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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Dino Saluzzi Group: El Valle de la Infancia

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In his 32-year relationship with ECM Records, Argentinean bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi has explored many paths--paths upon which he has rarely traveled more than once, even if there were certain road marks common to them all. A pair of trio recordings with his son, guitarist José Maria Saluzzi, employed two different bassists--Marc Johnson on 1997's Cité de la Musique and Palle Danielsson on 2003's Responsorium--their graceful elegance possessing a similar but different intimacy when compared to the bandoneonist's ongoing duo with cellist Anja Lechner, which first began with Ojos Negros (2007) but then expanded to a trio with the addition of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dino Saluzzi / Anja Lechner / Felix Saluzzi: Navidad de los Andes

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Most musicians work with a wide range of other collaborators over time, but only a precious few become so empathically close as to engender ongoing relationships. It's no surprise that Argentinean bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi has continued to work with his brother, saxophonist/clarinetist Felix, their genetic bond clearly apparent on Dino Saluzzi Group recordings like Juan Condori (ECM, 2006). The bandoneonist's extra-familial bond with German-born cellist Anja Lechner--first, in his collaboration with the Rosamunde Quartette on Kultrum (ECM, 1998), and nearly a decade later on their sublime duo recording, Ojos Negros (ECM, 2007)--is no less profound. Saluzzi's decision to bring all ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dino Saluzzi / Gidon Kremer / Andrei Puchkarev: Giya Kancheli: Themes from the Songbook

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There is a potent element in the sophisticated pioneer spirit of ECM Records and its founder, Manfred Eicher, that is perfectly illustrated by this recording. Giya Kancheli (born 1935) is a Georgian composer who has produced, among other compositions, film and stage scores over the past 40 years. Kancheli transformed the elements of these scores into piano reductions he called Simple Music for Piano, subtitled “33 miniatures from Music for Stage and Screen." Kancheli's son, Sandro, shortly before his father's 75th birthday, showed these scores to Eicher, who immediately thought would be of interest to Argentinian bandoneonist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dino Saluzzi: El Encuentro

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On El Ecuentro, Argentine bandoneon master Dino Saluzzi teams with saxophonist brother Felix Saluzzi and cellist Anja Lechner in a meeting with Holland's Metropole Orchestra. It is Saluzzi's first recorded encounter with an orchestra, and his first ever live recording. More familiar ground for Saluzzi is his work with Lechner, on Ojos Negros (ECM, 2007), and Felix, on Juan Condori (ECM, 2006).The initial impression of El Encuentro is: this is serious stuff. The four compositions, all by Saluzzi, progress at a stately pace. The Metropole Orchestra, conducted by Jules Buckley, explores subtle shadings, different depths of shadows out ...

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Dino Saluzzi: El Encuentro

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Since first emerging on the ECM label in 1983, Argentinean bandoneonist/composer Dino Saluzzi has demonstrated that even the most ethnic of instruments needn't be stylistically pigeonholed. From the solo recital of Kultrum (1983) and unorthodox improvisational pairing with Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen on 2005's Senderos, to the all-star grouping of 1986's Once upon a time--Far away in the south, affectionate, chamber jazz setting of Responsorium (2003) and outgoing, family-driven Dino Saluzzi Group's Juan Condori (2006), the bandoneonist has proven, time and again, that it's possible to revere tradition while, at the same time, expanding greatly upon it.A parallel ...

INTERVIEWS

Dino and Jose Saluzzi: Family Guys

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“Remove the records from Texas, and someone will learn to sing," the composer John Cage once said. The life of Argentine bandoneonist/composer Dino Saluzzi lends weight to Cage's words. Saluzzi was born in 1935 in Campo Santo, a small city in the mountainous Argentine province of Salta, and learned music in the context of daily life without access to radio, recordings, or formal concerts. Even as Saluzzi moved to Buenos Aires, befriended Astor Piazzolla, composed symphonic works, and became an internationally known artist for his unique blend of jazz, tango, folkloric, and classical music, he remained a steadfast believer in ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Dino Saluzzi/Anja Lechner: Ojos Negros

