This pianist sounds really great. So was most of this article. The beginning, however, gave me pause.
The title does not bode well. What does this mean? Also, what does the qualifier “of the world” disambiguate or contribute? Now, if he was from another world, that would be something.
THE Cuban-born pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, who over the last 15 years or so has become one of the greatest musicians in jazz,
Huge sweeping broad generalization, but okay, I’m still with you.
is meticulous about music.
What does that mean? His music is precise? Not sloppy? Because, you know, most of those jazz musicians are sloppy, dirty men who only play in dive bars. (As we learned here.)
You can tell this by the first unaccompanied notes of “Avatar”,
I have to wait until the first unaccompanied notes to tell…this (that his music is meticulous, I think)? Or…are the first notes on the album unaccompanied? This is a bit vague, and, I propose, not meticulous.
his complexly beautiful new album.
His new album sounds complexly beautiful! Too bad I don’t know what that means.
He has an almost eerie control over his sound, as if he were playing the strings directly instead of using the keys as intermediaries.
This makes him…meticulous. Okay… Also, qualifying "eerie" with "almost" does not make it sound more meticulous. It, instead, makes it sounds less meticulous. See?
He is also meticulous about ideas.
He is also…what? Perhaps we should finish the paragraph.
He tends to classify music rather exactly,
The qualifier “rather” makes his exactness seem less meticulous. Again. Just saying.
and he talks about jazz in terms of codes and information.
I understand this. It sounds like semiotics of a sort. Semiotics, while (often) deeply cool, is about as inexact and subjective a discipline as any I’ve encountered. Meticulous?
He prepares his records — “productions,” he calls them — with conceptual rigor.
He calls his records “productions” is on the what now?
Mr. Rubalcaba has spent about a decade living in southern
Is his lawn meticulous? The “quiet gated community” thing makes me imagine his meticulously trimmed lawn.
His life looks more like that of a classical-music virtuoso than a jazz musician.
Translation: he does not take lots of drugs and hang out in dives. Great. That’s just great.
He goes to the airport, tours, comes home and dives back into practice.
Jazz musicians hate to practice. And classical musicians? They totally love going to the airport. Don't even get me started on classical musicians and their love of airport-going.
The rest of the article is not bad. I was just confused by the lack of meticulousness of the opening. Mr. Rubalcaba sounds like he is fabulous.