Life is full of surprises, and things aren't always what they appear to be on the surface. Many hidden mysteries are waiting to reveal themselves to the ones who seek them out. There will be times when you expect everything, and you get nothing. But there will also be times when you expect nothing, and you get everything. These are times we cherish the most, for these moments serve as a reminder that life need not be mundane; there is a lot to be excited about if we just open our eyes, our ears and our hearts. Hearing music by a new or previous unexplored artist is reason enough to get excited, and that was precisely my reaction when I first laid ears upon Quintet For New Tango , a new CD by pianist, arranger, and composer Pablo Zeigler. Zeigler is an accomplished player and composer, who from 1978 to 1988 was a member of the late Astor Piazzolla's quintet. Piazzolla, a composer and bandoneon player from Argentina, almost single-handedly re-invented the tango, introducing modern tonality to it's vibrant rhythmic structure.
This CD is proof that Piazzolla had a profound influence on Ziegler, who has assembled a fine quintet which features Enrique Sinesi on bandoneon for most of the cuts on this disc. The quintet plays a well rounded and spirited set of exquisitely orchestrated originals by Ziegler and by Astor Piazolla. 10 out of the 12 tunes were recorded in Buenos Aires and feature Zeigler's working group; the other 2 tunes were recorded in New York City with a quintet, plus Joe Lovano on tenor saxophone. There are ballads like the haunting "Milongueta", and the pretty "El Vals del Duende", spirited tangos such as "Imagenes" and "Desde Otros Tiempos", and darker, brooding themes like "Conexion Portena"and "Ritmico y Nostalgico". Lovano's role on "Once again...Milonga", and "Muchacha de Boedo" is largely that of ensemble player, but it is always nice to hear his warm tenor, no matter what the context. All in all, a very intriguing set by one Pablo Zeigler, a talented man who has a lot to say, and says it with clarity, focus and conviction. Recommended.
Track Listing: Conexion Portena; Desde Otros Tiempos; Milongueta; Once Again...Milonga; Imagenes 676; Alrededor del Choclo; El Vals del Duende; Ritmico y Nostalgico; Astor's Place; Muchacha de Boedo; Sandunga; Primavera Portena
Personnel: Pablo Ziegler (piano); Walter Castro (bandoneon); Enrique Sinesi (guitar) Horatio Hurtado (bass); Horacio Lopez (drums) and on tracks 4 & 10: Joe Lovano (Tenor sax); Hector del Curto (bandoneon); Claudio Ragazzi (guitar); Pablo Aslan (bass); Satoshi Takeishi (drums)
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.