Friday, August 20, 2010

Buenos Aires Hora Cero - Vibratanghissimo

The Berlin based, jazz infused quartet, Vibratanghissimo, perform their own unique arrangement of Buenos Aires Hora Cero in today's featured video. Hora Cero was composed in 1963. It first appeared in the album, Tango Para Una Ciudad, and was a steady member of Piazzolla's concert repertoire. He recorded it eleven times with the last being on the Lausanne Concert album in 1989, only nine months before a stroke silenced his music. The piece is said to describe that mote in time at midnight when it is neither yesterday nor today. It is one of his most recognizable pieces with a steady stream of quarter notes - F#, G#, A, G# - underlying the entire piece with the sound of sirens and things that go bump in the night almost randomly dispersed throughout.

To their credit, Vibratanghissimo have not chosen to reproduce any of the eleven versions that Piazzolla recorded (and there are differences between most of them) but have created their own work while still, unmistakeably, honoring the original. They dispense with most of the sirens and bumps and add their own introduction of uncertainty before the inevitable F#, G#, A, G# enters almost imperceptibly a minute into the piece. Oli Bott's work on the vibraphone is very reminiscent of Gary Burton's version but does not duplicate it - it is Bott's own vision of the work. The bassist, Arnulf Ballhorn, is steady but creatively goes beyond the quarter note ground. The pianist, Tuyêt Pham, stays in the background often just doubling the bass part - I would like to have heard more. And the violist, Juan Lucas Aisemberg (perhaps a nephew of Hugo Aisenberg, pianist and Director of the Centro Astor Piazzolla in Pesaro, Italy?) provides a restrained and sensitive voice alongside the vibraphone. You can hear more of Vibratanghissimo's interpretations of Piazzolla on their CD, Astor.

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