Best of 2017 #27: Diego Barber – “One Minute Later” (Sunnyside Records)


The evolution of Diego Barber’s fusion of classical and jazz shows no sign of slowing down, nor does the fascination it generates reflect any sign of dwindling.  Over the course of five albums, the guitarist has incorporated electronic, avant-garde and folk into his heady mix of classical music and various forms of bop, post- or otherwise.  Percussionist Alejandro Coello and his use of vibraphone and marimba is an especially positive addition.  That said, the way bassist Ben Williams and drummer Eric Harland cast a rhythmic spell over a track like “Jacaranda” to give the illusory effect of electronic dance music on a session using only organic instruments is pretty damn amazing.  In a modern jazz landscape that is as diverse as it ever was, Diego Barber has developed a sound that differentiates itself from the herd, while simultaneously situating itself as a territory that others could gravitate toward.  One Minute Later is yet more evidence of it.


Music from NYC.

Read more about the album on Bird is the Worm.