Before a packed well-heeled crowd at Herb Alpert's swank club, Mr. Rodriguez, along with his symbiotic team of Ricardo Rodriguez/b and Henry Cole/dr delivered just three songs during their 1 ¼ hour set, but each song took the audience on panoramic sonic journeys that were a feast for the ears, heart and feet.
The opening Silencio" hushed the audience with the leader brooding over a solo piano which changed in meter, tempo and dynamics, while the bass and drum slowly entered and conversed with Rodriguez, taking the music through different moods as if one were traversing through various Cuban neighborhoods: calm and tranquil, then suddenly dramatically hip hopping and sizzling.
With the bass creating rivulets of grooves, Rodriguez's piano went from Lisztian rhapsodies to visceral wavelike climaxes, slowly releasing like the tide after a storm. The following Vente Ani" featured an agonizingly and romantic slow tango that undulated like long lost lovers, with both Rodriguezes plucking their respective strings to a timeless tempo. By the time of the closing Transculturation" (from his debut release), with the trio's aggressive and empathetically percussive interplay, the audience realized that they had witnessed something beyond the ordinary. The piano trio, a long time stalwart of jazz, had been taken to a higher plane this full mooned evening in Bel Air.