Lately there have been quite a few bass players (like Lyman Medeiros or Rob Thorsen) reviewed on this site with some outstanding albums. Desconsuelo, the second big band album by Pedro Giraudo, is another great album by a bass player. Pedro was born and raised in Cordoba, Argentina, and moved to New York City in 1996, where he worked in a great variety of musical projects. In April 2000 he and his fellow musicians formed the band Mr. Vivo and this tight 13-piece big band provides a unique mix of jazz, improvisation, South American music and Argentine folk songs. All eight songs on this album are original compositions by Pedro. The remarkable thing with Desconsuelo is that this album is labeled as a Pedro Giraudo record yet he never pushes to the fore with his bass playing. Of course, the bass is present on the songs but you hardly hear Pedro as soloist contrary to Will Vinson or Tatum Greenblatt for example. So there’s not much ego involved here. We all know that this only benefits the music when the musicians involved know how to communicate and are really interested in doing so while playing. That’s why this album is so inspiring and it’s hard to pick a favourite here.
As a fan of long and epic songs I especially like the title track Desconsuelo, that is divided into three pieces. The hard-hitting latin inspired Mate Amargo fades to the slow and melancholy Con Un Nudo En La Garganta. The last part of this triology, La Bronca features a fine solo performance by Ryan Keberle on trombone.
La Vuidita with its nearly nine and a half minutes is another latin jazz winner that shows the quality of the horn section again with solos by Luke Batson and Will Vinson (saxes).
Primer Intento, which features Sofia Tosello on vocals, is an interesting (and good) song. Starting with a rather lugubrious feeling it soon turns into a swinging jazz song. Since I don’t speak Spanish, I wish Pedro would’ve included an English translation of the lyrics.
Altogether a great album by a talented band with a distinctive sound that should appeal to fans of jazz and Latin jazz alike.
Tracklisting of Desconsuelo: 1-3. Desconsuelo (1. Mate Amargo/ 2. Con Un Nudo En La Garganta/ 3. La Bronca)/ 4. La Viudita/ 5. Primer Intento/ 6. A Dario Iscaro/ 7. Ese Grito/ 8. Contrapuntren | released 2006 by Pedro Giraudo
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