Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Libertango - Al Di Meola

Al Di Meola on Piazzolla: "He had a way to make very intricate, very interesting music, very interesting, but also to make you cry, and that is the highest compliment that you can give to a musician."

This quote, from the artist featured in today's video, introduces Chapter Nine of the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango. Al DiMeola is one of the best jazz guitarists in the world today and, clearly, a Piazzolla fan. His style - fast, smooth and intricate - and even the timbre of his guitar is instantly recognizable. And, it is captured well in today's video of Libertango.

Di Meola first met Piazzolla in 1986 at a jazz festival in Japan and there were plans to collaborate which unfortunately were never fulfilled. In 1996, Di Meola recorded a full album of Piazzolla's music, Di Meola Plays Piazzolla, which should be on the list of every collector of Piazzolla's music. It includes Di Meola's version of Tango Suite interpreted from a score sent by Piazzolla himself to Di Meola.

Today's video is not new. It has been posted previously on YouTube although a version was posted today which triggered this blog. The video is from a live performance at the Scara in Ludwigsburg, Germany on May 17, 2004. The other musicians are Mario Parmisano - piano, Ernie Adams - drum set, and Gumbi Ortiz - congas. Parmisano is, incidentally, an extraordinary interpreter of Piazzolla music in his own right.

I'll close with another quote from Di Meola found on his website: "Piazzolla had a profound effect on my development as a musician and as a person. We became close friends often communicating by mail, which later during the course of this my admiration and desire to learn more about this great man intensified."

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

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