A little bit of background, dear reader. The first four tracks on this album were written by Astor Piazzolla for a movie titled Pulsacion. The last five were utilized to augment the release of this CD and come from the “tango operita” Maria de Buenos Aires. Now it’s time to turn to the music.
Piazzolla extended the ambit of the tango without watering down its integrity or diminishing its strengths. In doing so the bandoneon player embodied it with an expediency that found inspiration in classical forms as well as jazz. Both traits are well and distinctly manifested here, which makes the music a palpable swirling force of emotion. Adding to the impact are charts which vent the music in all its majestic hues.
The opening track opens to a 1-2-3 beat before it moves to the strain of the tango, Piazzolla playing up the bandoneon in all of its gorgeous, sultry tone. Jazz harmonies are shaped by Arturo Schneider on the alto saxophone, the nimble arcs that devolve into hard, biting lines, all of it pegged by the supple bass work of Kicho Diaz. The next one is flamboyant as Jose Corriale flecks his percussion and drums up a scintillating rhythm on the cymbals, the melodic lore fuelled by the violin. And as tempo changes are triggered over the narrative of the song, ardour does not lose its impact. The way the instruments blend and counterpoint is illustrated profusely and the orchestral textures that leap out are singularly resplendent. “Tocata Rea” makes a nice study. In less than five minutes Piazzolla takes the band through diminuendo and crescendo, through calm and storm, the string instruments meshing to weave elegant tapestry.
Passion has many facets, and Astor Piazzolla illustrates that fact magnificently!