The Rough Guide To Astor Piazzolla cherry picks
tracks from the Argentine master’s vast back-catalogue. By 1957, after 10 years of recording and
playing in Buenos Aires theatres and clubs, Piazzolla began to find his own
voice, and ‘Tres Minutos Con La Realidad’ bridges the romanticism of
conventional tango, which he had mastered, with his neoclassical leanings.
recorded during Piazzolla’s Italian period, is a breathless milonga that has
been covered by Grace Jones, Julien Clerc and cellist
Ma, among others,
and Piazzolla called it a ‘kind of song to freedom’. When Piazzolla met
saxophonist Gerry Mulligan in 1974, it led to the recording of
Summit – Reunion Cumbre. ’20 Years
Ago’, from this album, is a stirring, melodramatic lyrical duet and an essay on
‘Bandoneón’, homage to the quintessential instrument of tango, is
taken from Piazzolla’s Suite Troileana (1975). A glorious tribute to Piazzolla’s
musical mentor, Anibal Troilo, the long bandoneon solo builds up in Stravinskian
slabs until it gives way to a lyrical explosion.
Piazzolla’s three ‘Tanguedias’
star in the 1985 Fernando ‘Pino’ Solanas film
Tango, El Exilio De Gardel. The
soundtrack won a Cesar for Best Foreign Recording from the French Academy, and ‘Tanguedia 3’ is particularly spellbinding with its sudden mood changes and
interesting sound .effects.
‘Adios Nonino’, the last track on this album, is an
elegy for Nono – Piazzolla’s father – written in 1959, shortly after his death.
It is something like an alternative national anthem for many people and it is
certainly his most famous composition. This version is a live recording from Piazzolla’s 1987 Central Park Concert and from the strident, jazzy piano to the
gushing, mournful emotion of the bandoneon phrases, it’s a complex, searching,
Piazzolla took tango on a globetrotting odyssey of
experimentation and reinvigoration, and The Rough Guide To Astor Piazzolla offers a snapshot of some of his finest performances that helped to establish
him as a colossus among tango maestros and the genre’s supreme innovator.