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Pablo Ziegler: Buenos Aires Report & Tango & All That Jazz

Elliott Simon By

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Pablo Ziegler-Quique Sinesi with Walter Castro
Buenos Aires Report
Zoho Music
2007


Pablo Ziegler Quartet
Tango & All That Jazz
Kind of Blue
2007


Predating jazz and borne out of the ethnic mosaic that was 19th century Buenos Aires, tango music's distinctive development runs intriguingly parallel to jazz. A mixture of African, South American and European musics, the bandoneon, a button accordion with a rich organ-like timbre, helps to define its uniquely sensual sound. As saxophonist Charlie Parker and others did for jazz, the late bandoneonist virtuoso Astor Piazzolla raised tango's musical bar by transfiguring it from melodic dance music to the freer and more harmonically complex musical form dubbed "tango nuevo . Today, Piazzolla's mantle as its foremost innovator rests on the shoulders of his longtime associate and pianist, Pablo Ziegler.

Buenos Aires Report and Tango & All That Jazz are recent live evidence of where both Ziegler and the genre are headed. Ziegler's choice guitarist is Quique Sinesi, whose poignant style is rich with a world music sensibility that can conjure up guitarists as varied as Django Reinhardt and Larry Coryell. On Buenos Aires Report the interactions between he and Ziegler are both tender and breathtaking. The wonderfully emotive bandoneonist Walter Castro joins the duo on originals like the title cut, a quickly paced stop-start tribute to the seminal jazz fusion group Weather Report, the graceful waltz "Pájaro Angel and the improvisational masterpiece "Elegante Canyenguito . An expanded reworking of the master Piazzolla's "Libertango has the theme celestially floating from Sinesi's guitar before it gives way to an extraordinarily powerful interplay that highlights each musician's virtuosity and improvisational skills in the context of Ziegler's prescient vision.

As the name implies, Tango & All That Jazz provides a forum for Ziegler's quartet to encounter jazz overtly and vice versa. Bandoneonist Hèctor del Curto, bassist Pablo Aslan and guitarist Paul Meyers meet top jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris for an evening that lives up to the intriguing musical possibilities. Del Curto has a style that, while more classically precise than that of Castro, does not sacrifice the richness and freedom of both genres. Aslan is one of NYC's most exciting bassists and his own projects, such as the exhilarating Avantango (Zoho, 2004), are delicious examples of this type of musical encounter. Meyers, a more overt jazzer in his stylings than Sinesi, makes the introduction of Harris' vibes a much easier rendezvous. The Piazzolla tune "Michaelangelo '70 presents a custom-made invitation for the glorious interaction that follows between Harris' crystal clear bell timbre and Ziegler's darting lines. Ziegler originals progress through a session that easily moves from jazz to tango and back again within single cuts, a testimony to the expertise of the musicians and Ziegler's steady leadership, buttressed by Aslan's solid rhythmical underpinning. The result is a brilliant get-together of tango nuevo and jazz.


Tracks and Personnel

Buenos Aires Report

Tracks: Buenos Aires Report; Pajaro Angel; Places; Milonga para Hermeto; Blues Porteno; Elegante Conyenguito; Muchacha de Boedo; Buenos Aires Dark; Libertango.

Personnel: Pablo Ziegler: piano; Quique Sinesi: guitar; Walter Castro: bandoneon.

Tango & All That Jazz

Tracks: La Muerte del Angel; Milonga en el Viento; Pablo's Band Intro; Michelangelo '70; Alredor del Choclo; Desde Otros Tiempos; Once again...Milonga; Muchacha de Boedo; La Cumparsola; La Rayuela.

Personnel: Pablo Ziegler: piano; Héctor del Curto: bandonéon; Paul Meyers: guitar; Pablo Aslan: bass.

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