The misty nature of this meditative, multi-layered music by Guillermo Nojechowicz on Puerto de Buenos Aires is most awe-inspiring. Moreover despite using palpably Argentinean forms as a staging area for its mission, which is to bring to life a monumental migration to ‘the new world’, the drummer cleverly turns this music into the soundtrack of his life, which he now re-lives vicariously through a frayed document with photographs of his grandmother and father on it. And just like that a story full of drama and wonderment is born.
The rhythmic instrumentation provided by Mr Nojechowicz together with percussionist Franco Pinna seemingly provides the backdrop to the story. It is the march of Time, contains the echoes of war from Europe, the sloshing of oceanic waves rising and falling in the cymbals, their irregular vibrations conveying a sense of being adrift in a fearful place and finally, as the drums settle into a pattern of noble tango rhythm, a sense of calm begins to emerge as the fear of the unknown is transformed into a feeling of finally being at peace; at home in what is a welcoming land.
Editor’s Pick · Featured Album · Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933
Cleverly, Guillermo Nojechowicz casts Kim Nazarian in the storyteller’s role. With breathtaking, often wordless vocalastics Miss Nazarian tells the tale of migration that began with the drummer’s grandmother’s escape to Argentina from Poland. The transformation from outsider to her final naturalization takes place from within the sweeping melodic vistas of “Europe” to the gently shuffling chacarera of “Puerto de Buenos Aires” but not before the ink-dark beauty of “Milonga Para Los Niños” and the dusty momentum of “Trains”.
From then on the music takes on a seemingly interminable dance – almost as if in celebration of finding (oneself) in the comforting embrace of the warmth of South America. The heat and dust is celebrated in all its glory by a letting loose of the monumental rhythms of Latin America through the fire of drums, fanned of course by the rest of the instrumentation, led by the voice, but also memorably enriched by woodwinds and brass; piano, bass and percussion, all of which is fluffed out in the arrangements played out by an exquisite string quartet.
The exquisite “Berimbau’s Baby” is one of the high-points of this wonderful album, the beauty of which continues through “Bebe” and into the celebratory finale of “Friday Night Mambo” which brings the curtain down on its vivid drama.
Track list – 1: Milonga Para Los Niños; 2: Trains; 3: Europe 1933; 4: Puerto De Buenos Aires; 5: Berimbao’s Baby; 6: The Unknown Road ; 7: I Loved You Too; 8: The Possibility Of Change; 9: Bebe; 10: Friday Night Mambo
Personnel: Helio Alves: piano; Fernando Huergo: bass; Kim Nazarian: vocals and percussion; Marco Pignataro: tenor and soprano saxophone; Brian Lynch: trumpet; Guillermo Nojechwicz: drums, percussion and vocals; Guests: Franco Pinna: bombo legüero and percussion; Roberto Cassan: accordion; Megumi Lewis: violin; Ethan Wood: violin; Sarah Darling: viola; Leo Eguchi: cello; string arrangements: Nando Michelin
Released – 2017
Label – Zoho Music
Runtime – 1:08:22