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Renee Rosnes: Written in the Rocks

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Veteran pianist and composer Renee Rosnes delivers conceptual heft, suspenseful compositions and mesmerizing performances on her first album for the Smoke Sessions label. Evolutionary science, the theories of Charles Darwin and the work of Canadian technology specialist Dino Rosati inform the bulk of the disc, which is largely occupied by the seven-part “The Galapagos Suite.” Impressively, Rosnes realizes these lofty conceits with a surprisingly small ensemble, a quintet.

The group exhibits keen spatial awareness and harmonic ingenuity to create large-scale evocations. Rosnes is surrounded by deft musicians-saxophonist and flutist Steve Wilson, vibraphonist Steve Nelson, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Bill Stewart-with whom she’s forged deep rapports throughout much of her three-decade-plus career.

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