After missing one concert due to some medical adventures I was back last Friday at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art hall for the third concert in the Hot Jazz series. The guests of the evening were the Ramon Valle Trio.


Ramon Valle trio - photo Mariana Smilovici


Classifying pianist Ramon Valle’s music does not conform easily within any pre-defined label. Born in Cuba in 1964 his formation mixes classical music, traditional Cuban sounds and jazz. While influenced initially by such models as Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea he found soon his own voice, his style melding various influences and adding a flamboyant personality that makes it sound a little bit of all and much more.


Ramón Valle Trío en el Festival Internacional de Jazz del Teatro Libre 2010 from Javier Egas on Vimeo.


For the last few years Valle is based in Amsterdam and sings with his own trio with whom he came to Tel Aviv, His partners in the trio are bassist Omar Rodriguez Calvo and drummer Owen Hart jr. Rodriguez Calvo is an exceptional musician himself, one of these very few bass players who make you feel that the bass is an instrument capable of much more expression than the traditional rhythmic and counter-melodic role that it plays traditionally in the various jazz formats.


Ramon Valle - photo Mariana Smilovici

In the concert in Tel Aviv Valle and his trio played a programmed base largely on their last CD Playground. Most of the pieces were composed by Valle, with a couple of additions from Coltrane and Cuban composers. It was a wonderful evening of jazz, sounds filled the space from the very first moments, with songs usually starting with brilliant theme introductions by Valle’s piano, and continuing with generous sections of solos for the other two musicians. The audience responded accordingly with one of the hottest reception a band or musician received lately in this hall. I also bought the CD and I hope to find time to review it soon for The Catcher.