Available on Bandcamp. Official release – September 18, 2020.
New Jazz Quartet Album Without Piano
Trumpeter Diego Urcola has proven to be a player of incredible range and dexterity throughout his career, a large part of it playing alongside Paquito D’Rivera in the legendary saxophonist/clarinetist’s various eclectic projects. On Urcola’s new recording, El Duelo, the trumpeter recruits D’Rivera to join him in a very rare, and exposed, playing scenario, the piano-less quartet.
El Duelo Tracks
- El Duelo (Guillermo Klein)
- Tango Azul (Diego Urcola)
- Una Muy Bonita (Ornette Coleman)
- La Yumba/Caravan (Pugliese/Tizol) arranged by Ethan Iverson
- Pekin (Willy Gonzalez)
- The Natural (Diego Urcola)
- Buenos Aires (Diego Urcola)
- Foxy Trot (Kenny Wheeler)
- I Know, Don’t Know How (Gerry Mulligan)
- Libertango (Astor Piazzolla)
- Sacajawea (Theme) (Wayne Shorter)
- Leyenda (Richard Nant) Con Alma (Dizzy Gillespie)
- Stablemates (Benny Golson) arranged by Marquis Hill
- Bye-Ya (Thelonious Monk) arranged by Jerry Gonzalez
Diego Urcola – Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Paquito D’Rivera – Alto Saxophone & Clarinet
Eric Doob – Drums
Hamish Smith – Bass
Luis Bacque – Producer/Engineer
From the Back of the El Duelo Album Cover
When musicians of any genre or musical style, instead of isolating themselves in their own worlds, candidly dedicate themselves to listening and learning from each other, it results in artists of the colorful versatility of the likes of Chick Corea, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Charlie Parker (who loved Stravinsky), Lalo Schiffrin or Diego Urcola, who I also suppose must get bored much less, not having to eat the same dish over and over every day. An absolute musical omnivore, Diego can still be found transcribing a Clifford Brown solo, or arranging a Piazzola tango in the mini-studio in his apartment at Manhattan Plaza, as well as buying a ticket to a concert with music by Steve Reich at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised by, and immediately got excited about, his proposal to record a Jazz CD without piano, a modality that has its roots in the early “Fabulous 50s” with Gerry Mulligan’s iconic quartet with Chet Baker, and a little later, with Bob Brookmeyer. So, in a project like the one we present here, you cannot miss Mulligan’s legendary song “I Know, Don’t Know How”, in the midst of the eclectic program with composers ranging from Ornette Coleman, Guillermo Klein, Dizzy and Pugliese to Monk, Piazzolla, Kenny Wheeler, Juan Tizol and others. And let me add that the selection of repertoire for this album – totally in Diego’s hands – is as varied as it is exquisite.
On the other hand, having Eric Doob and Hamish Smith in the rhythm section is definitely the right choice in terms of artistic and human affinity; so while the title of the CD might sound a little somber and gloomy, the luminous atmosphere produced at times by these young and talented musicians contributes greatly to the end result, being one of total happiness.
Personally, I can say that I was inspired to play in a way that I do not think I went through on previous projects, since the absence of explicit harmony makes you feel like a trapeze artist without a safety net, offering you a single harmonic foothold: the bass, on which you must unleash all your creativity, with more freedom and fewer limitations. Although, it must be remembered that freedom also has a price, which in this case is certainly worth paying.Paquito D’Rivera
Sunnyside Records/Paquito Records