Dafnis Prieto Absolute Quintet

His rhythm is gonna getcha

On the one, y’all!! Uh, except…where the hell is one? You may need higher calculus to find it in the intricate arcs of the Dafnis Prieto Absolute Quintet. Not that the Cuban drummer’s band sounds labored or heady. On the contrary, they leap across the shifting, unwonted time-signatures like they were vamping on a simple son. This New York-based, no-bass band—with violin, cello, keys, and alto—has more to it, though, than just fascinating rhythm. Prieto brings to his compositions a strange and unusual balance of tradition, texture, and invention, some of the coolest I’ve heard since Susie Ibarra. (There’s just something about drummers; it’s like they hear things differently.) Prieto’s racing in some new directions, and bringing his heart along with his notation book. All of which makes his band my bet for the most intriguing set of the Earshot Jazz Festival’s first week.

Mon., Oct. 22, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2007

 
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