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Alfredo Rodríguez: The Little Dream (Mack Avenue)

Review of Cuban pianist's trio album on Mack Avenue

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Cover of Alfredo Rodriguez album The Little Dream
Cover of Alfredo Rodriguez album The Little Dream

A dozen years after his breakthrough performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and seven since his Mack Avenue debut, the Cuban-born pianist Alfredo Rodríguez continues to dazzle with technique and vision. Quincy Jones, who began mentoring Rodríguez after that Montreux gig and the pianist’s move to the U.S., returns here as co-producer, bringing a luminosity and brashness to the 12 tracks, most of them written by the leader.

The Little Dream is Rodríguez’s first release to use an unadorned trio throughout, yet the tracks are no less robust than those on his previous recordings that featured more augmentation. Munir Hossn, who provides both guitar and bass, and drummer/percussionist Michael Olivera, are full partners here, giving shape to Rodríguez’s wanderings.

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