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Astor Piazzolla (1923-92) took the originally blue collar Argentinean tango to new and unforeseen levels, and onto a classical plane. A virtuoso on the bandoneon – a squeeze box similar in sound to the accordion – he abandoned his plans for a European classical music career to embrace the earthier tango sounds of his homeland.
Accordionist and bandoneon player Richard Galliano pays homage to the tango master on Piazzolla Forever. Like his idol, Galliano initially studied classical music, but since he discovered jazz in the sixties via Clifford Brown and Max Roach, he hasn't looked back. Since 1993, he has put out a series of fine albums on the Dreyfus Jazz label.
Galliano's latest owes as much to his early classical training as it does to jazz, with rearrangements of ten of Piazzolla's songs for accordion or bandoneon plus piano, bass, and string quartet. There's a lot of very spirited, free-flowing improvisation on the set; and the blend of the bandoneon's reedy sighs juxtaposed with the stretched lines of the violins – punctuated by the piano – is facinating in its difference from standard American jazz fare.
This is a live recording from Galliano's recent world tour, featuring Piazzolla classics "Le Saisons De Buenos Aires," Libertango," and Milongo Del Angel," tinted with classical harmonies but grounded firmly in the tango tradition, a la Piazzolla.
Personnel: Richard Galliano--bandoneon and accordion; Jean Marc Phillips-Varjabedian--solo violin; Lyonel
Schmit--second violin; Jean MarcApap--viola; Raphael Pidoux--cello; Stephane Logerot--double
bass; Herve Sellin--piano
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.