Argentine pianist Adrian Iaies grew up in tango and jazz. It’s not surprising then, that his music doesn’t soundlike fusion – an approach, and a term, he abhors – but rather like a new, original language with an oddly familiar feel. There is nothing forced here, and certainly nothing created in a lab. This is music that has been lived in.
For “Vals de la 81st & Columbus,” his debut for Sunnyside Records, Iaies assembled a superb trio comprised of bassist Pablo Aslan and drummer Pepi Taveira, called on young bandoneón phenom Michael Zisman, and set out to explore a program of originals and standards, in both tango and jazz. The results are both deeply lyrical and explosive. There is no improvisation in traditional tango. And the bandoneón, the melancholy-sounding button accordion that is the quintessential sound of tango, has never been heard as played by Zisman, suggesting post bop lines on the fly, referencing Coltrane and Rollins as comfortably as masters of the instrument such as the late, great Astor Piazzolla.
But on “Vals de la 81st & Columbus” all bets are off.
For the modern tango fan, “Vals de la 81st & Columbus” will be a revelation. For the jazz aficionado, hearing in the same program tracks like “Mariposita,” an old, obscure tango gem given the New Orleans, early jazz treatment, and “Round Midnight,” turned here into a tango meditation, will be an unexpected treat.
Having an artist like Iaies introduce you to a long lost (musical) cousin has such pleasures.
released July 15, 2008
Adrian Iaies - piano
Michael Zisman - bandoneon
Pablo Aslan - acoustic bass
Pepi Taveira - drums