FEARLESSLY ACCESSING THE DIVINE SPIRIT FROM HERE ON OUT by DIEGO GAETA
|Title||FEARLESSLY ACCESSING THE DIVINE SPIRIT FROM HERE ON OUT|
|Catalog #||PRF 011|
|Release||W 27 - 2023|
|Format||Vinyl - LP|
|€ 39,99||incl. VAT, excl. shipping|
- fearlessly ft. jimetta rose
- soft spot ft. low leaf
- eccolo ft. zeroh
- the world and within
- memorial ft. moor mother
U.S. Import. The free folk/jazz sound of modern Los Angeles. Featuring a heavy bunch of musicians and vocalists including Moor Mother.
"Fearlessly Accessing the Divine Spirit From Here on Out" is the vinyl debut from pianist, composer, and producer Diego Gaeta. He has previously released projects as Club Diego and with the trio Human Error Club (whose members Mekala Session and Jesse Justice helped produce this record). He has quickly become a fixture in a number of Los Angeles musical environments, working with Lionmilk, The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, Carlos Niño, Black Nile among others. This album is a synthesis of these many LA environments, and carries chamber, jazz, ambient, and folk influences, ultimately giving it an uncategorizable feel similar to works by Arthur Verocai or David Axelrod.
Gaeta recorded the initial ideas for the album by himself after experiencing a burst of creativity during the lockdown of 2020, in the aftermath of a season of protests in Los Angeles, on a piano at his home in El Sereno. "I was constantly not in tune with myself, always awaiting outrage and tragedy in a very unstable world. However, hitting the streets in support of various ongoing pandemic community actions felt necessary and it marked a point in time that ushered in large societal changes. The weight of that era made me feel allergic to making art at the time. All of these ideas came after that period, expressing my reflections subconsciously. I remember that the ideas came in a short amount of time, and then they developed."
Once he had created the tracks as Ableton sessions, he realized the gravity and context of how he was processing his ideas so he, as he puts it, "felt like taking them outside the hands of midi and into the hands of friends." Gaeta was able to assemble his dream band, which ended up being a 9-piece ensemble, or a nonet. "I felt that at some point I was channeling the geometrical balance of that nonet...it's almost as if I had a sextet and then the three of the sextet that's not the rhythm section were doubled. It's a really dense sextet, that's how I see it."
The recording process began the following summer in June 2021 as the musicians were all adjusting to the newfound dynamic of getting tested for COVID, waiting a few days, and then meeting up to record. "We were eating Indian food, some of us were smoking, it was a nice memory, but I felt a little stressed, because I was the bandleader, and I felt the emotional weight of my music."
The title track and single, featuring vocals by Jimetta Rose, begins with a speech by Gaeta delivered when playing with Black Nile in 2019 at the Levitt Amphitheatre in MacArthur park. Gaeta provides the following account: "Even though it was in 2019, socio-political tensions and issues were at the forefront for me at that time. I wrote a speech that was intended to be critical of the US but it ended up becoming a collage inspired by different women that had messages of freedom that spoke to me the most. I quoted Nina Simone and Georgia Anne Muldrow, it wasn't something that I read but something that she said "kicking it with consciousness and style" that phrase stuck with me, so I used it in that speech. Although critical, the speech had a positive feeling to it, and it was hopeful. I gave that speech while fireworks were going off."
Moor Mother & Zeroh are found on their respective tracks, Memory Screen & Eccolo - both delivering a distinct, commanding vocal performance. Low Leaf colors the track Soft Spot with harp, a beautiful ballad nestled in the center of the album. Other players include Gregory Uhlmann on guitar, Jon Kaye on violin, Devin Daniels on alto saxophone, Caleb Buchanan on bass, Dante Luna on vibraphone, Patrick Behnke on viola, Bryan Baker on tenor saxophone/flute, and Mekala Session on drums.
"I’d like for us tonight to embody a freedom oriented life. Freedom isn’t just a dream, it’s a place we must all arrive at together, as one by one the people of the Earth help each other to be Free of power, hate, and insecurities. Let’s kick it with consciousness and style. Can y’all dig that? YEAH. I can too. So now we’d like to present to you a spiritual transmission I like to call: 'Fearlessly Accessing the Divine Spirit of Freedom From Here On Out.' YEAH" - Diego Gaeta
Diego Gaeta - composer/arranger, piano, synths, percussion
Bryan Baker - flute, sax
Devin Daniels - alto sax
Caleb Buchanan - bass
Mekala Session - drums
Greg Uhlmann - guitar
Dante Luna - vibes, percussion
Jon G.K. - violin
Patrick Behnke - viola
Jimetta Rose - vocals on "Fearlessly"
Low Leaf - harp on "Soft Spot"
Zeroh - vocals on "Eccolo"
Moor Mother - vocals on "Memorial"
Mixed by Diego Gaeta and Zeroh. Additional mixing by Moki Kawaguchi and Jesse Justice
Mastered by Daddy Kev
Co-produced by Mekala Session and Jesse Justice
All songs composed by Diego Gaeta, String arrangement on "Caracal" co-written by Patrick Behnke