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The Blessing (1991)

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Gonzalo Rubalcaba

The virtuosic Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba's first recording to be issued in the U.S. is still one of his best. With strong accompaniment from bassist Charlie Haden (one of his early champions) and drummer Jack DeJohnette, Rubalcaba is in frequently exciting form throughout these performances. Highlights include an outstanding investigation of "Besame Mucho," "Giant Steps," Ornette Coleman's beautiful "The Blessing," and an unusual treatment given to Bill Evans' "Blue in Green." ~ Scott Yanow