Silvano Monasterios : Unconditional

On this fourth outing as a leader, the outstanding pianist-composer Silvano Monasterios blends elements of his American jazz heroes (Chick Corea, Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock) with the South American rhythms of his native Venezuela. Most affecting are pieces like “Farmacia del Angel,” underscored by the huge, woody tones of bassist Jon Dadurka’s undulating tumbao rhythms, and the intricate, polyrhythmic “Monsieur Petit Noir,” which highlights the potent tenor sax work of Troy Roberts. The two-part suite “A Song for Jacques” is a moving tribute to a fallen friend, and “Forgotten Gods” is a burner showcasing both Monasterios and Roberts soloing in uptempo swing mode. The pianist also turns in a personalized Venezuelan version of Phil Markowitz’s “Sno’ Peas” (a tune famously recorded by Bill Evans and Toots Thielemans on Affinity), and he courts a darker muse via electric keyboard on “Black Saint.”