With Astor Piazzolla's recent death, Dino Saluzzi inherits the mantle of tango supremacy. This '91 release has him playing with his brothers Celso (who also plays the bandoneon), Jose (a drummer and percussionist), and Felix (a saxophonist), plus vocalists, guitarists, and another percussionist. The music mixes tango with elements of Bolivian and Uruguayan music. There are some beautiful sections, and some uneven ones as well.
Dino Saluzzi can still surprise us. Who knew that the master of the bandoneon had, for decades, been stockpiling compositions for other instruments? This album of pieces for piano features music written between 1960 and 2002, variously conceived in Salta, Buenos Aires, Stuttgart and on the road. It is music of great diversity, both distinct from and connected to Dino’s work as storytelling, improvising bandoneonist.
Argentinean bandoneonist-composer-improviser Dino Saluzzi returns to his roots with El Valle de la Infancia. Recorded at Saluzzi Music Studios in Buenos Aires, it’s the first of his discs to feature his “family band” since 2005’s Juan Condori. Here Dino is heard with his brother Felix on tenor sax and clarinet, his son José María on guitars, and nephew Matías on basses.
Argentine composer-performer Dino Saluzzi is a bandoneonista, a master of the button-box accordion that was invented in 19th-century Germany but is best known as the native voice of the tango. Born in 1935, Saluzzi has had a wide variety of musical experience in various genres such as folk, jazz and tango, but his own very individual music defies easy classification, definitely haunted by the wistful soul of tango but perhaps reaching a little further, toward Argentina's native heritage, alloying the sense of longing and nostalgia with exquisite delicacy and understatement.
On Rios, Saluzzi plays with American bassist Anthony Cox and American vibist and arranger David Friedman, a musician who's run the gamut from Yoko Ono to Disney soundtracks. Together they play an assortment of tunes by members of the group, about half of them Saluzzi's, plus the one cover "My One and Only Love." The numbers are thoughtful but not flashy. Friedman's "Penta y Uno" is largely a deconstruction of bossa nova and tango, featuring percussion as well as vibes. Cox's "Jad" uses weird effects from the instruments and the occasional Arabic motif to build up to a subdued bop frenzy. Other tracks are more straight-ahead combinations of the primary instruments.
This recording, from 1985, presents bandoneon master Dino Saluzzi in a small-group setting, accompanied by some of the finest musicians in the ECM roster: Palle Mikkelborg (trumpet and flugelhorn), Charlie Haden (bass) and Pierre Favre (percussion). As usual with ECM releases, the recording is crystalline - their audio standards have always set the highest standards for sound reproduction, clear and pristine. It puts the listener right into the room with the players.
If there is an actual sonic intersection between the natural world and music, then Navidad de los Andes, the collaborative recording between master bandoneonist and composer Dino Saluzzi, his younger brother, saxophonist Felix Saluzzi, and German cellist Anja Lechner has perhaps found it. The brothers have been playing music together for over 60 years; Lechner has been working with the elder Saluzzi since Kultrum in the mid-'90s. Felix and Lechner were both featured soloists on Saluzzi's 2009 orchestral recording El Encuentro.
Argentinean Dino Saluzzi manages to be a great bandeonist and sound different from great Astor Piazzolla. His music is much closer to new age than to "nuevo tango" invented by Piazzolla and Co, his approach is more "down-to-earth" and "minimalistic" yet still bears an influence on Argentinean music . That's what makes him interesting for me and I love this album in particular because of "chamber sound" if you know what I mean. Like you seat in a big dark room next to a fireplace and the guys are playing for you.
This was originally planned as a solo session, but ECM head honcho Manfred Eicher made a call to drummer Jon Christensen, inviting him to sit in on a few tracks, & in the end the musicians & producer liked the results so much that most of the album is duets. Bandoneon/drums duets are unusual to say the least, & the resutls are fascinating, not least because you can hear the musicians thinking about how to respond to the situation. Saluzzi mostly favours dark, brooding, quiet textures, sometimes like a nostalgic memories of tangos & folksongs, sometimes quite dissonant, like some atonal church organ piece.