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Pablo Aslan: Buenos Aires Tango Standards

Jerry D'Souza By

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Pablo Aslan returned to Buenos Aires in September 2005 after a 25-year absence. While there, he became involved with local jazz musicians, many of whom shared his idea of melding jazz with tango. Aslan formed a band and chose tango standards that spanned several eras for this recording. He wrote the basic arrangements and then let his band have its way.

Aslan's choice profiles the diversity of the tango. While the rhythm of the music is the take-off point for a flight into jazz-induced territory, there is a very emphatic acknowledgement of the tango on "Bahi Blanca, where trumpeter Gustavo Bergalli shines. He not only brings in a strong sense of yearning, he also shows an ability to gently change the shape of the tune. Helping him along with his interludes is pianist Abel Rogantini.

Bergalli showcases another side on "El Pollo Ricardo. He starts off deep in the melodic zone, then Rogantini goes off the path and finds a companion to converse with in Aslan. Rogantini, whose melodic and lyrical run is a delight, pushes the temperate beat up-tempo. The middle section slams as Bergalli lets loose a slew of high-register notes and makes like Dizzy Gillespie. Rogantini offers contrast, calming the waters and once more finding Aslan for a quiet exchange.

On "De Puro Guapo, a milonga, Rogantini gets into the feel of the rhythm, but not before he has set the tempo with jazz harmonies. The blend is appetising as he continues to push the pulse and open up several ideas. But then Aslan changes course, getting back to the roots and drawing the listener into another experience. He develops and fleshes the structure with colourful interjections and a varied pulse. It's an entrancing tune—and along with the others, it makes for an earthy and enjoyable record.


Track Listing: La Cachila; Tinta Verde; El Pollo Ricardo; Loca Bohemia; Bahia Blanca; Ventarron; Don Augustin Bardi; De Puro Guapo.

Personnel: Pablo Aslan: bass; Abel Rogantini: piano; Jorge Retamoza: tenor and baritone saxophones; Gustavo Bergalli: trumpet; Daniel Piazzolla: drums.

Title: Buenos Aires Tango Standards | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Zoho Music

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