My first encounter with Pablo Ziegler occurred during a music festival in 2000 in a small town in Holland, during a festival where he played with his quintet. It became the starting point of all the musical projects we collaborated on afterwards, from concerts in various venues in the Netherlands, over my producing his live CD recording “Buenos Aires Report” (ZOHO ZM 200711) in Bimhuis - the jazz club in Amsterdam, until the latest production of this live concert CD with Metropole Orkest in Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam. This concert was the closing event of a three-concert series, celebrating nine radio documentaries about Tango and its different aspects which I did for Dutch public radio.
Pablo Ziegler is a key exponent of contemporary Buenos Aires urban music, centered on pure Tango, but completely unafraid to incorporate aspects of Jazz improvisation. This is the Buenos Aires of the 21st century: bewildering, extreme, mysterious, sensual, dark, threatening, and violent. His music reflects this urban idiosyncrasy and the different moods of its people; from the joy of dancing to the anxieties about life in today's Argentina.
Astor Piazzolla was the pioneer on this long journey, revolutionizing the Tango. Pablo grew up and matured in this new world created by the maestro, not as a bystander, but as the pianist of the last quintet which Piazzolla had for more than ten years. Pablo has continued developing this urban music with his own personal language, building on what the great maestro left. This not an extension of Piazzolla; this is pure Ziegler, confident as the successor of the maestro whose only goal was to create great music full of emotions and life's truths.
Expanding this music to an orchestral format was a significant artistic challenge. And this challenge became a reality thanks to the generous collaboration of NPS (Netherlands Programm Service for Public Radio and Television) and of course of Metropole Orkest. The orchestra was founded in 1945, and since then it has made an enormous contribution to musical culture in the Netherlands. This orchestra has performed and recorded with many world class artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Al Jarreau, Maria Schneider, Egberto Gismonti and many more.
This musical encounter between Pablo, his band and Metropole Orkest resulted in an amazing concert full of deep musical emotions and spectacular instrumental virtuosity. Thanks to this recording, we can now share and enjoy the excitement of this “New Tango Nuevo”, first heard in Amsterdam, not through the inspiration of Astor Piazzolla, but through the creative genius of his ex-pianist Pablo Ziegler.
Gustavo Pazos Conde- February 2013, Amsterdam
Following are Pablo Ziegler's comments on the individual compositions:
Buenos Aires Report was composed by me in 2007. It is a reflection of a news report from the chaotic, urban city of Buenos Aires. Imagine sirens of police cars on the street and people walking around, struggling to survive every day.
“Milonga para Hermeto” was composed by Quique Sinesi and is dedicated to the great Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal. Hermeto’s harmonic language and melodic pattern can be heard in the tango rhythm. I originally arranged this tune for my trio with the idea of creating a Brazilian Tango Milonga.
Blues Porteño: I was fascinated by Blues and Jazz music after I graduated from the Conservatory. I composed “Blues Porteño” in 2007 as a Blues version of Nuevo Tango.
Composed in 2009, “Desperate Dance” can actually mean “Desperate Dancers”. Traditional tango is usually composed in 2x4 rhythm, but this tune has a non-symmetrical rhythm which is 7x4. When I was composing it, I imagined that this rhythm can make the tango dancers feeling desperate for not being able to step as usual.
Murga del Amanecer is a primitive rhythm from the early 1920’s - with African origins from Buenos Aires. This rhythm was originally carnival music just like the Escolas de Samba in Brazil. “Murga del Amanecer” illustrates the image of people coming home at dawn, tired from carnival after several days of dancing and celebration.
Places: Commissioned by the British Council in 2007 for the Contemporary Music Festival in the UK, I composed “Places” expressionistically with an image of different bricks of ambiance connected and developed as if it were a contemporary sonata.
Pájaro Angel:I composed this slow waltz around 1973. This music was originally one chapter of theater series called “Pajaro Angel” for a popular TV series in Buenos Aires written by Juan Carlos Gene and directed by David Stivel.
I composed Buenos Aires Dark in the middle of a big political crisis in 2001 in Argentina where people from Buenos Aires demanded the resignation of the President De La Rua. During this period, many lives were lost, and the country was in great despair.
Que Lo Parió features a type of Argentinean Folk rhythm called Malambo which is typical for Argentinean Gauchos (cowboys). They dance with a unique step called Zapateo (folk tap dancing) to show off their solo dancing skills. I composed this Malambo as a tribute to a great Argentinean author, Roberto "El Negro” Fontanarrosa who passed away recently. He created a comic strip with a Gaucho-like protagonist called “Inodoro Pereyra” and his talking dog named “Mendieta” who always responds to the Gaucho saying “Que lo parió!”
Recorded live at Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, Amsterdam, Netherlands, on April 18, 2009. Recording engineer: Gert de Bruijn (DutchView). Assistant engineer: Per van der Zande. Mix engineer: Frank Mathijssen (Dutchview). Music supervisor: Gert Jan van den Dolder. Mastering: Marc Broer (LIVE concert recording) and Gustavo Pazos. FOH mixer: Paul Pouwer. Monitor mixer: Dirk Overeem. Producer: Gustavo Pazos/NPS Broadcasting. Executive producer of ZOHO release: Joachim "Jochen" Becker.
CD Cover Photography, and English translation of Gustavo Pazos liner notes: Masae Shiwa. Art direction and package design: Jack Frisch.
Metropole Orkest staff: Henk Schepers - manager. Sophie Koopmans - production manager. Floor Cloo - production assistant. Iris Andringa - office manager. Hein Bouwman, Jan Visser - orchestra assistants. Theus de Ruig - librarian.
Orchestral Arrangements: Vellu Halkosalmi (1, 7, 8) ; Calle Rasmusson (2, 5, 9) , Bob Zimmerman (3, 4, 6).