DAVID VIRELLES Motion (Justin Time)
This disc is the result of Cuban-born pianist Virelles winning the grand prize at last year’s Montreal jazz fest. It’s very impressive, very original, a swirl of creative activity within all eight tunes (seven by him) that emphasize the album title. Bandsmen Luis Deniz (alto sax), Devon Henderson (bass), young drummer Ethan Ardelli and percussionist Luis Orbegoso are willingly complicit in this urgent, sophisticated fusion of contemporary jazz and Latin elements both modern and traditional, notably in the muscular and multiple layered rhythms. Tenor sax guest Mark Turner adds heft on three tracks, but all the music is dominated by the dense-yet-fleet configurations and passionate expressiveness of the leader, who also shines on Fender Rhodes and synthesizer. The long closer “Patakin” is fascinating, “Sueño” bustles, “Mercedes” sparkles with life, but “Laberintos” is a curiosity, a ballad with Cuban singer José Aquiles’ voice taped in Havana. It matters little. Top track: The complex “Lo Mas Sublime” with its irresistible, swaggering momentum and nifty tenor contribution.