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Reviews: Daniel Diaz ~ Low|
Posted on Saturday, May 03, 2008 @ 16:30:11 UTC
Artist: Daniel Diaz
Home: Paris, France
Style: Jazz/World Fusion/Experimental
Quote: "The performance and composition on Low are undeniably impressive."
By Silas Durocher
One man, seven basses, one CD.
The subtitle to Daniel Diaz’s most recent album, Low, reads “music for acoustic and electric basses, vol. 1,” which tells us two things: the instrumentation for the CD and that, presumably, there is more to come. The CD booklet proudly states various times “no synths used, no drums, no percussion, no guitars, just basses.” A bold choice, but one that works. Naturally, the CD will be of particular interest to bassists, especially those concerned with pushing the boundaries of the instrument, but it is by no means a “by bassist for bassists” kind of project. Low is a rewarding experience for anyone who is willing to take the time to listen to it intentionally and actively.
Diaz’s list of favorite composers includes jazz bassist extraordinaire Charles Mingus, Argentinean “New Tango” composer Astor Piazzolla (Diaz is also Argentinean), baroque master composer J.S. Bach, Beatles legends Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and soul man Stevie Wonder. While this wide range of influences can be heard subtly behind the textures of Low, Diaz has created his own unique sound, both as a writer and as a bassist.
The performance and composition on the album are undeniably impressive. Using seven different basses (upright, acoustics, and electrics), Diaz achieves many different sounds and tones from his instruments. Perhaps the most impressive performances are the unaccompanied solo bass tracks like "Zamba Desilucion" and "Farewell." Diaz’s bow work on "Abstract #2" is rhythmically driving, very exciting, and seems to draw on the glissando playing used so lovingly by composers such as Piazzolla. Low’s compositions lean on the contemporary and modern “classical” side. Many of the pieces are consistently thematic, which allows the listener to experience the compositions, rather than feeling like they are just sitting through a bass tour de force (although it is in fact a bass tour de force!). The entire album is strongly melodic and contrapuntal, and with the (enjoyable) exceptions of the improvised and abstract pieces, the compositions are very directional.
Artist Website: http://www.dedeland.com/low.htm
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