Argentine Dino Saluzzi is at the forefront of a new generation of bandonéonistas arriving on the scene since the overpowering force of Astor Piazzolla. Yet while many have remain trapped in the strands Piazzolla’s Nuevo Tango web, Saluzzi has broken free and created his own voice.
Saluzzi has recorded a long string of albums, from traditional tango and folklorico pieces to exploratory improvisational jazz, highlighted by his masterpieces, 1995’s Rios (Intuition) and 2000’s Cité de la Musique (ECM Records). He also contributed to the beautiful album From the Green Hill (ECM Records) by trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. Yet while Responsorium may not reach the distinctive heights of Saluzzi’s best, it does signal the arrival of guitarist José Maria Saluzzi.
The son of Dino, José Maria has played on several of his father’s past albums, but on this new CD, his playing has coalesced into a voice of his own. Originally a drummer, he switched to guitar at the age of eighteen, studying with Argentine jazz master Walter Malosetti.
José Maria winds obbligatos through Dino’s bandonéon melodies and improvisations, then creates his own solos that are subtly beautiful in their simplicity. He plays a counterpoint to the bandonéon with a fascinating sense of harmony, experimenting with eccentric intervals and colorful chromaticism.
Together, father and son have created an album of meditative music that is magical and hypnotic in sound and texture.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Aug. ’03 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.