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CD/LP/Track Review

Diego Barber: Calima (2009)

By Published: March 18, 2009
Diego Barber: Calima Calima conveys the idea of observing a breathtaking peninsula. Its impressions of expanse, tranquility and scenery are musically presented by Diego Barber, a gifted classically trained jazz guitarist who draws inspiration from both Bach and Miles Davis, but whose music contains visions that are uniquely his own.

Barber's exquisite playing has the refinement of the classical master John Williams as well as hints of jazz icons Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
b.1954
guitar
and Al Di Meola
Al Di Meola
Al Di Meola
b.1954
guitar
. Born on the Canary Islands, Barber's extensive training and travels (Spain, Greece, Austria ) are intrinsic to the recording's personality. This auspicious debut is realized by a quartet that includes the superb rhythm section of bassist FLY
FLY
FLY

band/orchestra
and drummer Jeff Ballard
Jeff Ballard
Jeff Ballard
b.1963
drums
with tenor saxophonist Mark Turner
Mark Turner
Mark Turner
b.1965
sax, tenor
.

"Piru" begins the journey with the sounds of lithesome acoustic strings, delicate cymbals and deep bass notes. About half way through the composition, the saxophone's lyricism further enhances the mid-tempo procession. "190 East" provides a more progressive stance with traces of infectious flamenco, whereas "Desierto" is a simply gorgeous ballad; the separation, texture, and movement of each instrument converging in complete harmony.

Upbeat numbers are also crystallized; the telling new-grass fingering on "Catalpa," a funky folksy cooker, and the take no prisoners attitude of "Virgianna," where Barber and Turner ignite with free voices. A consistent ambiance circulates within every performance, from the military cadence in the inventive drum/guitar duo of "Richi" to the captivating finale, "Air." Its twenty minutes of isolated beauty and ingenuity are a testament to the young guitarist/composer, whose travels and experiences are wonderfully articulated in this memorable release.


Track Listing: Piru; 190 East; Desierto; Catalpa; Lanzarote; Richi; Virgianna; Air.

Personnel: Diego Barber: acoustic guitar; Mark Turner: saxophone; Larry Grenadier: acoustic bass; Jeff Ballard: drums.

Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Style: Modern Jazz



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