In a time where innovative spirit seems rare, exceptionally gifted Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez embraces it. Rodríguez aims to keep jazz flourishing on sophomore LP The Invasion Parade. He balances classic and progressive exceptionally, establishing a unique identity. Nine tracks deep, The Invasion Parade impresses.
Two high-flying standouts open the album. “The Invasion Parade” sets the tone, conveying Rodríguez’s affinity for angular and quirky musical lines, a characteristic recurring throughout the album. “Guantanamera” showcases Rodríguez’s remarkable pianistic skill, through agile melodic lines, fearless runs, and dissonant clusters. Teamwork pays off with bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding appearing on “El Güije” and the riveting “Snails in the Creek” (Pedrito Martinez appears also). “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás” receives a liberal interpretation, while “Cubismo” concludes sensationally, employing modern Cuban style, timba. With no miscues, The Invasion Parade is superb. Rodríguez’s musicianship never ceases to amaze. Smartly assembled, The Invasion Parade is a winner.