How Thoughtful - Daniel DeLorenzo (Album Review)
24 March 2020
Album Rating 4 / 5
Solo Performances 5 / 5
Favourite Songs You Can Try, Fine, Natalia
Daniel DeLorenzo’s ‘How Thoughtful’ brings to the listener acoustic jazz guitar in its purest form: fresh and unpolished.
The album follows on from two previous releases: ‘Daniel DeLorenzo Trio’ and ‘Strive’, both of which are played on an electric guitar rather than acoustic.
‘How Thoughtful’ was recorded all in one afternoon and was made to ‘emphasise performed music’. The freshness and virtuoso of the music really shines through on the album and, listening to it, you really get the sense of the one afternoon it was recorded in. It is spontaneous music that needs no tweaking.
‘I wanted to do an acoustic record to capture the most direct voice of the musicians,’ says Daniel. ‘Acoustic instruments performed live, without the aid of amplification...the album is a picture of who I was as a player on that particular day.’
In an era of expert production and one where jazz is so often intersected with electronic instruments and modern technology, it is refreshing to hear an acoustic album that reflects what jazz is at its core: improvised and in-the-moment.
‘The songs on the record are ideas that came without much resistance to me; I didn't spend much time hand wringing about any of these songs. The melodies reflect my voice on the instrument, and they are a fun vehicle for improvisation.’
The playing itself is excellent with Daniel DeLorenzo and Doug Sours on guitar and Dave Lora on bass. The sounds are perfect for a sunny afternoon, which is the setting I imagine it to have been first played in. All compositions are original and ‘lies somewhere on the spectrum of Traditional Acoustic Guitar, Jazz, European, and Gypsy Jazz Music.’
I can certainly hear traces of Django Reinhardt and of the acoustic albums of Joe Pass. The music could well be jazz standards for the guitar with the remnants of the Southern European acoustic tradition, like in Spain and Italy.
All tracks were great but I particularly liked ‘You Can Try’, ‘Fine’ and ‘Natalia’. ‘You Can Try’ has lush chord voicings and harmonics with beautiful melodies between the three instruments, before breaking into an improvisation that follows the main melody and goes off into a fine solo.
‘Fine’ had a more pacey feel, reminiscent of Gypsy jazz, with quick soloing and a click-inducing rhythm. ‘Natalia’ showed off the nice fingerpicking style of the guitar accompanied by well-executed harmonics. It all reminds me of how great a tone the acoustic guitar can get in jazz.
In all, it’s a great album to put on and relax to. With the spontaneous nature of its recording, listening to it sounds like you have the three performers right there playing for you in a time where live music has been put on global hiatus. How thoughtful indeed.
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