Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pablo Ziegler - Now and Then

Pablo Ziegler was in his mid-thirties when he joined Piazzolla's newly formed second quintet in 1978. At that time, he was already a successful jazz pianist and composer with his own quartet and a growing reputation. For ten years he toured and recorded with the quintet ending only when Piazzolla dissolved the quintet to undergo a quadruple bypass at the age of 67. Those ten years represent to many, myself included, the peak of Piazzolla's life as a musician. Ziegler contributed much to that success. Not only as prodigious pianist but also as a force who increasingly brought a jazz tinge to Piazzolla's music.

When the quintet dissolved, Ziegler reformed his own quartet as the "Quarteto para el nuevo tango" and channeled his years of experience with Piazzolla into a flow of nuevo tango infused jazz which continues to this day. Many albums and many, many concerts later, Ziegler has become today the most successful Piazzolla alumnus. His 2003 album, Bajo Cero, won the 2005 Latin Grammy as best tango album of the year and the album Buenos Aires Report was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2008.. He continues to play his arrangements of Piazzolla compositions but also plays many of his own nuevo tango compositions which are becoming classics in their own right.

To experience Pablo both now and then, I am featuring two videos today. The first a 1984 performance of Chin chin by the quintet at the Montreal Jazz Festival with Ziegler at the piano. The second is a performance of the same piece twenty-five years later. In fact, the performance was last week at the Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount, NY. Joining Ziegler in that performance are Hector Del Curto on bandoneón and Claudio Ragazzi on guitar. The jazz influence in the current version is so strong, I had to turn to my friend and Piazzolla listening expert, Pablo in NYC, to confirm that the piece was Chin chin.

If the videos do not appear below click here for 1984 and here for 2009.

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

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful . . . thanks so much. I've watched the Montreal video many times. We'll be seeing Pablo and Hector, along with Nestor Torres in concert in Nebraska in November, and I'm really looking forwrd to it.