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Album Review

Anja Lechner's classically oriented European-styled cello and the bandoneon of Argentinean Dino Saluzzi seems a perfect match on paper for this program of musical remembrances and romantic interludes. But they go beyond what might be expected of a typical ECM chamber-type duet, delving deep into emotional territory that very few attempt or are capable of extracting. These selections composed by Saluzzi have a purely organic feel, a spiritual center, and a range of heartfelt expressions sure to touch and move the most cynical or lovestruck human beings. The music is tender enough to realize and embellish these inwardly driven musical auras that glow with a low-shaded light. Thematically, the very solemn and reverent "Tango A Mi Padre" is dedicated to Saluzzi's father, "Carretas" is a slow, deliberate, but not altogether obviously paced piece musically depicting oxcarts traversing across the Pampas, and "El Titere" expresses sentiments of the lovelorn as identified by Lechner's haunting cello. Saluzzi's instrument, and Lechner's bowed strings swell in late-night darkness during the moonlit, Parisian imagery of "Esquina" while "Minguito" is a re-do of a piece done previously with Enrico Rava, a dour paradox dissertation for the comedic television and film character Minguito Tinguitela. The most chambery classical selection, "Duetto," is completely evocative of old Europe, while the title track — Vicente Greco's composition and not the similarly titled piece from Wayne Shorter — is in sonata form, and close to the starkly lustful style of Astor Piazzolla. As usual, Saluzzi's techniques are built to melt hearts from any distance, while Lechner's complementary cello musings fit hand in glove on every sonic and emotional level. It's not a happy music in the strictest sense, but displays an inward joy not readily discernible. So as a listener, you are required to pay close attention to not only the sounds produced by these two extraordinary musicians, but also to the warmth and slowed beat of your heart. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Ojos Negros, Anja Lechner
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