Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In the Family

Astor Piazzolla is not the only Piazzolla seen on YouTube in recent weeks. Today's video features Piazzolla's grandson, Daniel Astor Piazzolla - also known as Pipi. According to the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, Astor encouraged Daniel's interest in the drum by giving him $1,400 cash in a supermarket bag to buy his first drum kit. From that start and a tour through alternative rock, he has arrived as the drummer for the the saxophone driven jazz combo, Escalandrum. The video contains some interesting interviews with Daniel and some Piazzolla family photos which I don't believe have been shared with the public previously. The video is extremely well done. It also contains enough music to make me very anxious to hear the final product of the homenaje a Piazzolla the group is developing. The samples in the video suggest they are true to their own sound and also true to Astor Piazzolla's original intent. I think Escalandrum has a big winner here. Let's hope a new CD is on the way.

Young Daniel was not the only "other" Piazzolla on YouTube in October, his father, Daniel Hugo Piazzolla can also be seen in this video. That is Oblivion in the soundtrack of the video. Daniel, Piazzolla's only son and the father of Daniel the drummer, was a pioneer in bringing the synthesizer to Latin music in general and to his father's Electronic Octet in particular. You can see him midway up the right side of the Octet's pyramid in this early video of Soledad. After his father's death, Daniel reassembled the octet and recorded the album, Piazzolla by Piazzolla. The album contained some of Daniel's own compositions as well as those of his father. You can see a Carlos Rossi performance of one his compositions, Porteñesa Rea, here.

And finally, there is this interview with Piazzolla's widow, Laura Escalada Piazzolla. Mrs. Piazzolla remains active in the support of the Piazzolla legacy as the President of the Fundacion Astor Piazzolla. If you are a Facebook member, I encourage you to show your support by becoming a member of the Fundacion Astor Piazzolla group.

If the Escalandrum video does not appear below, click here.

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

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