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Original Release Date: December 14, 1974
Release Date: October 18, 2010
Copyright: 2010 LiquidJazz™
Total Length: 46:01
1. DIDI (HOLA DIDI) Fernando Gelbard (Fender Rhodes, Minimoog), Miguel "Chino Rossi" (Percussion), Ruben Rada (Percussion), Ricardo Salas (Bass)
2. EL SENOR MAYOR Fernando Gelbard (Fender Rhodes with Ring Modulator and Wawa), Horacio "Chivo" Borraro (Tenor sax), Norberto Minichilo (Drums), Miguel "Chino" Rossi (Percussion), Ruben Rada (Percussion)
3. MOJO 1 Fernando Gelbard (Minimoog)
4. ALEVACOLARIEA Fernando Gelbard (Fender Rhodes), Ruben Rada (Vocalese, percussion), Horacio "Chivo" Borraro (Percussion), Miguel Chino Rossi (Percussion, cuica)
5. HAVANA NIGHTS Fernando Gelbard (Minimoog, Fender Rhodes)
6. FLOWERS (SOMBRERO DE FLORES) Fernando Gelbard (Fender Rhodes, Minimoog), Miguel "Chino" Rossi (Percussion), Ruben Rada (Percussion), Ricardo Salas (Bass)
7. CHAU AMBROSIO Fernando Gelbard (Fender Rhodes), Horacio "Chivo" Borraro (Tenor sax), Miguel "Chino" Rossi (Percussion), Ruben Rada (Percussion)
8. ALEVACOLARIEA (ALTERNATE MIX) Fernando Gelbard (Fender Rhodes), Ruben Rada (Vocalese, percussion), Horacio "Chivo" Borraro (Percussion), Miguel Chino Rossi (Percussion, cuica)
All tunes composed by Fernando Gelbard
Producer : Fernando Gelbard (1974)
Redondel Label executives (original 1974 release) : Carlos Mayon and Adrian Fernandez
Recording Engineer: Jorge Da Silva (1974)
Mixing: Jorge Da Silva and Fernando Gelbard (1974)
Recorded and mixed during August 1974 at Music Hall Studios, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Transfer from analog 1/4" Dolby A tape to digital : Carlos Piriz, Estudios Moebio, Buenos Aires (2010)
Revox A 77 1/2 track analog recorder courtesy of Eduardo Schejtman (2010)
Digital processing : Mark Vincent, Multi Media Music, Hollywood, California (2010)
Mastering for digital release: Fernando Gelbard (2010)
Cover photo: Carlos Fadigati (1974)
Cover design: based on 1974's cover artwork: Fernando Gelbard (2010)
Original vinyl release by Redondel Records, Argentina, December 14, 1974
Also released by Whatmusic. com (UK) licensed from 2002 to 2009 by Fernando Gelbard
Liner notes use courtesy of Charlie Leach at Whatmusic (London)
When 'Didi' was recorded in Buenos Aires during August 1974, five Argentineans and one Uruguayan landed at Music Hall recording studios. Their leader was Fernando Gelbard, an Argentinean pianist, flautist, composer and record producer.
1974 was a time when neither synthesizers (like the Moog) nor Fender Rhodes pianos were usual in Buenos Aires. Nevertheless, Fernando Gelbard chose to forgo his acoustic instruments in making 'Didi', thus becoming the first musician in Argentina to make a jazz record exclusively on the new electronic instruments. This is a pioneering project in more than one way. Through the use, for instance, of two percussionists in all the tunes - with the exception of two pieces recorded one with Moog only and one with Moog and Fender Rhodes. I don't think many Argentinean jazz musicians of the time relied so much on electronic instruments and percussion. There is also a saxophone player on three of the tunes and there is a drummer in two tracks. Gelbard's work of 1974, with its all-pervading percussion and rhythms from Latin America or, better, Latin Afro-America, would be labeled today world music or world jazz. World jazz or whatever you call it, it is nonetheless a jazz work firmly rooted in be-bop and post-bop with a strong electronic and Latin jazz side to it.
Latin? What kind of Latin exactly? Two bossa nova tunes in it: 'Didi', with its catchy melodic line, and 'Flowers'. Bossa they are, but the many rhythms played and/or implied by the percussionists give it a very special flavour: you've seldom heard that special kind of bossa. The way the two percussionists intertwine creates that particular flavour and colour. One of them, Ruben Rada, from Uruguay, playing mostly congas here, was later to gain wide popularity through his very personal, lively and modern version of the candombe, an Uruguayan Black mixture of religion, traditions, dance and music. Here he gives a beautiful example of his approach on 'Alevacolariea'. His chanting at the beginning and the end of the piece is something you find all over the Americas in the afro-american traditions. But your ear will convince you of his original approach to it. The dialogue between the two percussionists, throughout the album, will tell you that the other one, Miguel 'Chino' Rossi, is a perfect match for Rada. The precise bass lines on this cut were overdubbed by Gelbard on the Moog, and the Fender Rhodes and tenor sax solos (Gelbard & Borraro) add a pure virtuoso be-bop flavour to this bouillabaise of sounds. Unexpected flavours and colours, that's what 'Didi' is about.
A master colourist, Duke Ellington, said of one of his compositions with "colour" in its title: "It's not a colour, it is a hint of a tint." Hints of tints, hues, colours in this record owe a lot to the percussionists, but not only to them. There's also the delicate balance between the electronic instruments used by Gelbard (Fender Rhodes piano, Moog synthesizer, Wa-Wa and Ring Modulator) and the percussionists and the bass player (and in two pieces, the drummer too), a mixing balance achieved through hard and meticulous work when it came to editing the songs in the studio. Like the tenor saxophone solo in 'El Señor mayor' ('The Elder One'): different takes are combined so that it sounds as though three saxophones were playing simultaneously. In 'Chau, Ambrosio' ('Bye, Ambrosio'), the most conventional jazz number in the album, the tenor's blowing is recorded straight ahead. Horacio Borraro's tenor solos provide a short introduction to the jazz creativeness of one of the founding fathers of modern jazz in Argentina, who is also an architect, painter and slang creator. Pity no recording, as far as I know, ever caught the beauty of his sense of humour and his very personal slang.
The bass player Ricardo Salas has always ranked among the best in Argentina and Norberto Minichilo, the drummer, has been for years consistently proving his exceptional musicianship.
And last but by no means least, Fernando Gelbard conceived the whole thing. Besides his contributions as the composer, Fender Rhodes pianist and Moogist in the band, he's a soloist to listen to. Don't miss the pleasure. Let me recommend you listen to 'Mojo Uno', recorded at his home in Buenos Aires by just himself on the Moog. Or his guitar-like second Moog solo on 'Flowers'. By then you would be probably listening to this album for the second or third time and you'd be telling friends and acquaintances: "Hey, have you heard this 1974 record made in Argentina? We've been missing something!"
Notes from 2010:
Those were the liner notes written for the Whatmusic release in 2002, which was based on a master from of a denoised Argentinean release LP. Fernando found in 2010 the original analog master 1/4" tape from 1974. With its original Dolby A encoding and resting in Buenos Aires, it would have been risky to transport it overseas. Getting a 1/4" recorder was also not easy. Finally musician and buddy Eduardo Shejtman lent Fernando his Revox A77 and Carlos Piriz at Estudios Moebio using his vintage original Dolby A decoder, recovered this master, which makes this album sound better than any previous release.
Two bonus tracks were found: "Havana Nights, composed by Fernando Gelbard and recorded with the Moog and the Fender Rhodes and a shorter version of "Alevacolariea" which are included in this release.
Yverdon, Switzerland, February 2002 / October 2010