscraper. His right-hand runs flow along the rhythm stride and his comping is all done in counterpoint. And just when it could get no more complex, the rhythm section, via a triplet cue from Vidal, moves into a Cuban son for about eight bars. Likewise, "Havanera" has a spacious, whispering opening harmonic figure that opens onto three chromatic vistas simultaneously, with the bassist taking one and Vidal taking the other two, moving into a Cuban folk-song-via-Brubeck variation on a piece by Milhaud and running through the center with a tango melody. Trying to explain the rest of this disc is futile, as it is beyond the reach of most language and color. It has to be heard for the black diamond it is -- continually enchanting, confounding, and delightful.

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