Aruán Ortiz: Cubanism – pianist digs into a rich cultural wellspring

Wed, Jul 19, 2017, 08:30



Aruán Ortiz

Intakt Records


When it comes to solo piano, it can take a bit of digging these days to unearth any previously undiscovered treasure, but Cuban-born, New York-resident pianist Aruán Ortiz drills down into his own heritage – one that includes various Cuban folkoric traditions as well as notable piano soloists like Chucho Valdés and Gonzalo Rubalcaba – and up gushes Cubanism, a wellspring of fresh ideas and mysterious atmospheres. Ortiz shares with those other Cuban greats a gleeful delight in the possibilities of the instrument, but there is also a controlled, more urbane abstraction at work here. The album title is a reference to Ortiz’s conception of multiple musical viewpoints, which also places the talented 44-year-old Cuban in the lineage of Paul Bley and Andrew Hill.