The Little Dream
Especially when compared to 2016's guest-star-packed Tocororo, the fourth album from Alfredo Rodriguez is surprisingly intimate. But even when stripped to a trio, the Cuban pianist's globetrotting fusions remain delightfully unpredictable. On a seemingly mellow ballad like "World of Colors," his playing is almost overwhelmingly mournful, while the tempestuous rhythms of "Bloom" provide a tense but thrilling peak. But despite the occasional dips into darker moods, the album's overall vibe is gloriously uplifting, especially when a playful Rodriguez is splashing inventive melodies across swinging jams like "Tree of Stars."