A few years back, multi-instrumentalist Hilary Noble brought his remarkable talents into a partnership with equally skilled pianist Rebecca Cline and formed Enclave, a group dedicated to their concept of an Afro-Latin/post-bop jazz fusion.
The quartet’s initial album, 2005’s Enclave, found a receptive audience among jazz fans and critics and formed the basis for a follow-up, Enclave Diaspora, now out on the Enclave Jazz label. The new effort continues to present listeners with the opportunity to feel the heat with some of today’s most exciting jazz sounds.
Noble’s sax and percussion talents are at the center of the group’s music, but pianist Cline is an important factor too. In addition to her playing ability, she co-wrote (with Noble) many of the pieces in the group’s songbook. The other two members of the group, bassist Fernando Huergo and drummer Steve Langone, are also solid contributors to the success of the quartet.
The 11 tracks offered here are mostly new compositions, with the only exceptions a threesome of traditional Latin pieces that have been reworked and designated as “Suite For Yemaya.” The best of the three is a delightful version of “Ocean Mother” that features some strong tenor sax work by Noble.
Among the originals, I especially enjoyed “Rue de Buci,” which gives Noble a chance to show his flute chops, and “Chorinho pra Iemãnjá,” which was probably my favorite. Bassist Huergo makes an especially strong showing on the piece. I also found a lot to like with “Moab,” a track that showcases pianist Cline’s solid play.
Overall, a solid collection of tracks that gives listeners the chance to take the temperature of music available in Enclave’s corner of the jazz world — and it’s smokin’. (Follow album link for sound clips.)