This is Raul Barboza “European Trio”. We’ve been actively performing in France and abroad for the past decade, but we never recorded in the studio as a trio before (Raul and I did an album alone as a duo, Ruta 40, Norberto recorded with Raul on some of Barboza’s albums from the late 1990’s and Norberto and I have collaborated on each other’s records for a long time, most notably on Norberto Pedreira Trio).
After some shows in France a couple of years ago, we decided to go to the studio and informally perform our usual set-list, just for fun and to have a recorded souvenir of our more “free” improvised takes on some of Barboza’s standard “chamamés”.
I went back to those shelved sessions this year in order to choose the best takes and mix down the 4-track masters for a listening session with Raul and Norberto.
The relaxed, informal, warm (albeit rough at times), sensitive and fun feel, pleased us. So we decided to release it “as is”.
The cover art is a photo graciously proposed to us by American photographer Paul Hosefros (NY Times).
Swan Song is the final statement (and final physical release) by Daniel Diaz after The Years Alone and Seguundo Ciclo, in the same wolrd-jazz style.
Produced by Daniel Diaz
Recorded between 2009 and 2014 in Buenos Aires, Lanus and Villa Gesell (Argentina), Paris and Montreuil (France), Los Angeles (USA). Mixed and mastered 2015 in Paris.
Daniel Diaz: acoustic and electric Basss, acoustic and electric guitars, requinto, upright bass, acoustic and electric piano, keyboards, vibes, hang, harmonium, percussion, accordina, charango, ukulele, programming.
Steve Arguelles (UK) Drums Gustavo Bulgach (USA/Arg) Clarinet Patrick Bebey (Cameroun) Fender Rhodes Javier Estrella (Argentina) Drums Leandro Guffanti (Argentina) Soprano Sax Damian Jarry (France) Cello Line Kruse (Danemark) Violin David Lewis (Australia) Flugel Horn Olivier Manoury (France) Bandoneon Daniel Miguez (Argentina) Drums Norberto Pedreira (Arg/Fr) Guitar Bobby Rangell (USA) Alto Sax, flutes Luis Rigu (Arg/Fr) : Flutes Inor Sotolongo (Cuba) Congas Miguel Yanover (Argentina) 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 and sounds. 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 swear
This is another batch of “un-used” songs, jams, covers and leftovers, a companion of my CD “Maquina Dura” released in 2000. After 15 years of recording in my home studio, by 2000, two official albums have been released: 1993 The Years Alone and 1997 Segundo Ciclo.
But so many recordings have been made in my Pleasure Dome Studios during those creative and formative “Years Alone” in Buenos Aires that I decided to put together two collections of leftovers: one electric (Maquina Dura) the other mostly acoustic. Both include leftovers, studio jams and cover versions.
The electric side was easy to put together. It featured tracks that, for artistic and “quality” issues, didn’t make it to the official CD’s track list. But the acoustic CD featured some tracks that couldn’t be considered leftovers. Tracks that were actually in the song list for Segundo Ciclo, recorded during those sessions, but dropped at the last moment because I decided to make a whole acoustic CD immediately after Segundo Ciclo.
“Maquina Blanda” was my live act and it was all-acoustic (acoustic guitar and basses, tabla and small percussion, flutes). The idea was to drop the “Maquina Blanda” songs form Segundo Ciclo and expand them to form a full length CD for a release by 1997-1998. Then I moved to France and that release never happened, so those tracks remained in the vault for 15 years. I was enamoured with those recordings (my very last full analogue-open-reel masters) and decided not to mix them with some “light weight” jams and demos, and save them for an eventual formal release.
In 2005 I reloaded that project, its concept, sound and repertoire for my trio with Javier Estrella and Bobby Rangell. We went to the studio to complete Maquina Blanda (the album) but eventually we made a full length CD with new recordings (including a couple of revamped tracks from The Maquina Blanda project) and that was it.
That’s how some of my favourite recorded songs remained inexplicably unreleased.
Then in 2010 a commission for acoustic recordings got me to work again with Manuel Miranda (full member of the original Maquina Blanda) and the idea of completing that collection was again in my head. I asked him to record two tracks I had written for Maquina Blanda back in 1995 (Patagonia 1 and 2) and a new track in the same style that was an ode to the old neighbourhood where we both used to live, play and hang out in Buenos Aires on during those years: “Viejo Palermo Viejo”. With these three tracks recorded with Manuel in Lima, now the whole project came full circle.
From the original 1996 track list including “Jams, Covers and Leftovers” just one studio jam and two covers remains, all tracks that we had been playing live and considering for release by then. The rest of the informal, spontaneous jams are replaced by formal recordings of acoustic, spare originals.
Now here it is to you (and to me) Maquina Blanda, almost as I intended to be 15 years ago.