Some musicians look back on (part of) their career by touring around with a greatest hits show. Torcuato Mariano decided to do it a bit different: in the form of a diary. The music was not picked out of a repertoire that was built up during a career. For his retrospective album, Torcuato started composing the music in 2000 and found inspiration in the most important persons and main events in his life. Listening to this album is like turning the pages of a diary. So what other option than to title the album Diário.
Torcuato Mariano was born in Buenos Aires (1963) and fourteen years later he moved to Brazil. Argentinean rock guitarist Claudio Gabis was his music teacher who also showed him around in Rio's music scene. His remarkable talent made it possible that within the next decade his name was known by many big stars in Brazilian music. After journeys through pop, rock (Cazuza, Lobão, Marina Lima), and jazz (Leo Gandelman), the early 1990s found him in company of Ivan Lins, Gal Costa, Ney Matogrosso and Djavan. His first solo album (Paradise Station, 1993) was the first Brazilian album to be released at the same moment in both Brazil and the USA. The Brazilian flavoured fusion album made him popular in the USA, too. Meanwhile he started to produce albums for artists like Flávio Venturini and the legendary Paulinho da Viola (whose album Bebadachama even earned him a Sharp Award -- an equivalent of the Grammy award -- for Best Samba Producer). The success in the USA almost made him decide to further develop his skills there. But instead, he stayed in Brazil and was offered a job as musical director at EMI. That proved to be a grateful opportunity to lend a helping hand to new artists like the wonderful Marcela Biasi. Now he's back to being a composer/producer/musician. Although Torcuato's musicianship can be found on dozens of albums, this is only his third solo project. The last one dating from 1996 (Last Look).
Despite maybe he's best known for his talent on the electric guitar, it is the acoustic guitar that is featured throughout the cd. While composing the music for this cd, Torcuato Mariano was using his acoustic guitar. In order to stay as close as possible to the sentiment of those moments, the choice was made to use that instrument during the recording too. In fact, the whole instrumentation seems to be in function of the acoustic guitar, truly as if the guitar is reading from the diary, backed by the sounds of the accompanying instruments. An art on its own that is very well practised on this album.
The album opens strong with "Maio." It has an air of the Pat Metheny Group over it, but when Marcelo Martins starts his soprano solo, we're back in Brazil. The percussion by drummer Carlos Bala (using brushes) and the great Armando Marçal leave no doubt about the origin of this music. The song points out that this cd will be treating us with a mix between jazz-fusion and Brazilian music. Another good example is "Paula," dedicated to Torcuato's wife, and therefore sounds as a beautiful love song with the acoustic guitar soloing in the higher registers of the instrument.
There have been many songs dedicated to September 11th, the day that definitely changed the world. Everyone remembers the sentiment felt on that day. That might be the reason why so many musicians compose music to express those feelings. The title song of this album, Diário, reflects the sentiment of Torcuato Mariano. The composition tries to express the black-white difference between that day and how the world actually should be. World music fragments, maybe out of desire for a world where there are no differences, dominate the song's ending. At least that's where the song brings me. "Navio" describes the trip from Argentina to Brazil, made by the composer in 1977. Marcela Biasi adds underlining voices, while a strong percussion beat form a solid base for the guitar solo. Guitar with a wink to Baden Powell, one of the main influences of Torcuato. "Mariana" features memories of a special moment between father and baby daughter, about recognition and love. "A Carta" brings us back to Torcuato's homeland Argentina, expressed by Chiquinho Chagas on the accordion. His solo is dominated by a tango influence, followed by a very Brazilian sounding guitar solo. The composition is dedicated to his father.
The music lover will never lose interest while listening to this album. Because of the strong personal feeling each song represents, the music invites to also create your own diary. It is easy to link the music to some of your own moments in life. Turn down the lights, put on some candles, pour a drink and let the music make you dream away through your own journey called life. It's an extra bonus to the very good musicianship on this cd. Besides the earlier mentioned Marcelo Martins, Carlos Bala and Marçalzinho, we find Glauton Campello on piano and keyboards as the most featured musician.
One little remark: it would have been a nice extra if the cd included the song's references. That could be an instrument to fully appreciate the music on an album called Diary.