AROUND THE WORLD WITH DEPEDRO
Jairo Zavala is set to release his third album, a culmination of his travels around the world, with songs focusing on local issues.
Distinguished artists from three different continents have collaborated on the album, including Tony Allen (Fela Kuti), Joey Burns and John Convertino (Calexico), Nick Urata (DeVotchKa), and Bernard Fanning (Powderfinger).
Perm, Ural Mountains, Russia. Jairo Zavala is about to hit the stage at a festival where heʼs sharing the bill with Living Colour. He remembers the days when his musical journeys took him as far as the gas tank would allow. This scenario has been repeated in Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Greece, Belgium, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, the United States, and even in Israel, where heʼs had a hit. From Russia to Australia, thereʼs an entire world thatʼs now heard the guitar of Jairo Zavala.
Nevertheless, Jairo lives and breathes Spain. His children are here, and he travels to every corner of the country with the musical snapshots of his journeys. Despite all his globetrotting, DePedro has firm roots here in Spain. Heʼs a rock ʻnʼ roll workhorse. Thanks to his time in La Vacazul and his work with Amparanoia, he knows all the local Spanish music haunts. And now, thanks to his solo project, and as a member of Calexico, he knows half the worldʼs local music haunts too.
Spanning these two spheres, the local and the global, is “La increible historia de un hombre bueno”, the third album from Depedro, the one that breaks down language barriers between the friends who have helped him out on this project: the local ones (like Vetusta Morla), and the international ones (like Calexico). On this occasion, Jairo has returned to Craig Schumacherʼs studio, where artists like Neko Case, Iron and Wine, and M. Ward have recorded. But this time, he wants to do it his way. He wants to take some risks. To mix the recordings made at the musical playground that is Craig Schumacherʼs studio with some recordings made at home. Once again, the local and the global. It makes sense for a musican who has Peruvian blood on his fatherʼs side and whose mother grew up in Guinea. Imagine all the music and rhythms he must have grown up with.
DePedroʼs songs have also grown. They are charged with healing energy (“Sanity”), infused with the sounds of the street (“¿Qué habéis hecho?”), filled with extraordinary landscapes (“Ella sabía”), nourished by nueva trova (“De como empezamos”) and American spirituals (“You and I”), and in the case of “El pescador” (an irresistable old cumbia standard that Depedro has added to his repertoire, and that grabs you on the first listen), fueled by a driving horn section. “El pescador” can be added to his list of tributes to Latin America, which includes Mexican standards like “La llorona” and Brazilian classics like “Comanche”. Musical excerpts from around the world, which become whole in Jairoʼs hands, almost like the coming together of Pangaea in a single person.
Thereʼs a logic there. These past two years, DePedro has crossed paths with Evan Dando (ex Lemonheads), The Dodos, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), and the Israeli singer Geva Allon. He has shared his talent with others and visa versa. Thatʼs what collaborating with the best is all about, like with the stellar team who have been working with him on “La increible historia de un hombre bueno”. A ʻglobal dream teamʼ that includes Tony Allen (an essential name in the history of drumming, who was the right-hand man of Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti), Bernard Fanning (who, along with his group Powderfinger, is one of the heavyweights of Australian rock), Nick Urata (from those Denver gypsies DeVotchKa), Martin Wenk (Nada Surf), and, of course, Joey Burns and John Convertino from the band that Jairo also belongs to – Calexico.
This all makes “La increible historia de un hombre bueno” DePedroʼs most ambitious album to date. A piece of work that is original, delicate, creative, well crafted and, above all, human, which pretty much sums up Jairo Zavala.
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