Album Review: Albare & Co. — Freedom

One of the great things about jazz is its expansiveness. While there are certainly artists working within the idiom who take an insular approach to their creativity, at its best the form allows itself to be influenced by music (and art, for that matter) well beyond the frontiers of what we would consider jazz. Albare is an artist who exemplifies this attitude. His work displays the influences of ‘60s bossa nova, and Wes Montgomery, but he’s also inspired by Jimi Hendrix.

That said, you’re not likely to hear any explicit echoes of Hendrix’s style on Freedom. But what you will discover is bright, playful music played by highly skilled, deeply emotional, classy and just-plain-fun musicians. The ten songs on Freedom are all Albare originals (including three co-composed with his pianist, Phil Turcio. The music is supremely melodic and somehow warmly familiar without being derivative. Husband-and-wife team Randy Brecker and Ada Rovatti are on hand with flugelhorn, trumpet and saxes. A delight start to finish.