Pedro Giraudo: Córdoba to Köln via New York

Pedro Giraudo & The WDR Big Band

Pedro Giraudo & The WDR Big Band: An Argentinian In New York

You cannot really go wrong when you have the incredible heft of The WDR Big Band behind you. But providing them with the right kind of material is also hugely helpful. Pedro Giraudo not only has the benefit of this great big band interpreting his compositions, but his arrangements for these musicians are by far the most significant he has done. There are already dozens of sparkling and characterful recordings of Argentinian music, yet one would have no hesitation in suggesting that An Argentinian In New York is among the best. For one there is the performance throughout by the dazzling virtuosi of The WDR Big Band. This mighty ensemble, under Mr Giraudo’s baton, is characteristically excellent, highly polished, full of subtle wit and spirit, beautifully captured in the warmth of this live recording. Secondly Mr. Giraudo’s long-form work the “Desconsuelo Suite” is, unusually coupled with five other works especially re-created for this mighty orchestral setting. In all of this one can hear the mature composer having evolved from a gifted Argentinian bassist and composer into a musician of considerable significance.

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Mr. Giraudo’s music – especially in the shorter works here, such as “Chicharrita” and “Eir” (a profoundly beautifully ballad, superbly performed by Shannon Barnett) offer the best of both (his Argentinian and Jazz) worlds through an airy nimbleness of traditional rhythms matched to a richness of sound which sometimes seems impossible from a large group of players. This is, of course, due to the facility with which the musicians of The WDR Big Band can read and interpret any music, as well as due to the dynamic range and balance – never too close – achieved in the Kleine Sendesaal auditorium. Also passion and precision are one. The apogee is the “Desconsuelo Suite”, of course. Melodic lines are beautifully moulded, the return of the opening chords hushed, the climax gorgeous and the dying dénouement are both subtly atmospheric. Comprising mostly of full-blooded tuttis contrast with rare, but perfect soli taken by Andy Haderer (trumpet) and Shannon Barnett (trombone). The ricochets of the powerful movement literally fizz with energy as the music of a memorable disc comes to a close.

Track list – 1: Mentiras Piadosas; 2: Chicharrita; 3: La Ley Primera; 4: Lapidario; 5: Eir; Desconsuelo Suite 6: Preludio de Bombo Legüero; 7: Mate Amargo; 8: Con Un Nudo En La Garganta; 9: La Bronca

Personnel – Pedro Giraudo: composer, arranger and conductor; The WDR Big Band: Johan Hörlen: alto saxophone, flute and clarinet; Karolina Strassmayer: alto saxophone and flute; Olivier Peters: tenor saxophone; Paul Heller: tenor saxophone; Jens Neufang: baritone saxophone; Andy Haderer: (lead) trumpet (solo 3); Wim Both: (alternate lead) trumpet; Rob Bruynen: trumpet; Ruud Breuls: trumpet; John Marshall: trumpet; Ludwig Nuss: (lead) trombone; Shannon Barnett: trombone (solo 5); Andy Hunter: trombone; Mattis Cederberg: bass trombone; Pablo Held: piano; Paul Shigihara: guitar; John Goldsby: bass; Hand Dekker: drums; Bodek Janke: percussion (solo (6)

Released – 2018
Label – ZOHO Music
Runtime – 55:18

Raul Da Gama
Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

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