Degustá cada pieza como quien deja deshacer un bombón de chocolate fino en la boca
With the turn of the key and the hum of the engine, my old man would reach for the cherished cassette. Our daily routine began with this sacred ritual, silently and reverently absorbing the soulful strains of Astor Piazzolla's bandoneon. Outside the car window, the vibrant tapestry of our diverse neighborhood unfolded the city of Buenos Aires, a true kaleidoscope of colors and character. After each piece, Dad would pause the cassette, drawing in a deep breath of enormous pleasure. Sounds had caressed his soul like inhaling an exquisite perfume or the aroma of a great delicacy. Smiling with delight, he would ask me a question or comment on the music we had just heard.
Before pressing play again, my old man, head turned toward me with eyes half-closed, would say in his soft voice: Taste each piece of music as if you let a fine piece of chocolate melt in your mouth.
Astor Piazzolla’s haunting music became the soundtrack of my life from earliest childhood. Whether through listening or performing, his breathtaking compositions brought me great joy. The multifaceted style of Astor’s work goes beyond traditional tango by bridging the genre with classical and contemporary music, as well as jazz.
About the album
Today, interpreting Astor Piazzolla's repertoire in Argentina, where the audience is so familiar with his work, is completely different from performing it in the rest of the world. As an Argentinean musician based in Los Angeles, California, I found that Piazzolla's work had already been extensively rendered in Argentina both by the composer and other musicians. Thus, to some extent, performers can take more liberties than elsewhere in the world, where the audience expectations do not stray far from the "original".
After ten years of performing Piazzolla's music, we were able to capture our own personal imprint on our first album: Tinto Tango Plays Piazzolla (2021 Latin Grammy® Winner for Best Tango Album). The immediate encouraging response from the audience, critics, and endorsements, like the one below from Astor’s own son, persuaded us to record another album with repertoire of the Maestro:
“With much enthusiasm, I highly endorse Tinto Tango Plays Piazzolla. The exquisite expressive quality and dexterous technique present in this album faithfully capture the essence of my father’s music, Astor Piazzolla. I celebrate this achievement and look forward for more to come!”
In Alma -Tinto Tango Plays Piazzolla, we present Astor’s work responding once again with our own stroke to the expressive details and subtleties demanded by his music. One of the most significant new elements in this album is the inclusion of drums. While Piazzolla used percussion in many different formations, it did not prevail in his quintet. With Pipi Piazzolla, grandson of Astor, and Oscar Giunta on drums, we ensured that the percussion was not limited to highlighting the groove nor that it invaded the subtlety of the intimate “chamber” sound sought. Rather, the percussion was integrated as another voice in the ensemble.
The quintet, turned into a sextet with the inclusion of the drums, provides an overall uplifting sound that also naturally brings us closer to a jazz approach, which is an element that we
particularly exploit during solos through the improvisations like the ones seen on Vuelvo al Sur.
It is the artwork itself that dialogues
Given the meticulous care Tinto Tango has taken throughout the process to capture the essence of Piazzolla’s compositions, we named the album Alma - soul in Spanish. Considering the soul as the most intimate part of one’s being, poetry is the only gateway for dialogue in pursuit for such a connection. The twelve pieces of Alma invite you to savor a musical journey experience: Through neoclassical landscapes, let yourself be embraced by astonishing and delicate melodies surrounded by fervent solos and colorful brushstrokes of extended contemporary techniques.
Sparkles of baroque glimmer in the fugues as jazzy harmonies pave the roadway. Do not be surprised when your foot dances to the beat and your head shakes to 3+3+2 rhythms windswept by the funky grooves along the way. All this adventure gets wrapped by the singular passion of Tango.
Personally, this album also transports me to the echoes of my home, my identity. Alma -Tinto Tango Plays Piazzolla is the window that takes me back to those car rides with my old man, and to the memories of my dear Buenos Aires - the city that nurtured me in the heart of Tango.
My sincere gratitude to all of the musicians: Alan Busteed, Dino Durand, Matias Piegari, Stewart Rosen, Alfredo Caceres, Fulvio Giraudio, Julian Graciano, Martin de Leon, Oscar Giunta, and Pipi Piazzolla. You fully shared your talents with such passion, discipline, and dedication. My appreciation for the devotion and expertise of the sound engineers: Yaniv Farber, Ricardo Sanz, Nestor Tinaro, Javier Mazzarol, Mariano Bilinkis, Fabio Zurita, Pablo Lopez Ruiz. Thanks to Nicolás Gaggero for his art in the design and covers, and all my genuine gratefulness to Rafa Sardina for his collaboration in the artistic production
This album is dedicated to all educators who lift music into an art to savor, transmitting its full meaning and magic. My respect and admiration to all of them, and especially to my dear Dad, who taught me to have the persistence and patience to explore the refined elegance behind each sound!