"The biggest impact of all is Daniel's sound, which is clear and clean cut."
Paolo Fresu, Trumpeter and composer
In 2019 Daniel Cano saw the release of his second album as leader titled Social Music voted best album of the year by Higuera Jazz Festival, winning him the much-coveted Charlie Porker award! This album, unlike his first, took influence from funk and soul genres and delved into the music of Weather Report, hoping to capture some of their essence of creative, experimental melodies. The result became an album focused on strong rhythms and bass lines, but with an experimental edge.
Since moving to the UK in 2014, Daniel has been captivated by the UK jazz scene and culture. Playing in jazz clubs in London was the first time Daniel had played with funk musicians and also his first exposure to Afrobeat. The UK free jazz scene was also something that captured his attention and musical imagination. This all had a strong part to play when it came to composing Social Music as Daniel’s attention was now continuously centered on creative rhythms and the bass line of each composition. The aim became for the bass line of each composition to be interesting in its own right, to be able to stand alone and have its own force and drive. This is what comes across in Social Music and in this album it is the bass which drives the music that comes with it.
Daniel was also struck by the later realisation that this new album was a kind of homage to Miles Davis. Although the album was not planned like this, in a way it is what the album subconsciously and happily became.
This album was recorded with an outstanding up and coming quintet featuring Wilfried Wilde (guitar), Jorge Castañeda (piano fender rhodes), Miguel Benito (drums) and Dani Pozo (electric bass), and welcomes esteemed trumpeter Chris Kase as a guest on two tracks of the album.
Daniel's Andalucian upbringing, nurtured by the distinct flamenco melodies, vocals and rhythms found in each flamenco 'palo' or form has been important in forming his playing style, and also perhaps why his interest was piqued when finding these new strong rhythms in the UK. Daniel recognises that his playing and composing has been shaped by his musical roots, balancing a deep understanding and appreciation of rhythms along with a deep feeling that is noted in Daniel’s playing and phrasing. Roger Farbey writes in All About Jazz Magazine, Daniel “proves himself a brilliant musician, dually gifted as sensitive, melodious trumpeter and an imaginative and skillful composer.” The tone of his playing he himself describes as vocal, like a flamenco singer, playing and thinking about melodies with internal emotional intellect and intuition.
Daniel still enjoys sharing this traditional art which is so rooted in his own musicality and, as well as giving a Flamenco workshop in Estonia, Daniel has played various concerts in the UK and Estonia focusing on flamenco influence. Daniel’s aim is to continue to bring flamenco influence to various countries and cities by coaching and playing concerts with talented musicians from, or based in, each location that the concerts are played in. This has proven to be a success in both the UK and in Estonia, promoting flamenco in each area by connecting musicians fully to the art form. It also, refreshingly, gives a new voice to flamenco, as the musicians instinctively touch on their own strong musical traditions and roots of their own culture when playing.
Daniel’s first album as leader titled Don't Touch The Blue which won the Apolo y Baco Best Album of the Month in April 2016 took its influences from such genres as modern jazz and hard bop as well as exploring the compelling arrangements of Kenny Wheeler. It was described by Apolo y Baco as a “modern yet classical album at the same time. Rounded and mature considering that it is his first work, and surprising in the risks of his compositions.” After the release of this album, Daniel was invited to give a hard bop workshop in Asturias.
Ornette Coleman’s influence on Daniel's composing and playing is also palpable, particularly in this album. During his time studying at the Higher School of Music of the Basque Country, Musikene, Daniel, along with fellow students Roberto Nieva, Alejandro San Pelayo and Chus Pazos formed The Ornetillos; a group concentrating on the investigation into the music of Ornette Coleman, and together were invited to partake in the exclusive competition held by Getxo Jazz Festival in 2011. When composing Don’t Touch The Blue, what Daniel took from his investigation was Coleman’s liberty in the melody, not always dependent on the harmony and on many tracks says that he tried to maintain this idea in the back of his mind.
In the summer of 2019 Daniel received a scholarship to the prestigious Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music in Alberta, Canada which was a unique opportunity to work with first class musicians from all over the world and to exchange ideas about music concepts and creation. Daniel has described his time at Banff as “un antes y un después;” a before and an after, due to the strong re-emergence of free jazz into Daniel’s ideas and practice. During his time at the Banff Centre, Daniel started to revisit free improvisation, this time with the added dimension and focus on conduction (directed improvisation) having had the pleasure to work with Tyshawn Sorey who uses autoschediasm to lead his Creative Orchestra in the Banff Centre, as well as the opportunity to work with many influential musicians in the free jazz scene. Since his time at Banff, Daniel has started an investigation into the conduction of Butch Morris and has started to experiment with his own conduction, working with the Free Range Orchestra, Canterbury and having also joined the London Improvisers Orchestra; “un antes y un después.”