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Claudio Roditi: Reflections

Reflections follows up Roditi’s earlier 341 (2002) and Light in the Dark (2004), both also with pianist Klaus Ignatzek and bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse. The absence of a drummer does nothing to impede swing on the faster tunes, and on the medium pieces frees the time, producing a sensation of floating. That feeling is enhanced by Roditi’s fluency on trumpet and flugelhorn, but its origin is in the chemistry among the three musicians, which seems to intensify with each new album. Don’t be misled by the term “floating.” This is not soft jazz or smooth jazz in the sense of the mindless stuff marketed under those rubrics.

The tunes include Dizzy Gillespie’s “Con Alma” and “Ow!” plus eight originals on harmonic patterns that give the soloists interesting changes for their improvisations. Of the originals, Ignatzek’s “One for Chet” and “Warm Breeze” are particularly satisfying. Roditi’s rotary-valve flugelhorn solo on “One for Chet” captures the combination of wistfulness and grit that made up Baker’s best latter-day playing. “Warm Breeze,” the album’s only outright ballad, sets a mood rather like Mal Waldron’s “Soul Eyes,” although it is unrelated harmonically. This is another A+ CD for Roditi.

Originally Published