Polansky's 'morphing' pieces, for instruments and computers, are collected on his third solo CD on Artifact Recordings. These works explore musical change in diverse and strange ways. Several were written by computer, using formal, mathematical, and software morphing techniques.
Paquito D'Rivera's alto and clarinet skills were ably displayed on this session, which featured him working in Afro-Latin, salsa, funk, swing and hard bop. Compositions ranged from intense, jam-flavored numbers with torrid solos, like "Recife's Blue" and the title tune, to introspective ballads, group pieces with rhythmically explosive sections and numbers displaying classical influences. The unifying force was D'Rivera, who also played tenor, but was most prominent on clarinet, doing both swing-oriented and looser, freer solos. While not as strict a jazz vehicle as his Columbia dates, this session presented a more eclectic, versatile Paquito D'Rivera.
La Habana: Rio Conexion is saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera's attempt to bring the gospel of historical bolero to American listeners. These 12 cuts are steeped in the grand Cuban tradition and reinsert its cultural and historical center into a music that has been watered down to the point of being nondescript. But, of course, this is also a jazz recording, and D'Rivera is a jazz musician. The rhythmic and harmonic extrapolations are minimal, however, and focus on the integral form of the music whether it be the album's opening danza, Ernesto Lecuona's "La Comparsa," or the chorinho that closes the proceedings, Pixinguinha's "Segura Ele."