“Pluralize-it” was conceived as a fugue study. Composition teaching master Esteban Klísich who was mentoring me at the time, helped me supervise the arrangement. Marco wrote the Bass melody at JFK airport in New York waiting for a flight to Bogota after I told with him about the anecdote Michael League shared at the Toronto Jazz festival while playing for Snarky Puppy, that he wrote “Lingus” on a commercial airliner flight.
As the pre-production of the album begun we knew we wanted to play it with the banjo in the main melody and the inspiration for its feel, came from Béla Fleck’s and Victor Wooten’s performance on the Bela Fleck and the Flecktones album “The Hidden Land” of Bach’s composition “Fugue from Prelude & Fugue No. 20 in A Minor, BWV 889”.
“Pensive” was a standalone composition back when the recording of an entire originals album wasn’t even an idea yet. It literally was the second Brass arrangement I wrote in my life and a result of studying orchestration at that time.
I wanted to replicate the sentiment we get when going out for a walk to clear one’s mind. The vibe of the tune and the rhythm section were crafted based on that hence its “chill” like mood and name.
On a Trip (De Viaje)
“On a Trip” was composed as an Alternative Rock song back in 2005. I have demos of it dating back then. Bringing it to life as part of the program was truly a studio accident. I wanted to pay homage to Toto and I programmed a drum track to jam with, replicating Toto’s “Africa” rhythmic motif. In a ludic moment, I played some of the main riffs of it and it immediately felt like an epiphany that it should be recorded and arranged in style. In an entire weekend, I ended up transcribing and arranging it to its current world music/instrumental form while writing all the additional parts for it.
“Low Ride” is the result of an increasingly intense preference I have, to write for and play with big brass ensembles. Chris Parker added his Brass know-how and fun to the intro and outro that made it even cooler to play. The idea to add a scratch table on it came when we were figuring out which instrumentation each tune should have and always asking myself as a producer questions on how to make the music standout or different to what’s been done before. On this case the question was “Have I ever heard a scratch in a big band like setting?” It’s the only percussive element foreign to the drums on the tune.
“Man B” was written with Spanish guitar in mind with a Flamenco feel. The fact that Flamenco guitar and composer extraordinaire Hernan Romero collaborated on the tune is mind blowing to us, we’re truly lucky! I first met Hernan in 2002 at the Punta del Este International Jazz Festival and that same year, I met Rodrigo G Pahlen there too. After jamming some with Rodrigo in Montevideo the following season, an appreciation for his talent and musicianship grew and this is the second album I produced which has his participation. Todd Hildreth musicianship and artistry in accordion was the cherry on top to this tune. I never expected it would end up resulting as is when I originally wrote it.
It Shall Pass… (Todo Pasa)
(Dedicated to Uruguayan composer Alvaro Pacello)
It Shall Pass… come to life to honor the music of Bassist, Luthier and Composer Alvaro Pacello. Due to an unexpected illness, Alvaro can’t play the bass professionally anymore and the composition was a way to articulate my feelings after he broke the news to me. He is one of the utmost masters in atonal composition I have ever heard hence the nature of this music. I have recorded Alvaro’s music on previous solo albums, performed and wrote music together with him countless times but what makes me feel special more than any of that is being his friend.
Ten and Nine (Diez y Nueve)
“Ten and Nine” is to some extent, the continuation of “Pensive” from a stylistic standpoint. Once it was established that I wanted to make an album, I wanted to continue with the sound line of the tune that kicked it off.
The composition was written with the performers (Tato Bolognini, and “Nacho” – Ignacio Labrada) in mind. The Soprano melody on the second Brass arrangement Marco literally dreamt of. He called me early in the morning one day telling me about that and then came rushing to the studio later where we finished writing it along the entire arrangement. It’s one of the defining moments of the program.
“Ours” was written on demand as a ballad for a Uruguayan bolero singer. His project never got the funding to come to life so when analyzing a potential playlist for the album and thinking of a serenating moment, I decided to demo it as an instrumental piece during the pre-production stage. Thanks to Marco (as they share duties for the Uruguayan Murga Fusion group “La Jarana”), Vibraphonist and composer great Maximiliano Nathan delivered us with his incredible artistry on this music.
(Semi Finalist of the 2015 International Songwriting Competition)
“Young Dads” was never written with the intention of being what it ended up being, a modern Jazz guitar quartet piece. It was only when the pre-production of the album was underway and I started laying out the demo tracks, that I felt something else was there in it. It ended up shaping up as is, mostly because of a drum loops library of Eric Harland I acquired and I was goofing around with.
When trying to construct alternatives to the main melody I ended up incorporating vamps that have been floating on my radar for years yet I never considered them good enough to do something with them individually. They fit great with what the music needed and what I was trying to convey with it.
The guitar solo was recorded in an early morning during one of the many camps Marco and I endured to bring the album to life as he was sleeping in the guestroom next to the studio.
Eden Pine Trees (Pinos del Edén)
“Eden Pine Trees” commenced out of a chord substitution exercise I had to prepare for class. I ended up liking the main turnaround of the chord progression and it’s an example of addition by subtraction when Marco and I decided to chop out certain licks in the melody that though appropriate, they weren’t providing enough spacing to the composition.
The part C melody was composed by Luis Ravizza jamming on the tune by his fireplace. I remember being rapid to record what we were doing after naturally heading into a new place from where we were. I love that spontaneity only jamming provides. I later transcribed that recording and added it to the charts as the tune pre-production tracking commenced.
“Purple” was originally written as an R&B inspired landscape. The main melody was thought for a scat voice but with Rodrigo G Pahlen offering to add to the album in harmonica, we decided to try it and the results are way more than what we could have ever imagined. His solo on the Candombe like part is one of the highlights of the album and it’s an honor to have him as the featured artist of the tune.
“Holly Molly” was always meant to be a farewell song. The risk taking in the rhythm section came inspired in “Yolanda, You Learn” composed by Lyle Mays and Pat Metheny. Alfredo Monetti initially told me that Piano wouldn’t fit in it as we were recording him with guitar only demo tracks. After a couple of tries, he went 180 degrees from his previous statement and ended up enjoying playing on it with a smile I still remember to this day. Mauricio Trobo’s (one of my mentors and one of the craziest improvisers I’ve ever spent time with) synth solo at the end provided the final touch not only to the tune but the entire album as it also was the last track added to the tunes.
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