One of Argentina's top jazz pianists, Adrián Iaies has long sought to combine together his tango heritage with modern jazz. Along the way, he has performed with such notables as Stanley Jordan, Ron Carter, the Yellowjackets, Lee Konitz, Toots Thielemans, Brad Mehldau, and Bebo Valdés, among others. On Vals de la 81st & Columbus, he expands his regular trio with bassist Pablo Aslan and drummer Pepi Taveira into a unique quartet, adding Michael Zisman on bandoneon. Actually, rather than the group switching between jazz and tango, Zisman proves to be a rare bandoneon player in that he has a mastery of bop and swinging jazz. He holds his own solo-wise with Iaies on a variety of the pianist's originals, plus "'Round Midnight" and Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti." Trumpeter Juan Cruz De Urquiza guests on two numbers. Overall, this program is an excellent showcase for Adrián Iaies, while showing that the bandoneon can be a very credible jazz instrument when played by someone on the level of Michael Zisman. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow