'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
, 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
. 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 musicianfrom Freddie Hubbard
. 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 did7+7+7+3. Urcola's tribute to Woody Shaw
, "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
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
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).