How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
This subtle, sublime collaboration finds Dino Saluzzi and Anja Lechner crafting music at once intimate, expansive and lyrical. The juxtaposition of Saluzzi's bandoneon with Lechner's cello produces mesmerizing textures and tones that are without parallel. It presents a fascinating combination of two extraordinary musicians that are among the most accomplished on their respective instruments. The sinuous resonance of bandoneon and cello weaves a spare but expressive dialogue, a dark meditation.
Ojos Negros is the result of an ongoing partnership that began on Kultrum (ECM, 1998), a collaboration between Saluzzi and the Rosamunde Quartett ensemble led by Lechner. Her interest in Tango Nuevo can be first traced in early 1980s, when she played this music with pianist/composer Peter Ludwig. Years later it was ECM's Manfred Eicher who brought Saluzzi together with Lechner's string quartet for the highly acclaimed Kultrum project. This collaboration proved so fruitful that Lechner and Saluzzi have been touring regularly for the past six years.
Ojos Negros is the first recorded release by this duo. Lechner and Saluzzi challenge and complement each other brilliantly on a series of compositions and improvisations. All but the title track "Ojos Negros" ("Black Eyes," written by Vincente Greco) were written by Saluzzi. It is evident that this is an artistic partnership based on shared inspiration, not just mutual admiration. They seem to breathe with one breathcompleting and complementing each other's phrases in total communion. Since this recording was preceded by six years of live performance, the real accomplishment here is the ease with which these musicians play such sophisticated and engaging music that has an expansive sense of lyricism.
The music is shrouded in mystery, with dark intervals prevailing throughoutat times making the music run a dangerous course of drowning in its own depth. Ojos Negros is a beautiful recording, one that blurs boundaries between genres and geography. It's a very different tapestry of cross-cultural musical threads and improvisations that co-exist happily.
Track Listing: Tango a mi Padre; Minguito; Esquina; Duetto; Ojos Negros; El Titere; Carretas; Serenata.