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On Together: Honoring My Father, saxophonist Carlos Averhoff Jr. not only pays tribute to his father, the late Cuban saxophonist and educator Carlos Averhoff, but resumes an interrupted conversation.Relations between father and son were strained when the elder Averhoff left Cuba and settled in Miami in 1997. The pair eventually reconciled and worked on a project together, but only managed to record one track. When Averhoff Sr. died in 2016, so did the album, or so it seemed — until December 2020, when Carlos Jr. decided to complete it. Written by Averhoff Jr., “Sequence for You,” Together’s opening track, pays tribute to Irakere, the influential Afro-Cuban fusion band in which his father played. Pianist Chucho Valdés, the band’s founder, offers a fiery, expansive introduction and later returns for a solo brimming with urgency. Carlos Sr. would have chuckled at the fireworks of the unison passages, played fast, precisely and with swing on the fly. Averhoff Jr. has a muscular, virile tone with a hint of a rough edge — but he’s a heavyweight with a dancer’s feet. He contributes five of the eight pieces, including the title track, its jagged, angular melody and eccentric rhythms suggesting a variation on a Monk tune.On the elegant but streetwise “Oriented Conga,” tenor and flute soloing by Averhoff Jr. and Orlando “Maraca” Valle suggests a sort of yin and yang of power and lightness. Another highlight: Sam Rivers’ “Beatrice” is given a forceful, probing interpretation, with special mentions to pianist Jim Gasior and drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernández. Together ends with a reading of Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee” featuring Carlos Sr. on soprano and his son on tenor. Arranged by the elder Averhoff with an Afro-Cuban groove but a bop feel, the melodic hairpin turns played fast in octave unison, this “Donna Lee” would not have been out of place in an Irakere set. If the proper response to a poem is a poem, perhaps the appropriate tribute to an excellent musician (especially one who happens to be your father) is music well-played, with heart and flawless technique. Averhoff Jr. pays proper homage and more. — Fernando Gonzalez https://open.spotify.com/album/55oqpSsToznb3NOOJc9zzf?si=oNKgeJO5TKCmJYc3EjdTVA