I first learned of the Nuevo Tango Ensamble through the Piazzolla.org Forum. Their 2005 album, A Night in Vienna, made quite a positive impression on readers of the forum - and that forum is populated by knowledgeable people dedicated to the authentic sound of Piazzolla's music. I am never quite sure just exactly where authentic canyengue swing starts but if it is not in today's video of La muerte del angel, surely it is getting close. The arrangements created by Nuevo Tango Ensamble do an amazing job of capturing the essence of Piazzolla's music in spite of missing the violin and electric guitar that were always present in most of the music's original form.
But it is not just the arrangements. These musicians are extremely good at what they do. The group includes Gianni Iorio on bandoneón, Pasquale Stafano on piano, and Alessandro Terlizzi on bass. Iorio and Stafano are founding members of the group. The group appears to employ a variety of bass players. Torindo Colangione played bass on their first album, Astor's Mood but Terlizzi joined them in time for their second and third album. Curiously, there is a third bass player, Francesco Angiuli, on the current personnel list posted on their website.
The bandoneónist, Iorio, appears to be channeling Piazzolla himself as he plays in this video. He is astonishingly good but what is even more remarkable is that he is a conservatory trained classical pianist, with many awards to his name as a classical pianist, who played a little jazz accordion on the side and then in 2004 took up the bandoneón. It hardly seems possible to learn to play so well, so fast. The man has a gift. Both Stafano and Iorio also compose in the nuevo tango mode and their third album, Tango Mediterraneo, released in 2008, contains their work as well as a little Piazzolla. You can find more videos of their music on their YouTube channel.
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