Rescued from the ashes of Khaeon Records, Bajo Cero should be welcomed with open arms. I warmly received this recording when it was first released and am fortunate to have the opportunity to reconsider it here. The disc is ostensibly a duet between former Astor Piazzolla-pianist Pablo Ziegler and guitarist Quique Sinesi, Ziegler's Nuevo Tango Duo.
What does this music sound like? I suspect had Ravel or Debussy or any of Les Six been Latin Americans from the humid climes of Argentina and existed now, they would be making this music. It is impressionism with an edge. The complex and densely virtuosic opening piece, "La Rayuela, evidences this. It is a bit like a tango "Giant Steps. Walter Castro's bandoneon dissolves into the swirling mix of notes wafting from Ziegler's piano. Quique Sinesi's guitar is precise and vital.
In contrast, "Flor de Lino is a breezy waltz that at once recalls Chopin, Gottschalk, and Jelly Roll Morton as well as Piazzolla. This, with "Yuyo Verde and "Los Mareados, are purely traditional tangos of piano-guitar duo. Sparely arranged with ample room for improvisation, Sinesi demonstrates his unique talent for filling spaces with long, flowing lines pregnant with Latin pathos.
Piazzolla shows up on his two rarely performed tangos, "Chin Chin and "Fuga y Mistero. The former piece was composed late in Piazzolla's life and is dedicated to the piano. The latter is a more classic piece, Piazzolla's most complex fugue with 12 statements of each theme, originally included in his tango opera, "Maria de Buenos Aires. Both are treated respectfully so as not to stifle the breathing of the music. Ziegler frames the pieces with an appropriate splendor. Bajo Cero is a welcome re-release that points the direction of the house that Piazzolla built, the Nuevo Tango.
Personnel: 1. La Rayuela; 2. Flor de Lino; 3. Chin Chin; 4. La Fundicion; 5. Milonga del Adios; 6. Bajo Cero; 7. Yuyo Verde; 8. Planufer Milonga; 9. Los Mareados; 10. Fuga Y Misterio.