Buenos Aires Report
Pablo Ziegler-Quique Sinesi with Walter Castro
When a musician spends an extended period of time performing with a revolutionary artist, they take on a responsibility to carry that artist’s vision into the world. Their time as a sideman gives them a deeper understanding of the artist’s overall concept and an ability to execute it in concert. While they may not choose to repeat the artist’s repertoire or even approach music exactly the same way, they can integrate their mentor’s musical aesthetics into their creations. Ideally, they deeply ingest their mentor’s musical vision and then creatively reinterpret it, moving the music into a new generation. Pianist Pablo Ziegler spent over ten years performing with Astor Piazzolla’s quartet and then refined his own approach to Nuevo Tango; his work with guitarist Quique Sinesi and bandoneon player Walter Castro on Buenos Aires Report reflects a unique voice built upon the foundation laid by Piazzolla.
Balancing Authentic Tango Roots and Personal Expression
Some pieces reflect a traditional tango foundation, building upon history while preserving Ziegler’s original voice. Sinesi establishes a subdued vamp on “Blues Porteño,” making room for Ziegler’s passionate melody. Castro demonstrates the powerful dynamic and expressive range of the bandoneon during his solo, building a highly personal solo. Sinesi uses a different approach relying more upon intensity until Ziegler makes a short but potent statement. Castro performs an insightful melody over a richly arranged background on “Muchacha De Boedo.” As the song builds momentum, Sinesi carefully constructs his solo, giving way to Castro’s sensitive improvisatory touch. Ziegler shines here, with an improvisation that shows his strength both as a jazz soloist and modern interpreter of tango. The trio takes an adventurous look at Astor Piazzolla’s popular “Libertango,” building from a rubato guitar introduction into a collective improvisation. Ziegler starts the movement into the song’s familiar melody, being careful to avoid an exact performance but relying heavily upon interpretation. From here, the musicians take several turns trading improvised statements, creating exciting interaction and inspired performances. The musicians display their authentic tango credentials, but also highlight their ability to bring their own voices to the music.
Personal and Spontaneous Duets
Ziegler adds color to the arrangements by altering the format to include two duets with Sinesi. An elegant two-chord vamp lays the foundation for a sensitive melody split between the two musicians on “Pájaro Ángel.” Ziegler thoughtfully explores several melodies, relying upon understatement to build his statement. Sinesi takes a more aggressive approach, adding contrast with fast runs and boldly pronounced phrases. Ziegler’s rubato piano solo opens “Elegante Canyenguito,” building into a melody that Sinesi supports with comping and harmonized lines. Sinesi utilizes progressive phrasing in his improvisation, successively building upon each idea. As Ziegler leaps into an extended solo, he assertively constructs melodic lines through the harmony. As the song builds into a powerful climax, Ziegler and Sinesi trade almost telepathic ideas, providing a revealing glimpse into their mutual understanding of each other. This smaller context exposes a different side to Ziegler and Sinesi’s musicianship, allowing listeners to hear a personal and spontaneous side of their personalities.
An Influx of Original Elements
Other songs reflect Ziegler’s influences outside Piazzolla and display his original take on the music. A series of rhythmic effects introduces “Places,” which soon moves into a melody from Ziegler and Castro. After an interlude in 7/4, the band creates a free-floating feeling under an expressive solo by Castro. The group picks up the rhythmic feel once again for strong statements by Ziegler and Sinesi. Ziegler presents a frenetic bass line leading into a repetitive melody from Castro on the tribute to Weather Report on “Buenos Aires Report.” While Sinesi establishes a bass line and Castro comps sparsely, Ziegler develops a solo full of fast runs and rhythmic chords. Sinesi alternates between generous dose of space and quick burst of speed, playing over a clearly defined momentum. “Buenos Aires Dark . . . ” creates a brooding mood with a 9/4 foundation and a series of introspective performances. All three musicians engage in a pained conversation, made potent through the use of dark dissonance. Ziegler winds through the unique time signature on his solo while Sinesi moves back to a standard 4/4 for his statement. Each song brings a new element into tango, which Ziegler’s group uses as a vehicle for personal expression.
Moving Nuevo Tango Into The Next Generation
Ziegler moves Nuevo Tango forward on Buenos Aires Report, preserving Piazzolla’s original intent while shaping the music around his own artistic personality. Ziegler captures the form and feel of Nuevo Tango, but his group approaches performance with the essence of a jazz trio. The thin texture allows for subtle interplay between each player, with some parts improvised and others composed. Each musician demonstrates their ability to walk in the jazz world, improvising with passion and grace as well as knowledge and power. The different configurations of duos throughout the album provide closer insight into the musicians and their personalities; the musicians thrive in this exposed setting, letting the world hear their voices. Ziegler’s compositions truly display his current relationship with Nuevo Tango; he skillfully mixes the style’s essential pieces with his own outside influences. Ziegler holds his responsibilities to the Nuevo Tango tradition and the greater music world with much care – his creative interpretation of Piazzolla’s influence brings him into the position of stylistic master, moving Nuevo Tango into the next generation.