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Trio Nuevo's Jazz Meets Tango, is the brainchild of Rotterdam, Netherlands-based saxophonist Dick de Graaf. The set pays tribute to the creator of Nuevo Tango, Astor Piazzolla, covering seven of the master's tunes, and adding four more from de Graaf's pen.
The instrumentation of violin, accordion, and saxophonewith no bass or drums in the mixhas a fluid and flexible feeling, brimming with freedom and passion.
Piazzolla recorded with jazz musicians Gerry Mulligan and Gary Burton, but those efforts leaned heavily toward tango. De Graaf ups the jazz factor considerably, with some impassioned and freewheeling blowing around the sinuous lines of the violin and sighing washes of the accordion.
On de Graaf's "Esperanza," the sound takes on a measured pace, with the sax sounding Stan Getz-like, rich and smooth, with a deep, muscular tone. Piazzolla's "Oblivion" has a yearning quality, while the group's take on his "Libertango" has a relaxed, exploratory quality.
The group dynamic throughout is off-the-cuff yet seamlessly in-synch, a melding of sounds that feels fresh and spontaneous, like a band that has been playing around the Buenos Aires nightspots together for decades.
Special guest Sandra Coelers sits in on four tunes, and her vocals are fittingly emotion-filled. She puts enormous feeling into her art, holding nothing back, and brings a powerful forlorn beauty to Piazzolla's "Chiquillin de Bachin," and a jaunty verve to "Melodia de Arrabal."
Jazz Meets Tango stirs the two categories of tango and jazz into a stimulating brew.
Track Listing: Libertango; The Missing Link; Chiquilin de Bachin; Sleeping Giant; Milonga is Coming; Melodia de Arrabal; Summit; Balada Para Un Loco; Esperanza; Milonga de Jacinto Chiclana; Oblivion.
Personnel: Michael Gustorff: violin; Hans Sparla: accordion; Dick De Graaf: tenor saxophone; Sandra Coelers: voice (3, 6, 8, 10).