Rebello is the latest young British jazz musician to be packaged for mass consumption and in this case there is considerable musical ability to match the hairdo. He received a formal classical training before discovering Herbie Hancock, and he obviously has a fine ear to match his chops, because he demonstrates a remarkable mastery of Hancock’s vocabulary – not something I fancy was on the syllabus at the Guildhall School of Music.
The record was produced by Wayne Shorter and his influence is apparent in much of Rebello’s material, witness the thundering piano and bass motives, the heavy backbeats, dense harmonies and snaking soprano melodies.
There are echoes too of Chick Corea (in various flamenco flourishes and in the Moog-like solo of the title track), of Dave Grusin (in the cocktail fusion of Ship To Shore) and of Mike Stern’s Gossip, Chromazone and Jigsaw trilogy (in the darting, scurrying theme of 1st Instinct).
Rebello’s virtuosic piano technique is matched by his fluency as an arranger. Much of the ensemble work is elaborately scored, and, thanks to a team of skilled sidemen, precisely executed, though I prefer Rebello the soloist in a less cluttered ambience, burning as Hancock did on Sly.
By the way, the percussionist is probably KVD Bosch, though the BMG press release complicates the matter by dubbing him KVD Bossche.
Back To Back; Medusa Seducer; Golden Fleece; Ship To Shore; 1st Instinct; Siobhan; Punch And Judy; Tone Row; A Clearer View; Memorial (61.41)
David O’Higgins Its/ss); Jeremy Stacey (d); Julian Crampton, Lawrence Cottle (elb); Karl Van Den Bocsh (pc); Rebello (p/kyb). London, 1990.
(BMG PD 74805)