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Diego Urcola Quartet: Appreciation (2011)

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Diego Urcola Quartet: Appreciation Trumpeter Diego Urcola's is a voice that has remained somewhat hidden—certainly tucked away—for two decades in Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera
b.1948
saxophone
's quintet. And then there is the subdued role he has played in Guillermo Klein's fabulous larger ensemble, Los Guachos. However, the graceful candor of his voice is irrepressible, and it was only a matter of time before he would be heard for what he really is and plays. Urcola is distinct and a singular artist in the manner of his more famous countryman, Gato Barbieri
Gato Barbieri
Gato Barbieri
b.1934
saxophone
, playing with sensuous swagger and digging deep into his own soul for even the slightest note. This mortal risk-taking is something for which Barbieri is well-known, and with his own immaculate sense of grace, absolutely bereft of inhibition Urcola begs favorable comparisons with the much older tenor saxophonist.

The trumpet resides in a cluttered world and not even its softer relative, the flugelhorn, can serve to set horn men who favor this burnished brass instrument apart from the pack that always seems to advance like the frontline of an ancient army. Still, someone like Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
1922 - 1979
bass, acoustic
was able to pick Thad Jones
Thad Jones
Thad Jones
1923 - 1986
trumpet
, and more significantly, the mysterious, Clarence Shaw
Clarence Shaw
b.1926
from out of the clutter. Jones, he called "Bartok with valves," and Shaw's language and phrasing left him breathless. Then there is Wallace Roney
Wallace Roney
Wallace Roney
b.1960
trumpet
, and Arturo Sandoval
Arturo Sandoval
Arturo Sandoval
b.1949
trumpet
. To these, the name of Diego Urcola must be added; to understand why, it pays to peruse Urcola's Appreciation.

Here is an example of a gargantuan challenge, one where the artist has chosen to pay homage to a host of peers and mentors, wholly different characters that have pursued widely divergent paths. And yet, Urcola brings it all together, to fruition with a mighty effort that defines each musician—from Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
1938 - 2008
trumpet
, Hermeto Pascoal
Hermeto Pascoal
Hermeto Pascoal
b.1936
piano
and Guillermo Klein to John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
and Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
1921 - 1992
bandoneon
. In doing so, Urcola traverses the soundscape of Lydian modes, bebop, the Brazilian partita alto, and Klein's wildly inventive meters, using what the Guachos did—7+7+7+3. Urcola's tribute to Woody Shaw
Woody Shaw
Woody Shaw
1944 - 1989
trumpet
and Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
, "Woody 'n Diz," offers a masterful use of the flatted fifth, while "El Brujo" sings of the fire and irrepressible creativity of Pascoal in that rarely used Brazilian rhythm. Urcola's tribute to his long-term employer, D'Rivera, is an astounding milonga song-style, in the manner of Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
1921 - 1992
bandoneon
.

Urcola is blessed to have the artistry of pianist, Luis Perdomo
Luis Perdomo
Luis Perdomo
b.1971
piano
, a master of that elusive Latin rhythm that actually resides hidden in the melody and is only brought forth by superlative tumbao, something few pianists possess. Drummer Eric McPherson is truly a revelation, in the deft manner in which he negotiates the maddeningly complex rhythms, especially that invented by Guillermo Klein in a 7+7+7+3 part. He is no doubt aided on "The Natural" by Yosvany Terry
Yosvany Terry
Yosvany Terry

saxophone
on chekere, but then there is the partita alto and all the other tantalizing modes that follow.


Track Listing: The Natural (to Freddie Hubbard); El Brujo (to Hermeto Pascoal); Milonga para Paquito (to Paquito D'Rivera); Super Mario Forever (to Mario Rivera); Guachos (to Guillermo Klein & Los Guachos); Deep (to Astor Piazzolla & Miles Davis); Senhor Wayne; Woody 'n Diz (to Woody Shaw & Dizzy Gillespie); Camilla (to John Coltrane).

Personnel: Diego Urcola: trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, vocals; Luis Perdomo: piano, Fender Rhodes; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Eric McPherson: drums; Yosvany Terry: chekere (1, 8).

Record Label: CAM Jazz

Style: Latin/World


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