Jazz CD Reviews
Dino Saluzzi & Anja Lechner (bandoneon & cello) – Ojos Negros – ECM
Published on June 14, 2007
What an unexpected and wonderful duo! Talk about an original sort of crossover – this one mixes the European string quartet tradition, represented by the cello member of the quartet, with the folk and especially the tango traditions of South America. Dino Saluzzi is a leading figure in contemporary South American music. He met and befriended Astor Piazzolla when he was developing his Tango Nuevo. He was also associated with Gato Barbieri, and made an earlier ECM recording with the Rosamunde Quartet – of which Anja Lechner is the cellist. Two pieces by Saluzzi were heard on the soundtrack of the 1999 Almodovar film All About My Mother.
Lechner studied with Janos Starker and others, and helped found the Rosamunde Quartet in 1992. She emphasizes contemporary music and has recorded as a duo before for ECM – presenting a collection of Chants, Hymns and Dances with Greek pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos. She has had an interest in tango for a quarter century, and says she entered a new world when she began to play with Saluzzi. As for the bandoneonist, he praises her stylistic independence and says she has her own sound and character, which makes their project together culturally richer.
Aside from the title song, a classic old tango, the eight tracks on the disc are Saluzzi’s compositions. The pair have been giving duo concerts for six years and have created a unique sort of chamber music that partakes of world music, jazz and classical. One of the most difficult recordings yet to decide in which of our genre categories it should go!
TrackList: Tango a mi padre, Minguito, Esquina, Duetto, Ojos negros, El titere, Carretas, Serenata
– John Sunier