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Gabriel Vicéns: Point in Time

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Guitarist-composer Gabriel Vicéns, a leading light of Puerto Rico’s jazz scene, flaunts a modernist sensibility on his impressive debut as a leader. His dark, warm-toned legato guitar lines share a kindred mastery with Stateside players like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mike Moreno and Ben Monder. On such pieces as the opening “El Comienzo,” the bristling title track and the mellow “La Diferencia,” he locks into tight, flowing unisons with alto saxophonist Jonathan Suazo, his potent cohort on the frontline. Vicéns’ considerable compositional skills are showcased on the tender and lyrical “Beautiful Place” and “Frame of Mind.” Eddie Gomez guests-along with tenor saxophonist David Sánchez-on the stirring “Cuadro”; the bass great is prominently featured on the introspective 12-minute suite, “El Camino,” and Sánchez digs deep on the stirring closer, “The World in My View.”

Originally Published