David Virelles Mbókò ECM *****

Innovative, considered, with a poise to it, a gorgeous plangent mobile tonality derived from Cuban folkloric forms and the Coltranian musical language, the Threadgillian here with two bassists, fellow Stańko New York Quartet member bassist Thomas Morgan and ex-Branford Marsalis bassist Bob Hurst, Vijay Iyer drummer Marcus Gilmore and the pianist’s fellow Cuban percussionist/vocalist Román Díaz. The drums are centrestage, a titanic presence and symbol at the album’s heart. The brilliant pianist, who has formidable ears and effortless-sounding advanced technique, writes for Díaz within the overarching tradition of the Abakuá culture, a tradition that stretches far back to Africa and the Cross River region of Nigeria. Very much a state-of-the-art approach from a compositional point of view as well as performance, melting the past into a vision of the future. SG

Released on 13 October