Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Donal Fox: Piazzolla to Bach Project

On Sunday, September 5, pianist/composer Donal Fox and his quartet with special guest Maya Beiser (her recording of Oblivion is one of the best around) will bring the Piazzolla to Bach Project to the Tanglewood Jazz Festival. In the first of two videos today, we will see Fox discuss his views on music and on Piazzolla while in the background, you can hear his quartet playing Libertango. Like Piazzolla, Fox is one of those musicians who is difficult to place in any specific genre box although he is clearly an outstanding jazz musician. He is also a talented composer who received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997 and at one time served as the composer-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony. You will find his composing skills captured in the CD, Gone City, which is cataloged as "Classical" but, in fact, is unclassifiable - it is classical and it is jazz. To understand his approach to music a little better, I recommend this Greg Sandow review.

The Piazzolla to Bach Project is not Fox's first foray into the music of Piazzolla. His Scarlatti Jazz Suite Project included two Piazzolla works - Libertango and Oblivion. In today's second video, we see Fox and his quartet play the Scarlatti Project version of Oblivion. Fox understands Piazzolla's music in the way an engineer understands how a building is constructed and demonstrates in the video that he can take it apart and put it back together.

I am very curious to see if Fox will simply rehash the Scarlatti project at Tanglewood or if he has some new deconstruction/construction in mind. I hope the folks at Tanglewood find a way to share his program with those of us who won't be in Boston in September.

If the videos do not appear below, click here for the interview and here for Oblivion.

Donal Fox: Scarlatti Jazz Suite Project
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To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

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