New York City-based alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo is a busy session artist, recording for the Criss Cross and Fresh Sounds record labels. He’s also performed and recorded with trombonist Steve Davis and many others of note. Here, on his second solo effort, DiRubbo transmits an authoritative presence and enjoys a fruitful relationship with fellow frontline soloist and vibist Steve Nelson.
From the opening moments of the first piece "Repercussion," it becomes evident that DiRubbo possesses a get-up-and-go demeanor via his buoyant line of attack, spiced with verve and a robust tone. Coupled with fluent lines and a few technical nods to John Coltrane, the artist snags your attention, and sails through these largely, original pieces with equal doses of fire and grace.
Nelson often bobs and weaves around the saxophonist’s fluent lines. They trade hearty fours and venture into bop territory as well. No doubt, the twosome generates an abundance of expressive and at times, yearning choruses as the leader frequently executes tension and release statements. However, the quartet softens the flow with the standard "Too Late Now," sparked by DiRubbo’s drifting and smoothly crafted notes.
DiRubbo is very impressive on this sprightly 2009 studio date, featuring bassist Dwayne Burno and the late drummer Tony Reedus. You won’t find any filler material or wanton soloing jaunts. It’s more about music with a purpose, due to the band’s tightly focused gait amid DiRubbo’s lyrically resplendent theme-building applications.