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Dino Saluzzi/Anja Lechner Ojos Negros ECM Records 2007

As of this writing, Ojos Negros, the new album of duets by bandoneón master Dino Saluzzi and classical cellist Anja Lechner, has been the subject of four glowing reviews at AAJ. Add to those Steve Lake's excellent liner notes and it would seem there is little else to say about this crepuscular and poetic record.Except this. Lake's liner notes recount a favorite anecdote of Saluzzi's about his compatriot Jorge Luis Borges, thus nimbly putting the musician in the company both of Argentina's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dino Saluzzi / Anja Lechner: Ojos Negros

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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. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Dino Saluzzi & Anja Lechner at The Americas Society

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Dino Saluzzi & Anja LechnerThe Americas SocietyNew York, NYSaturday April 14, 2007 5:30-7:00 PM “The Americas Society promotes the understanding of the political, economic, and cultural issues that define and challenge the Americas today, from the Arctic Circle to the southernmost tip of Argentina" (from the website). A fortuitous convergence of events led to a reception for Dino Saluzzi and Anja Lechner coordinated by ECM Records, the Society and Merkin Concert Hall. Ojos Negros, their stunning album, had recently been released, and a performance tour would bring the duo to the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dino Saluzzi/Anja Lechner: Ojos Negros

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Call this music tango if you must--and the title track of the Dino Saluzzi/Anja Lechner set, Ojos Negros, is a tango tune from the pen of Vincente Greco. But this duet set, Saluzzi's bandoneon in a fluid, airy dance with Anja Lecher's cello, might better be categorized as “just music."The two instruments, individually, make some of the most beautiful sounds. This marriage--the interplay and blending on this South American-European hybrid (if we must categorize)--elevates the proceedings to a level beyond the sum of the two parts.The bandoneon--a type of celeste, imported from Germany to Argentina in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dino Saluzzi / Anja Lechner: Ojos Negros

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What is beauty? What does it mean to feel, to remember, to laugh or to cry? How can music sound both created beforehand and recreated each second? Is music a direct connection to the infinite, to our very ground of being, so we can see into the musician's soul? These and many, many more questions are raised by Ojos Negros, the astonishing record by bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi and cellist Anja Lechner. Saluzzi's Juan Condori (ECM, 2006) was a family affair, but the music somehow managed to convey the humanity, vulnerability and wisdom of its patriarch, Dino Saluzzi. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dino Saluzzi / Anja Lechner: Ojos Negros

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The late Astor Piazolla was undeniably responsible for bringing visibility to the bandoneon and widespread acclaim to the tango form. Over the course of the past quarter century, however, it's been Piazolla's fellow countryman Dino Saluzzi who has directed the instrument towards paths unseen. Over the course of nine ECM releases Saluzzi has explored the instrument's potential as an expansive improvisational instrument in variety of orthodox and unorthodox instrumental groupings.

While not based in improvisation, one of Saluzzi's most adventurous recordings is Kultrum (ECM, 1998), featuring a book of compositions for bandoneon and string quartet. Cellist Anja Lechner, who has ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dino Saluzzi Group: Juan Condori

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Juan Condori is one of most heartfelt and deeply moving releases you will come across. It is about remembrance--of childhood, people and place, of things lost and regained, of relationships, of a life lived fully, with intent. It actually does not matter what label you give this music, but if you must, let it be Argentinian folk jazz. Actually beyond category, and to these ears beyond words, the tunes on Juan Condori have a deceptive simplicity that hides much complexity and group cohesiveness.

The group is based around the musical Saluzzi family, plus the outstanding U. T. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dino Saluzzi Group: Juan Condori

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Juan Condori is useful if you want to find out how Dino Saluzzi, born 1935, a slightly younger veteran bandoneonist, sounds relative to Astor Piazzolla--not only is the setting comparable, but the music made by this family group is well worth hearing anyway. Saluzzi has the more lyrical turn of phrase, and the band has a more flexible rhythmic profile, performing the same kind of music as Piazzolla's, but with a clarinet doubling the saxophone, rather than a violin. There are also important contributions from a jazz drummer--not a member of the Saluzzi family, but a very gifted Italian who ...



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