Some artists write music based on their inspirations, and typically feature their own instrument, be it piano, guitar, trumpet or saxophone. However, bassist Ricky Rodriguez composes with the other musicians in mind. In this case, Looking Beyond (Destiny Records, 2016) is a collection of songs that feature the sidemen chosen for the project.
Musicians performing with Rodriguez are Adam Rogers, guitar; Luis Perdomo, piano and Fender Rhodes; Obed Calvaire, drums; Myron Walden, alto saxophone and bass clarinet; with special guests, David Sanchez, tenor saxophone; Pete Rodriguez, trumpet and Obanilu Allende, barril de bomba, a hand drum similar to the conga.
“Living” is an easygoing, walk in the park. With the piano and bass setting the pace, the horns blend for the all’s well-inspired melody. After the opening sequence, Sanchez goes on a leisurely stroll with sidekicks Rodriguez and Calvaire in tow. As the determination of his strides become more pronounced, Perdomo joins in. With the tenor emoting, the others stretch out a bit underneath. The full ensemble is engaged for a brief transition, leading to Walden’s turn out front. A highlight is when the alto builds to climax while repeating the same, two-note wail – like something out of Kenny Garrett’s trick bag. The song reverts to the melody and closes with the two saxophones ad libbing until a full stop.