Steve Arguelles (UK) Drums
Patrick Bebey (Cameroun): Fender Rhodes
Gustavo Bulgach (USA/Arg) Clarinet
Javier Estrella (Argentina): Drums
Leandro Guffanti (Argentina/FR): Soprano sax
Damian Jarry (France) Cello
Line Kruse (Danemark) Violin
David Lewis (Australia)
Olivier Manoury (France) Bandoneon
Daniel Miguez (Argentina) Drums Norberto Pedreira (Argentina): Guitar Bobby Rangell (USA): Sax & flute Luis Rigu (Argentina/FR): Quena, Sikus, Flutes
Inor Sotolongo (Cuba): Congas
Miguel Yanover (Argentina/FR): Tenor Sax
This album is called Swan Song.
Here you will find the last chapter in the research I started with
my very first album in 1993. In terms of style, Swan Song can be
considered as the third and last part of a trilogy (started with
The Years Alone and SegundoCiclo in between) of solo "composer" albums where I can also
show my skills as a multi-instrumentalist and arranger, and gather
compositions written in different places and times, with varied
styles and instrumentations.
Like the two aforementioned discs, I
asked for help from some friends that I like (people with whom I
played and shared stages and recording studios over the years, and a
couple of new partners). These great musicians gave life to these
songs and added musicality and talent to Swan Song. They
managed to interpret the meaning I intend of all this:
simplicity and beauty prevail over technique.
Here you’ll find simple and catchy instrumental compositions with
strong, sensitive melodies, passionate and sophisticated harmonies
and atmospheres, rather gentle rhythms and a variety of instruments
In Swan Song there are tracks with odd and irregular metric,
unexplained modulations, dozens of time-signature changes, erroneous
dissonances, tempo shifts, etc. But hopefully it all goes unnoticed
(only visible to the musicians who read the sheet music and to those
who try to transcribe this music).
So it is ok if this long record seem
banal and simple to some listeners. But may the sensitivity it hides
reach the hearts of some. It was made with all my soul and heart, I
DD November 2014
Photo: Juan Hitters
Illustration: Sergio Pittaluga.
SWAN SONG by Daniel Diaz (&
2015 (Dedeland 013) France
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- CD with bonus tracks
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SWAN SONG by Daniel Diaz
REVIEW November 2015
DedeLand/Exodos October 2015
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and producer, Daniel Diaz,
releases a new album, Swan Song, which is an instrumental gem that includes
sixteen tracks and a total running length of nearly seventy-eight minutes
long. The Argentinean-native brings together South American nuances, jazz
melodies, new age arrangements, and laid-back, cinematic compositions for a
truly world music recording that includes a range of musicians from the USA,
Cameroon, UK, Denmark, France, Australia, and Cuba. Daniel plays bass,
guitars, piano, vibes, hang, harmonium, percussion, accordina, charango,
ukulele, and synth.
“Romantica Cromatica” begins with a few twinkling piano notes, laid-back
swishy percussion, and accordina or bandoneon sounds. The jaunty mix
contains some emotive violin displays from Denmark’s Line Kruse. The light
percussion, strings, and piano notes signal a South American jazz medley
with neo-classical, roots, and folk wanderings. The guitar sounds are rather
acoustic and playful throughout. The violin amplifies the middle part of the
song, as a fluid sax melody ensues. The quaint and diverse melody is rather
romantic and evocative, but not too showy. The music showcases some
excitement near the end of the song with a flurry of musical activity, but
it is all very relevant and necessary.
“Os Historicos” opens with a swishy percussion melody and Spanish-tinged
guitar set-up with clarinet sounds and a rousing rhythm that is very breezy
and South American in tone. The short tune is more of an interlude, but it
is very adventurous with a host of acoustic and electric instruments leading
the way. The music is very upbeat without any missteps. It is almost
Brazilian in tone with historical elements, too.
“Palermo” opens with a few cymbal clashes, eerie pings, blips, and horn
sounds that seem rather incongruous. However, the brass sounds, tapping
percussion, clanging cymbals, fluid vibes, and light melodies bring together
a variety of elements that seem to work well together. The sub-nine-minute
track is full of interesting sounds and instruments that culminate into a
work of neo-jazz, avant-garde, and world fusion music. The sax blurts break
up the music in experimental ways that do not detract too much from the rest
of the instruments. In short, there is a lot of music in the nine-minutes.
“Neo Zamba (Fin De Siecle)” begins with a gritty guitar intro, sporadic
percussion, breezy clarinet sounds, and rootsy sounds that weave in and out
of various jazz idioms. The Fender Rhodes creates a funky, experimental, and
classic sound with a dash of South American nostalgia that encompasses
light, sauntering beats and instrumental arrangements that are very
“Harold’s Lake” opens with a few pensive piano notes and background washes
with violin accents. The emotive work is rather new age in delivery, but the
jazzy elements are still there. The diverse and almost frenzied string
arrangements early in the song appear later in the song, too. The earthy
violin sounds are not as refined as in classical music, which may be a
deterrent for some. At any rate, fans of diverse jazz and roots music will
appreciate Daniel’s organic treatment here.
Daniel Diaz’ latest release, Swan Song, may be a cliché, but that is where
the fun begins. Throughout the sixteen tracks, Daniel brings out rousing
rhythms, evocative melodies, a slew of instruments and guests, and a frolic
through jazz, neo-classical, roots, new age, and avant-garde music. The
result is a fusion of sorts that mainly experiments with the instrumental
side of things with a few radio voices added in one track. Listeners should
expect an album of surprises, as this is not a traditional album, vocal
album, or rock album. It is an almost indescribable melding of South
American and Mayan elements for today’s listeners.
Review by Matthew Forss (November 2015)
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5) *****
"Hay una línea de Verlaine
que no volveré a recordar.
Hay una calle próxima que está vedada a mis pasos,
hay un espejo que me ha visto por última vez,
hay una puerta que he cerrado hasta el fin del mundo.
Entre los libros de mi biblioteca (estoy viéndolos)
hay alguno que ya nunca abriré.
Este verano cumpliré cincuenta años;
La muerte me desgasta, incesante."