Robby Ameen's leader work showcases his distinctive drumming, applied to a wide array of musical contexts, from straightahead and fusion to pop and rock. Diluvio (Spanish for flood), his third effort, finds him in the company of saxophonists Troy Roberts and Bob Franceschini, trombonist Conrad Herwig, pianists Edsel Gomez and Bill O'Connell, electric/acoustic bassist Lincoln Goines and conguero Mauricio Herrera.
The music, predominantly Ameen's compositions, is jarring in its originality, both rhythmically and harmonically much unlike anything else heard today. The opening "Fast Eye" lives up to its title, rapid-fire drumming and insistently ringing cowbell driving the two tenors in their harmonically distinctive directions. Franceschini's use of electronic effects conjures Eddie Harris and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, before Herwig swings straightahead, introducing a series of exchanges between the horns and drums followed by a Fender Rhodes interlude, the exchanges continuing to an exhilarating finish. "Cremant" is a funky tipico outing with a steady conga beat underpinning soulful solos by Herwig, Franceschini (again utilizing effects) and Gomez (now on piano) and Goines (on electric), which kicks off the ensuing "Tempest Dance", a melodic Caribbean-tinged excursion with a climactic drum solo.
Ameen's beautiful arrangement of Bach's "Herr Jesu Christ, wahr' Mensch und Gott, BWV 127: Aria" has intertwining soprano saxophones in an ascendant dialogue over the slow cadenced foundation of the rhythm section. O'Connell joins the fray on Fender Rhodes, in tandem with Gomez' piano, for "The Drifter's Plan", reminiscent of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters. He then takes over the piano chair for the remainder of the date, beginning with "Mixology", a two-tenor quintet romp through rhythm changes culminating with a lyrical acoustic bass solo. "Into The Clear" is a lithely waltzing ballad that features Roberts' brawny tenor and Ameen's sensitive brushwork. The soulful arrangement of Gerry Mulligan's "Line For Lyons" has trombone and baritone (Franceschini) filling out the frontline with tenor (Roberts). The date comes to an exciting finish with Roberts' arrangement of "Impressions", on which he overdubs several harmonized horn parts on top of a tenor-drums duet.