Diego Urcola

Released October 7, 2003

Grammy Nominee for Best Latin Jazz Album 2005

YouTube: https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kMM7AhOzCDyFZboqIm_Gqy0ILOoLbw9A4

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0S3fLhbUU60ElN2PsiIlmf?si=hQ2X3mIMTFGme6v4wTVwcw


It’s a rather incredible jazz album that often juts into tango (a la the Astor Piazolla influences) and an Afro-Cuban energy that can never be wholly replicated by white guys. There are great expanses of the regular piano-bass-drumstick drive, showcasing solos. But as leader Urcola himself says, ‘Most of the tunes are based on dance rhythms from South America. That’s why the cd is called Soundances. Like the dance of sound.’
Dance it does. And you’ve never heard a version of Miles Davis’ ‘Blue in Green’ like this one. The beginning accordion alludes again to the opening ‘Blues for Astor’ yet pulls in a very sharp, muted trumpet to conflict serenely with the deep, dark jazz that ultimately envelops this entire track. Perfect.
I was foolishly going to review this cd at 10 in the morning. It’s now 11 at night and I’m SO glad I waited. This is a night album. Its perfume is seductive, its vision is blurred by a few precious drinks. It is horny for the heat of passionate eyes.
Ben Ohmart

Track Listing:

1. Blues for Astor (Diego Urcola) 7:11

2. Despedida (Farewell) (Joe López) 6:55

3. Artigas, Mano Izquierda (Artigas, On the Left) (Juan “Pollo” Raffo) 5:04

4. Lorena (Diego Urcola) 7:16

5. Gato C/Guantes (Cat With Gloves) (Juan “Pollo” Raffo) 5:44

6. La Milonga 6:22

7. Naranjo en Flor (Orange Tree in Blossom) 6:10

8. Maria Ciudad (Pablo Ziegler) 6:26

9. Blue in Green (Miles Davis / Bill Evans) 2:49

10. Nanas Para Santi (Lullaby for Santi) 5:50

11. Cuando Yo No Este (When I Am Gone) For G.R. (Juan “Pollo” Raffo) 4:00

12. Alfonsina y el Mar (Alfonsina and the Sea) (Ariel Ramírez) 6:35

13. Final Waltz (Diego Urcola) 5:51


Diego Urcola – trumpet/flugelhorn
Juan Dargenton – bandoneon, piano
Juan “Pollo” Raffo – piano, keyboards
Guillermo Romero – piano
Pepe Luna – acoustic guitar
Hernan Merlo – acoustic bass
Willy Gonzalez – electric bass
Mario Gusso – drums, percussion

Oscar Giunta: drums

Recorded June 14-16, 2003, at SoundRec Studios, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Producer: Juan “Pollo” Raffo

Executive Producer: Lorena Camacho


A jazz trumpeter from Argentina who has shuttled between his home country and New York for some years, Diego Urcola plays with unusual dexterity and strength. He’s an orderly musician, and like so many young jazz players, he’s looking far and wide for music that will sum up himself and his generation.

”Soundances” (Sunnyside), made in Buenos Aires with an entirely Argentine band, moves from nimble Nuevo tango with bandoneon (”Blues for Astor”), to deep, discursive ballads that have their roots in early Pat Metheny and the best Brazilian songwriters of the 70’s (”La Milonga,” written by the band’s bassist, Willy González), to Weather Report-style levels of intertwining melody with electric piano and bass, to old Argentine songs, to a beautiful bandoneon-and-trumpet duet on Miles Davis’s ”Blue in Green.”

”Soundances” offers more proof that a training in jazz isn’t just the thing-in-itself it used to be; it’s also a jumping-off place for exploring music from different areas, from different traditions, from past and present.

Ben Ratliff (The New York Times)