Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Piazzolla Triplet

There were just too many good videos at the end of March - I couldn't get them all in - so we will open April with a Triplet, not three notes in a single beat but rather three videos.

First, that quintet video I have been looking for all month arrived on the last day of the month: Fernando Suarez Paz and his Quinteto playing Verano Porteño. Suarez Paz joined Piazzolla's quintet in 1978 and played hundreds of concerts with him until the quintet was dissolved. At age 68, he continues to keep the original spirit and sound of Piazzolla's music alive. Some of the best works of the Quinteto Suarez Paz are available for download from

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Second, an amazing video from Japan. One of the world's leading Piazzolla recording collectors informs me that the best collections of such recordings are to be found in Japan. Certainly, the most famous cataloger of his recordings, Mitsumasa Saito, is from Japan. It has puzzled me that there are so few YouTube videos of original performances of Piazzolla's music originating from there - just a handful each month. This video could only originate in Japan: a shakuhachi trio playing a jazz version of Libertango. Tradition meets tango.

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And, for the third of the triplet, a remarkable Russian singer from St. Petersburg who is equally at home with opera and Piazzolla canción: Saule Iskakova. Ms. Iskakova frequently performs with the superb Russian tango ensemble, Anima, and appears in this video with that group. I have chosen to display her version of Balada para un loco but just as well have chosen her videos of Vuelvo al sur or Chiquilin de bachin or Che, tango che or Yo soy Maria or Los pajaros perdidos. They are all good. And, her Mozart is good too. This is one sexy, confidant singer. Where has she been all my life?

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To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

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