Quartet at Jazz Standard with Guest, Harry Allen
Pablo Ziegler Quartet:
Tango Meets Jazz
December 2, 2005 - Jazz Standard,
116 East 27th Street, NYC
by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
Pablo Ziegler, Piano
Hector del Curto, Bandoneón
Pedro Giraudo, Bass
Claudio Ragazzi, Guitar
Guest Artist: Harry Allen
Produced by Stratta/Philips
Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta
Steve Weinrebe, Pedro Giraudo,
Pablo Ziegler, Claudio Ragazzi
Photo Courtesy by Roberta Zlokower
Ziegler, often reviewed both on
RobertaOnTheArts web site and in
the Argentine Tango column of ExploreDance.com,
gets better every year. This Stratta-Philips Production, as always, brought
Pat Philips onstage for the introductions and welcomes. This bit of personal
touch goes a long way in a Jazz Club, where much is often left to the imagination.
Each night of this year's Tango Meets Jazz series at the Standard brought
out different guest artists.
was lucky tonight to see Harry Allen
in his first experience with tango and with the bandoneón, expertly played again
by Hector del Curto, a member of Ziegler's band. Ziegler was
also joined by his regular guitarist, Claudio Ragazzi, but his bassist,
Pablo Aslan, was still in Argentina, due to an airlines strike, and Pedro
Giraudo filled the spot extremely well, as Giraudo is a seasoned specialist
in Piazzolla and the Ziegler genre.
When I and my guests arrived at the Standard,
Ziegler was at the end of
the first set and already warmed up. The driven opening, by the quartet, was edgy,
with Ragazzi in the lead. Ziegler's
Milonga en el Viento
included passages like a creeping cat, slow, sexy, and repetitious. Giraudo's
echoing bass exuded emotional strength, followed by flourishes on Ragazzi's
guitar. Pieces from Ziegler's
Grammy winning CD, Bajo Cero, included rhapsodic, melodic, and danceable
(tango) riffs. Another work performed early in the set was
La Fundicion. The next
piece was abstract with piano embellishments, rapid fingering, and a staccato, rhythmic
bandoneón, with Ziegler
and del Curto mastering the moment.
Allen soon appeared with his soulful sax, and this versatile performer
was right in the swing of things with this tantalizing tango genre. Piazzolla's
Michelangelo 70 never
sounded so good. When Allen
brought forth a sax solo, with mid-note shifts of key, in Piazzolla's
band further enhanced the mood for magical finales.
Allen's saxophone crept
like sliding tango legs, and Ziegler
looked thrilled. Piazzolla's
Libertango was next, and
Ziegler seized the moment
with driven keyboard force and intensity of mood.
The final and very late set began again with the quartet, with del Curto's
dynamic and atonal improvisations. Ragazzi took a unique solo, as well, and
the band breathed fire. Fundicion,
repeated here, was even more electric and energized, if that's possible.
Milonga del Adios, from
Bajo Cero, generated elongated, exhaling chords from del Curto's passionate
bandoneón. Piazzolla's La Muerte
del Angel was soon followed by
La Cumparsita, a traditional
tango, here played with wild intensity and seasoned abandon.
Michelangelo 70, once again,
was merged into the older tango motif.
With Harry Allen
onstage, La Rayuela,
meaning hopscotch, a Ziegler
composition from Bajo Cero (a rapid Milonga with faster, upbeat rhythms),
the searing sax followed the soaring bandoneón, plus novel piano trills. At this
point, I closed my notebook to absorb the mesmerizing magic and mood of this virtuosic
piano quartet and sensational saxophonist, all of whom played together as one.
Harry Allen & Hector Del Curto - Photo
Courtesy by Roberta Zlokower
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Publishing Date: 02/04/2006