The supergroup formed by pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, bassist Armando Gola and drummer Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez delivered high-voltage free jazz at Theatre Maisonneuve tonight! Hard to follow as all three guys were often improvising at the same time!

The three virtuosos had three different profiles: first-of-class look Rubalcaba banged on his piano and integrated great Latin-style beats here and there, while cool and ever-smiling bassist Gola had fingers of his left hand moving like a spider on the neck of his instrument, always finding the right key. As for the drummer Hernandez, he’s an intense original dude that never stops playing full speed, breaking beats, throwing them upside down, while glancing at the pianist to connect. Explosive!

When these three great improvisers regrouped on the melody for a few bars it is with such ability, like a cat falling on its feet! You could see them enjoy themselves as they were jumping on the same path, in an almost magical way. All smiles!

Not a jazz night for kids, as this was very complex music played here, but there was also magic happening in the room, as these three virtuosos didn’t hold back at all! Pure musical freedom.


As the opening act, Chilean tenor saxophonist and composer Melissa Aldana impressed as she was leading a cool trio (The Crash Trio). She was the first female to win the Thelonious Music International Institute’s competition for saxophone, and did plat some Monk classics. Very unique to hear the great composer’s music without any piano, but this young talent really nailed it on the sax! A new talent to keep an eye on.
melissa aldana

VOLCAN TRIO with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez and Armando Gola played at Théâtre Maisonneuve of Place-des-Arts July 7, 2016 as part of the Montreal Jazz Fest.

All our articles about the Jazz Fest are here.

Top photos by Alice BL Durigatto and Serena Sperrato

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.