Personnel: Ramon Valle (piano); Omar Rodriguez Calvo (bass); Liber Torriente (drums).
Recorded at Bauer Studios, Ludwigsburg, Germany
Although pianist Ram¢n Valle (who contributed all 11 selections), bassist Omar Rodr¡guez Calvo, and drummer Liber Torriente were all born originally in Cuba and are masterful with polyrhythms, the music that they perform on No Escape is more post-bop jazz than it is Latin or Afro-Cuban jazz. Valle's style recalls Herbie Hancock of the 1960s at times, although it is fairly original. Working closely with his sidemen, Valle performs pieces that are often dark, complex, and a bit dissonant but not without their lighthearted moments. Of these, "El Vigia" is an inventive jazz waltz, the lengthy "Andar por Dentro" sounds mysterious, and "Brindemos" swings hard in its fashion. None of these originals are destined to become standards, but they certainly do challenge the musicians, who somehow often sound as one, following each other telepathically and creating stirring music. ~ Scott Yanow
JazzTimes (p.113) - "Valle is equally adept at intensely swinging like Oscar Peterson - but with a groove that reflects the syncopation of the Afro-Cuban clave - playing pop music or reveling in the island's many traditional rhythms."
Mojo (Publisher) (2/04, p.103) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]his is international modernism with taut themes full of excitement and atmosphere, and unshowy, organic blowing."
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