Jazz Diaz is the lead singer and guitarist of Mexican Psychofolkabilly band La Mexcalina.
This band is the first of their kind and their style which comes from the fusion of traditional Mexican music with other genres such as Rock-billy, Country and Punk.
Formed in July 2012, La Mexcalina has stepped on different and important stages in Mexico and Canada, they have three record materials, “La Mexcalina” in 2015, “El Cardenchero” 2018 and their most recent album “Donde Los Muertos Bailan” 2019.
For this cover, Jazz chose an all-time hit and personal favourite of mine “I’d Rather Go Blind” by the late great Etta James.
Jazz Diaz pairs it down to three things. Her voice, her guitar and most importantly her soulful connection to the spirit of the song. The raw vulnerability in her emotions translates well and the spectator cannot help but be swept up in the power that streams forth from her signing the haunting lyrics.
Jazz really seems to bare her heart and in this soulful rendition, giving us a glimpse of her own personal style, haunting vocals and tight sense of rhythm with a slightly sustained echo which seems to add to the wistfulness and sense of unrequited love that Etta originally intended. Without distractions, Jazz gives a solid performance that would have Etta dancing in the aisles.
electronicGIG reached out to Jazz to inquire a few question for her about this cover and here reasons for choosing it.
Is this your first cover?
“This is not the first cover that I do, it is the first one that I record a video in a more formal way and I put it on social media, but before La Mexcalina I used to sing Jazz and Blues in some clubs in Guadalajara and I even sang for three years in a Big Band, so all the time I sang repertoire of singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Bessie Smith among others. Later when I started La Mexcalina I dedicated myself more to the composition of my own music, but I kept doing covers for myself, I think that you can learn a lot by doing a cover and it is a way to challenge yourself to improve as a singer and musician in general.”
Why did you chose this particular song?
“I chose “I’d Rather Go Blind” because it always seemed like a song that had something special beyond being a hit, whenever I listened I felt that an important story kept a feeling beyond what we can perceive just listening to it, I wanted to try to discover it and decided to try to delve deeper into it … obviously it is a song that talks about loss, but for me it also talks about strength and the value that it takes to release someone you love very much. … She says “I’d rather go blind than see how you get away from me” but at the same time she says that she’s ready to let go even if she has to die when she leaves, that’s why I added a couple of stanzas from my harvest saying “I’m ready to see you go, I’m ready to let you go, so I have to cry for you” “I’m ready to let you go with your smile, and your kiss” I think I could discover my own way of feeling that song, and that it was my purpose because if Etta J teaches me something love is that one must make a song his own when the canata … be the music! be the blues!”
Why did you choose to do it just yourself without the rest of the band?
“I did this cover by myself because honestly at first I didn’t want to do something so elaborate, I just wanted to sing something different, and the original idea was to record a simple video and put it on my Facebook to share it with my friends, but this song is Too big to do something so simple, as I was studying and going deeper into it I wanted to do more, and offer a better interpretation, I was sure of something, I did not want to ruin a song by Etta James, so one thing led to another And I ended up doing something more elaborate than planned, I also decided to do it alone because I wanted it to be something personal personal between Etta and me, and so it was, it will seem very crazy to you but I felt that I could communicate with what she felt when singing that song ade Through my study, it was a very magical experience.”
One more short two parted question…do you intend to play this in your live sets and will we be seeing it on an upcoming CD
“For now there are no plans for that, with “La Mexcalina” we are preparing a new album with more original music and we are still creating content. For my part I do not rule out the possibility of continuing to make more covers like this on my own, not only for my personal study but also to share with more people. I loved doing something different from what I usually do and share! so I will try to do more.”
~ Jazz Diaz, July 6/2020
Message from Jazz
It is always a pleasure to sing and study some Etta, she is a very great singer who leaves me a lot of learning through my studio in her music and with ′′ I’d Rather Go Blind ′′ was not the exception, I hope I did it justice. I made it with love for you guys! And I hope you enjoy it, if you like the video please don’t forget to share!
Thanks to my beloved Cruz Fuzz who recorded and made the video editing and had all the patience in the world 💕