Jazz CD Reviews
Fernando Otero – Pagina de Buenos Aires – Nonesuch
Published on January 23, 2008
(Fernando Otero, piano; Nick Danielson, violin; Inbal Segev, cello; Hector Del Curto, bandoneon; Pedro Giraudo, bass; Diego Urcola, trumpet; orchestra members on tracks 8 & 15)
This is another of those genre-busting albums – in this case blending Argentine tango and folk music with classical, jazz, pop and rock. Fernando Otero has created 16 original works here, mixing his piano with violin and as well as playing solo, and also using acoustic bass, bandoneon, cello, trumpet and even a 25-member orchestra on the track titled Musica del Circo and another titled Siempre Amor. His music clearly has its roots in tango, but goes beyond that with even more abandon than did the music of Astor Piazzolla. Tango is the origination point, but the instrumental sound is more like an exciting mix of jazz within a classical structure. He has dubbed it X Tango. I would say we have here the first really new music coming out of the tango mileau since Piazzolla’s!
Otero has been busy in music in the U.S. and Mexico for some years now. His previous CD, Plan, has been well-received by other musicians and he has been commissioned to write a piece for the Kronos Quartet. He has performed with Eddie Gomez, Dave Valentin, Dave Grusin and Paquito D’Rivera, and has been recently playing with Chico O’Farrill’s Jazz Orchestra in NYC. A quirky sense of humor shows in tunes like La Vista Gorda – comparable to the animated scorings of Raymond Scott and Carl Stallings. Other tracks sound like classic film scores. Truly a fascinating twist on the tango. I’m sure we’ll be hearing lots more from Otero.
TrackList: Chirimbolos, La Vista Gorda, De Ahora den Mas, Pagina de Buenos Aires, Desde Adentro, Piringundin, Lejana, Musica del Circo, Auscencias, El Momento, El Circulo Rojo, Union, Preludio 19, Calendario, Siempre Amor – Las ruedas siguen girando, Sublevados.
– John Sunier