Review: Daniel García Diego Trio

REVIEW – On Sunday evening, the live stream of the Flamenco Biënnale NL brought the second concert of the double bill ‘The Art of the Jazz Flamenco Trio’ to our homes through live streaming video and again there was no end to the delights. Although my flamenco friends said with some disappointment that they had looked for flamenco in vain.

Flamenco Biënnale NL: Daniel García Diego Trio “Travesuras”, live recording from Café Berlín in Madrid.

Reinier Elizarde “El Negrón Flamenco Biënnale NL

“Flamenco and jazz are brothers,” says pianist Daniel García Diego, and as is the case with siblings, they can be very different and yet have important things in common. What they certainly have in common, despite the different aesthetics, is that the most important and beautiful thing is to see how the musicians listen and react to each other, as with the three great musicians we were able to see and hear yesterday.

Daniel García Diego was born in Salamanca in 1983. As a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston he received in 2011 the award for the best jazz performance. He played with renowned musicians such as Arturo Sandoval, Greg Osby and Perico Sambe, on his latest CD “Travesuras”, which he presented yesterday, he is accompanied by Michael Olivera, a drummer from Santa Clara, Cuba who studied at the National School of Art in Havana. At the age of 26 he moved to Madrid, where he quickly became a sought-after part of the jazz scene.
Reinier Elizarde “El Negrón”, also born in Santa Clara (Villa Clara), Cuba, records with Chucho Valdés and David Murray and plays for years with Daniel.

Daniel García Diego Flamenco Biënnale NL

Jazz, flamenco and Cuban flair

The musical interaction between the three musicians takes place at the highest level, and musically speaking, they open the doors and let the sunshine in. In this mixture of jazz, flamenco and Cuban flair, anything is possible. Also, as the title of the program says, any kind of “travesuras” or mischief.

Of course, it makes a difference if the inspiration comes from one song, which in turn takes its inspiration from another song, as in the great number “Dream of Miles”. The Miles Davis intro from “Sketches of Spain” gains even more depth in the masterful interpretation by Daniel García Diego and you don’t miss a thing.

Michael Olivera Flamenco Biënnale NL

Potro de rabia y miel

The experience becomes very different with the interpretation of a piece that you know so well like ‘Potro de rabia y miel’, the last studio recording of Camarón from 1991, a year before he passed away. The lyrics are “I carry in my blood a foal of rage and honey, he ramps like a madman, I can’t get hold of him”. Since in tonights musical performance this text is missing, the depth is also a little lacking, and one loses oneself in freedom.

The title piece “Travesuras” on the other hand is very different. Starting with a stirring bass solo by Reinir Elizarde and even bringing Daniel to the microphone at the end.

Conclusion: Great arrangements, excellent musicians, good atmosphere: we are looking forward to autumn. In November Flamenco Biënnale NL is hoping to program them for a proper live show with audience in the Bimhuis Amsterdam, the beating heart of the Dutch jazz and world music scene.

Text: Susanne Zellinger
Images: stills from the live streaming show.

Susanne Zellinger is flamenco journalist and editor-in-chief of Flamenco Divino.