Unlike the tango, which – as a dance form – has a relatively clear, almost mathematical definition, there are really no words that can be used to describe the art form of Jazz. However where the two forms certainly meet is in the seemingly bottomless wellspring of ineffable emotion: in the molten movement of tango dancers. As far as Jazz is concerned there is the unquenchable desire to improvise further than boundless horizons where every note played is drenched in the feeling of The Blues. Passion is the glue that binds these two forms together in the music of the appropriately entitled Jazz Tango by Pablo Ziegler, who joins forces here with perhaps the most prodigiously talented young bandoneon player Héctor Del Curto and another monstrously gifted guitarist, Claudio Ragazzi to make this memorable live recording.
If it should come as no surprise that Pablo Ziegler should favour the music of Astor Piazzolla for this recording, it is also fitting that this programme should de rigueur include Mr Ziegler’s compositions for they more than complement those of the man who revolutionised the tango. But what really gives this recording its particular character is the profoundly meditative beauty of the performance of each of the musicians. Pablo Ziegler is a giant among men and, like his illustrious musical ancestor Astor Piazzolla, he worships at the altar of originality, creating furiously beautiful arabesques whose black dots leap off the page as he (Mr Ziegler) commands them to pirouette and fly airborne into the rarefied realm of his art. One is so mesmerised by his fierce pianism that experiencing him play is to be bewitched by his madly dancing fingers.
One is no less dazzled by Héctor del Curto, who is casting a long shadow on bandoneon playing in the post-Piazzolla era. His expressive playing is born of spry finger-work that creates glorious dynamics by the seemingly stealthy manipulation of the buttons on his instrument. The result is an explosive phrase that could be played with very subtle depressions of the buttons, almost imperceptible to the eye, but at the beck and call of Mr Del Curto nevertheless. Claudio Ragazzi is more introverted in his musicianship but no less ingenious when it comes to fretwork and the ensuing harmonics that adorns the music on this programme. Together the musicians make this one of the most memorable experiences for audience. The superb recording has also been mastered to perfection by Oscar Zambrano, preserving the warmth and vivid colours of the live performance.
Pablo Ziegler Trio – Jazz Tango is a 60th Grammy Awards Winner Best Latin Jazz Album.
Track list – 1: Michelangelo 70; 2: La Fundición; 3: Milonga Del Adios; 4: Buenos Aires Report; 5: Blues Porteno; 6: Fuga Y Misterio; 7: Elegante Canyenguito; 8: La Rayuela; 9: Muchacha De Boedo; 10: Libertango
Personnel – Pablo Ziegler: piano, compositions and arrangements; Héctor Del Curto: bandoneón; Claudio Ragazzi: guitar
Released – 2017
Label – ZOHO Music
Runtime – 1:09:59
Featured photo of Pablo Ziegler by Manuel Pose Varela