In Diaspora, the quartet, Enclave, comprising the pianist Rebecca Cline, saxophonist and flutist, Hilary Noble, bassist, Fernando Huergo and percussionist, Steve Langone have a wonderful follow up to their eponymously titled first record. Cline and Noble specifically appear to be in good company – with the likes of Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer, as a serious musical duo who had so completely absorbed the deeply ebullient spirit of South America that they simply exude inner ritmo, a most magical sense of clave and unbelievably authentic chorinho. It is almost as if they were born with it. Moreover, in the company of a bassist such as Huergo and so accomplished a percussionist as Langone, they soar above the pale with wonderfully complex songs that reverberate with authentic ritual and a hypnotic sense of spiritual energy.
This is not something planned or cultivated. It certainly comes from within. This is obvious from the polyrhythmic meters hidden in the melody of the songs and also the manner in which Rebecca Cline orders her hands to strike the ebony and ivory of the piano. Her dynamics are spot on and beautifully controlled. She has complete mastery of son, bolero and – more than that – at times Yoruba rhythm. It is almost possible to feel the ghostly sense of orishas inhabiting the pulse of her music. Hilary Noble adds wonderful floating vertical lines to the melodies enriching these sometimes beyond belief, as in his flights of fantasy on ”Blue Cross.”
Of course this feast of music and its celebrations of life echo throughout the record. Tracks such as “Iya Modupue,” “Suite for Yemaya” and “Moab” go deep into the heart of Afro-Caribbean ritmo and reverberate with a transcendent pulse. The ensemble drives deepest into Yoruba ritual with “Iyá Modupué”, and here Cline and Noble with Huergo and Langone almost become Santeria celebrants as they weave their voices in swirling and pulsating harmony in an almost magical, speech-like manner. This ocean of sound gushes mightily through “Suite for Yemaya” and “Moab,” both of which also dance with interminable grace.
“Crossroads” and “Blue Cross” are rhythmically clever as are the challenging beats of “Mars Bars” and the diabolical, “Rue de Buci”. Perhaps the most memorable composition, however, is “Nameless,” an elementally sad piece that pierces the heart like a Lenten saeta. Cline shows a particularly chameleon-like skill – an ability to bend and shape notes almost at will and with great power and in a meaningful manner. Noble adds alternately the gruff, muscular tone of the tenor and the fluttering grace of the flute to every conversation he enters into. Both are extremely gifted percussionists as well and prove this time and time again on the record. Huergo is absolutely magical throughout, at times so sonorous and rhythmically powerful that he almost becomes an additional percussionist with his bass. And of course Langone is a one man percussion section at times.
How Enclave will top this superlative gathering of the Diaspora will probably be another magical mystery expedition when it is finally documented, sooner or later.
Tracks: Crossroads; Rue de Buci; Iyá Modupué; A-Frayed; Improvisaciones sobre Yemayá; Chorinho pra Iemãnjá; Ocean Mother; Nameless; Moab; Mars Bars; Blue Cross.
Personnel: Hilary Noble: tenor saxophone, flute, congas, djembe, cajon, cowbell; Rebecca Cline: acoustic grand piano, Fender Rhodes, bombo, claves, cowbell; Fernando Huergo: electric bass; Steve Langone: drums, chocalho, and pandeiro.
Rebecca Cline and Hilary Noble: Enclave on the web: www.enclavejazz.com
Review written by: Raul da Gama