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Jazz Meets Tango (Special guest: Sandra Coelers)

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Album Review

Tenor saxophonist Dick de Graaf has always been one to fuse other musical styles with jazz, as he has previously blended rock, West African griots, and Franz Schubert's chamber music with jazz prior to forming Trio Nuevo. The late Argentine bandoneon player and composer Astor Piazzolla made successful recordings with jazz musicians Gerry Mulligan and Gary Burton (the latter of whom followed up his guest appearance with a recording of Piazzolla's music incorporating both jazz and tango players), so de Graaf is not the first to blend the two styles. But the saxophonist's stripped-down instrumentation, with accordionist Hans Sparla and violinist Michael Gustorff, still manages to create a big sound in spite of omitting the piano and percussion of Piazzolla's larger band. His arrangements of seven Piazzolla compositions on Jazz Meets Tango blend the spirit of the originals with gifted improvisations, adding vocalist Sandra Coelers on several tracks. The trio opens the CD with a brisk, infectious rendition of "Libertango" and negotiates the tricky "Summit" with finesse. Of de Graaf's three compositions, "Sleeping Giant" especially stands out for its intricate blend of jazz and tango. It is a shame that Trio Nuevo overlooked Piazzolla's well-known ballad "Adios Nonino." Fans of Astor Piazzolla's nuevo tango will want to investigate this promising group, which intends to build upon the late composer's lasting legacy.

Jazz Meets Tango (Special guest: Sandra Coelers), Trio Nuevo
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