Gonzalo Rubalcaba: My Funny Valentine
My Funny Valentine
Gonzalo Rubalcaba (piano)
Straight Ahead (Yemaya YY9422)
Gonzalo Rubalcaba (piano).
Composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.
Recorded: La Habana, Cuba, 1986
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
This is a meditative reading by a 23-year-old pianist whose international career hadn't yet started. Rubalcaba is not totally fluent with the melody and seems not to take account of the meaning of the words. But he has such poetic sensitivity, and his triple background on the piano (classical, Cuban and jazz) gives him such a beautiful touch and phrasing, that one hears these qualities more than a few flaws. Rubalcaba has since become the grand pianist we know today, but it's moving to hear him in his budding period and to discover how much of his future self was already there.
Reviewer: Thierry Quénum