Classical musicians have polished much of Piazzolla's music into fine finished gems, many times removing important roots as they did so. The music is strong enough to withstand such pruning but it is refreshing to come upon performances which retain not only the roots but some of the dirt around those roots. Today's video of El Gordo Triste is such a performance.
The setting is informal. The video production is simple. The three musicians are all professionals but so far as I can tell, they do not perform together as a band. The performance represents rather, as the notes to the video suggest, a gathering of friends. The singer is Gady Pampillón - more often found as a lead guitarist in an Argentine hard rock band. While Pampillón's publicity photo might not suggest it, he has a great voice for Piazzolla's canción and could be the heir to Roberto Goyeneche if he should choose to turn his career that direction. The bandoneónist is Miguel Frasca - a session musician with experience in many tango ensembles in Buenos Aires. The guitarist is Alberto De Los Santos - leader of the Quarteto los Santos. They have grown up with this music and their understanding and feelings for it show. This is music from the heart.
The song is a tribute to Piazzolla's friend and mentor, Anibal Troilo, with lyrics by Horacio Ferrer. It was composed in 1967, one of the earlier results of the Piazzolla's partnership with Ferrer. The title refers to Piazzolla's nickname for Troilo (Troilo, in turn, called Piazzolla "Gato.") You can find the lyrics here - they are a bit abstract, at least to a non-native speaker, which is not unusual for Ferrer's poetry and lyrics.
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To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.