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Fabian Almazan: Rhizome

Rhizome is too diverse to be called a concept album. But it is a single arc, a deep personal reflection on our present moment. A rhizome is a giant plant system in which individual plants above ground share a single subterranean stem. For Fabian Almazan it is a metaphor for how humanity is all connected. His album is an affirmation of human brotherhood within a painful awareness of its continuous violation.

His work with Terence Blanchard has revealed him as a brilliantly expressive pianist. But the complexity of subject matter on Rhizome requires many additional resources: a rhythm section of bassist Linda Oh and drummer Henry Cole; a string quartet; seven-string violinist Ronit Kirchman; the guitar and haunting voice of Camila Meza; a synthesizer. Almazan’s achievement is how he arrays all these contrasting textures and colors into a powerful, conflicted portrait of our time.

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