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Ojos Negros

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 3, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Few artists have as rich and varied a history with ECM as Dino Saluzzi. The Argentine bandoneon master has recorded 10 albums, and each one tells it's own endlessly inventive musical story. The spirit of Dino Saluzzi's work is derived from the oral tradition of Argentina's music and its value on melody and simplicity. A 1996 collaboration with the Munichbased Rosamunde Quartett became the starting point for Saluzzi's work with cellist Anja Lechner. Lechner has had her own success on ECM, most notably with her album, the hit Chants, Hymns and Dances. For the past six years, Saluzzi and Lechner have performed in concert all over Europe. Ojos Negros is the first recording from this magical duo, and creates a richly lyrical dialogue that blurs the lines between folk music, jazz and tango. This is chamber music with Argentine traditions, presented through Saluzzi compositions and the beautiful old tango tune Ojos negros ( Black Eyes ).

Review

"As close to perfection as any music-making I can recently recall" -- Jazzreview
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 3, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM Records
  • ASIN: B000N4RA4C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,295 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I've had this recording for 2-3 weeks now, and I can't seem to get enough of it. On first listening, from the first few notes breathed from Dino Saluzzi's bandoneón, I knew I was in for something magical. Even though Dino's `sound' is recognizable immediately, no one should mistake that statement as characterizing him as standing still musically - his art is continuously evolving and growing. Since the issue of his first album for ECM, KULTRUM (1982), I've been following the creativity of his music, and I've never been disappointed. He has worked as a solo artist, in duos, trios and larger groupings - his 1999 recording with the Rosamunde Quartett (again entitled KULTRUM) showed that the bandoneón fit perfectly into a setting that could almost be classified as chamber music.

That recording also marked his first work with Anja Lechner, cellist for Rosamunde - she had for some time loved the music of the tango, and working more closely with Dino allowed her to hear that genre performed in a manner much more authentic than the European derivatives to which she had mainly been exposed. Saluzzi's music, she relates, `...was more profound that just tango. He was playing a music that was really his own...I entered a new world.' She is without a doubt one of the finest cellists working today in any genre - her skill and sensitivity, and her ability to convey emotion and feeling in her playing without overriding her partner make her a perfect match to Dino's work.

The phrase `more profound than just tango' describes the art of Dino Saluzzi perfectly.
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The liner notes in the handsome booklet that accompanies Ojos Negros start with a very telling anecdote involving Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, and it is obvious that the author of the notes intended the putative Borges quote to apply to the music of Dino Saluzzi as well. That is, if you don't understand the work, then its not for you.

That has been the problem for me since I was introduced to the music of Saluzzi through his work with Al DiMeola's world music project. He was so good there, I sought out his own projects. But as hard as I tried, I just didn't connect with any of them until now.

If you are looking for the music of Dino Saluzzi, then its likely that you already know what the bandoneon is all about. There surely is not another instrument with the power to express melancholy, longing and angst as the bandoneon and that is what makes perfect for tango. But in the last half-century, adventurous musicians, Saluzzi among them, have explored the possibilities of the bandoneon beyond the world of tango.

The foundation of Ojos Negros lies in tango. The title of the CD itself is also the name of a tango dating from the time of the Guardia Vieja of the early 20th century, and it is indeed the only composition covered here that is not Saluzzi's. If you know the piece, you will surely recognize it. But while Saluzzi's music is anchored in tango, his collaboration here with German cellist Anja Lechner extends his musical reach deep into the worlds of chamber music and avant-garde jazz and the result is often spellbinding.

I have listened to Ojos Negros at least a dozen times since I bought it. And though I did not like it instantly, its musical secrets gradually revealed themselves to me after repeated listens.
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DS, bandoneon, comp; AL, cello.

Saluzzi is too old to be an enfant terrible any more but terrible he still is, in the old sense of the word, a force of life and creativity. The Argentinian’s instrument of choice is that formkdable squeezebox, the bandoneon, which plays in four different keys depending on whether you push or pull and which hand you finger with. It is the essential instrument for tango and whatever else Saluzzi has become in his long, varied and rich career as a performer, he remains a tangoist of the first rank. He is also a fine composer, who has composed for and performed with classical ensembles and orchestras. (See his most recent album, Imagenes: Compositions for Piano, 2015.).Here he plays with the cellist for the Rosamunde Quartet, Anja Lechner, and she too is a longtime aficionada of the tango. That doesn’t mean this music is tango –not in the strictest sense-- but it is music rooted in the tango and that means a music of pulse, of ever-changing slightly-changing rhythms breathed out in the act of playing. On performing in concert with Saluzzi, Lechner comments: “You never play any phrase the same way twice. We are basically playing a music built of rubato phrases. But the conception of the rubato is different at every concert….We take a lot of freedom with the forms.” Maybe we should just approach this music like Saluzzi does. He refuses labels: what he plays, he says, is just music. So listen!
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Dino Saluzzi caresses his bandoneon and draws poignant, heart-warm expression from it. The collaboration between Saluzzi and Lechner flows like sweet intimacy between lovers familiar with each other and still open to surprise.
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