Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Arturo Stabile: Cuban Crosshatching

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

As the title indicates, this is not strictly an Afro-Cuban jazz record, but flits between styles, incorporating straight-ahead and Latin influences. Named for the artistic technique that uses parallel lines to create shading and depth, Arturo Stable’s varied percussion style adds a Cuban inflection to his eclectic compositions, from the rhythmic pulse of guajira and son to a sudden frisson of cymbals that rounds out his gorgeous ballads. Stable’s choice of personnel ensures a multicultural bent. Saxophonist Seamus Blake and guitarist Lionel Loueke contribute a fluidity and lyricism that transcend genre conventions. Bassist Edward Perez and vocalist Magos Herrera ground the album with Latin flair, but most of the tracks have a dreamlike quality.

Despite this diaphanous texture, Stable hangs his originals around the lifeblood of cultural tradition, breaking up the album with three duets: one vocal, one with saxophone and one with guitar. Stable stretches out on these, as do Herrera, Blake and Loueke. Isolating each individual player reveals their chemistry with the leader, making it easy to see how this meeting of minds is more than the sum of its parts.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published