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iTunes Review

On Calima, the Canary-Islands born guitarist Diego Barber brings the Spanish guitar tradition into the world of jazz. The young virtuoso has his own sound, but also brings to mind the world-jazz of fellow acoustic guitarist Ralph Towner, and Calima’s production sometimes evokes the distinctive studio vibe of ECM, the label Towner is most associated with. Barber’s backing band — bassist Larry Grenadier, saxophonist Mark Turner, and drummer Jeff Ballard — is top-notch. (The three musicians also comprise the trio known as Fly.) “Piru,” with its splashing cymbals and long guitar lines, opens the album on an impressionistic note. The next cut, “190 East,” might be Calima’s highlight. The composition is full of entrancing melodic material, and there is a wonderful stretch where Ballard lets loose as Barber spins out a repeating guitar pattern that you hope goes on forever. (On “Richi,” a duet for drums and guitar, Barber plays nicely off of Ballard’s at-times martial-like drumming.) The album closes with the lengthy “Air.” Barber is joined by the other musicians here but the spotlight is clearly on his often unaccompanied playing.

Calima, Diego Barber
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Mar 24, 2009

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