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by Ron Sagye La Rue

T&D Records
Time: 42:12
Victor Noriega: piano
Willie Blair: Bass
Eric Eagle: Drums

Artists for decades have delved into their culture for in-
spiration and personal expression. Victor Noriega a pianist
of considerable talent, focuses on his Filipino heritage in
Alay(dedication,offering)his second recording. Unless your
familiar with Filipino music the composers will not be re-
cognizable. But Noriega makes the music accessible and in-
teresting--in fact its quite universal in character. An ex-
ample is his own composition Kuya(older brother)once he moves
beyond the lilting melody it displays a slow bluesy quality.

Pandangguhan by Antonio Molina, writtten in 1925,originally
for a string quartet,and one of 8 major works in chamber music
form. Noriega's triotake you through multiple moods classical
romantic, and there's some nice "straight ahead" blowing for a
few bars,before repeating the melody.(note:pronunciation,trans-
lations are on the CD notes.) Bayan Ko by Constancio De Guzman
is the "deepest in feeling" on the CD the mood is dirge-like
setting a somber atmosphere, reminding this writer of of Mal
Waldron's "Quiet Temple". A lighter stately mood arrives late
in the piece. Saan Ka Man Naroroon, by Restie Umali begins with
bass and left hand piano figure that is reminiscent of things
Ahmad Jamal has done,dums and tambourine create and sustain ch-
aracter of the composition.

Bahay Kubu is in the same vein the composer is not credited on
the CD. Dahil Sa Inyo by Mike Velarde was an international hit
decades ago,and the lyric have been tranlated to English,Spanish
Japanese and Chinese. Though done here instrumentally in two
versions "ulit"(again) is played with blinding speed Noriega has
technique in abundance. Alay another original by Noriega there
are four versions here. Maalaa Mo Kaya the second piece by Guzman
has some excellent drumming by Eric Eagle and solid bass work by
Willie Blair beautifully acoustic all the way! Thirteen is a good
number(tracks) on this CD. Once Mike Velarde once said: My for-
mula was first,be direct to the point;second inject the proper
feeling. His motto: Think Filipino;write Filipino;and sound
Filipino. Victor Noriega achieves the above and we all can
enjoy his CD ALAY www.noriegamusic.com

published 12.10.2010 2005 jazz news :: home page