Pablo Aslan

Tango Grill

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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 NĂ©stor 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.

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