Isaac Darche, originally from San Anselmo, California (living in Brooklyn, NY since 2006), has studied with Kenny Burrell, Anthony Wilson and Billy Higgins while at UCLA (earning his degree in jazz performance in 2004). He has received numerous distinctions including a Gluck Fellowship for the Performing Arts, Kennedy Center's Jazz Ahead program and an invitation to audition for the Thelonious Monk Institute (the only guitarist invited).
Since 2006 he has had the opportunity to play with many greats. He currently runs the Tuesday night jam session at the Morgan in Bushwick. In addition to performing with his group, the Isaac Darche Quintet often, the guitarist is currently working with Sean Wayland, Yvonnick Prene, Evil Giraffes on Mars, Bob Gingery, Carter Bales, Hiro Nakashima and others.
Isaac Darche: Boom Bap!tism
Isaac Darche (guitar, compositions), Sean Wayland (Hammond B3) and Mark Ferber (drums)
A great sense of excitement and joy permeates the music on Boom-Bap!tism, the sophomore CD release from guitarist/composer Isaac Darche, featuring Darche on guitar, Sean Wayland on Hammond B3, and the ubiquitous Mark Ferber on drums. "I think the mojo, or the special sauce, of this session was excitement. Sean, Mark and I were just really going for it. We were having so much fun in the studio and the results exceeded our expectations", said Darche. "I believe this album reflects my values as a musician. I try to respect and extend the jazz guitar tradition from inside its own logic, and produce a product that is original and new in some way. I give 110% everyday, trying to constantly improve, and I believe this is what it takes to create something that inspires people and opens their imaginations to new possibilities."
The title, Boom-Bap!tism refers to Darche's experiences playing with many great musicians in New York since moving here from California in 2005; the musicians on this album, Sean Wayland and Mark Ferber, plus Keith Carlock, Randy Ingram, Jochen Reuckert, Mark Shim, Jon Gordon, Curtis Fowlkes, Henry Cole, Yvonnick Prene, Ambrose Akinmusire, Linda Oh and many others. "There is an expressiveness to the music here that does not exist anywhere else in the world. I call it 'Boom-Bap!' because I feel that this feeling is grounded in the drums and rhythm. This album is named after my experiences on the New York/Brooklyn scene - my 'Boom-Bap!tism.'"
The sessions for the album followed a period of about a year during which Darche dedicated himself to elevating his technique to another level, for the purpose of being able to better express himself on the instrument. He explains, "I felt very good, very strong, going into this session. The previous year I had added a few new picking techniques into my style, among other things, and I was able to execute ideas, tempos, rhythms and emotions more dynamically than ever before."
The material on the album was also selected to showcase Darche's guitar playing, featuring songs with memorable melodies, and harmonic and rhythmic sophistication, including the standard "You Are Too Beautiful", and three gems from Wayland, "Beautiful", "East Gardens" and "Mona Vale". Darche explains, "I included these songs from Sean because I believe they are great works of art. The elements that make Sean's writing are an exquisite attention to detail in terms of rhythm, syncopation, contrapuntal elements, voicing, texture and spacing. He constructs harmonies that sound familiar and logical, yet new and different. He integrates these elements together in an organic way using themes, repetition and a narrative arc. Then there is a quality of catchy-ness and feel good-ness that all great pop songs have and his songs somehow have as well."
Darche himself also shines as a composer on Boom-Bap!tism, contributing the up-tempo waltz, "Broke-Coke-Ho", the reflective, "The People Above Us", the burning "Error and Trial", and the introspective melody of "Green Team". In addition to his compositions, the clarity of Darche's guitar sound, and the range of ideas and emotions are noteworthy.