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Tango Grill

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Album Review

One rarely speaks of tango and jazz in the same sentence, due to the lack of improvisation in the former. But bassist Pablo Aslan has pulled it off here on this spirited recording that retains all of the charm and intrigue of Argentina with the collective spontaneity of American freedom. For the most part, Aslan collaborates with Néstor Marconi on the bandoneon and violinist Ramiro Gallo, but a fourth and unexpected element is trumpeter Gustavo Bergalli, playing an instrument rarely heard in nueva tango. The result is a refreshing take on a music that usually has clearly defined parameters, but here is slightly and delightfully stretched. Within the simplicity of the sultry "La Payanca" or "La Ultima Cita," there's genuine warmth in the seductive tones. Aslan is also mindful of tradition, as he presents the famous "El Amanecer" with his bowed bass and Marconi's lilting bandoneon in high drama, as it was when this song was composed in the 1920s. There are sad and solemn moments, especially provided by Bergalli, but "El Flete" is the track where dour feelings turn into happiness courtesy of Gallo's violin breaking up the tragic circumstance. The drummer on five of these cuts is Daniel Piazzolla, the grandson of icon Astor Piazzolla, furthering the full-circle concept of embracing traditions while establishing new ones. Best suited for a late-night tryst, Aslan's concept works quite well, proffering the idea that this mix of jazz and tango has further definitions to follow. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who now lives in New York City, Pablo Aslan has specialized in an acoustic-oriented blend of tango and post-bop jazz in the '90s and 2000s. The acoustic bassist is not a tango purist any more than he is a jazz purist; although Aslan has been greatly influenced by the late bandoneon innovator Astor Piazzolla -- a musical revolutionary who was as important to tango as alto saxophonist Charlie Parker was to jazz -- he has also been affected by jazz greats who range...
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Tango Grill, Pablo Aslan
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