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Dino Saluzzi Group — Juan Condori
(ECM 1978, 2006, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01

Juan Condori Cover art

Bandoneon playing within a jazz structure is not a new idea, as it dates back to the 50s with many French and international acts, exemplified by Django Reinhardt’s hot bands. Argentinian native Dino Saluzzi’s contemporary approach on the instrument as a melodic centerpiece for jazz ensemble is prominently grounded on chordal and lyrical phrasing. This is only his fifth international recording on ECM and this outing sees his playing in a full group context supported by sensitive all-acoustic backing. Felix Saluzzi’s woodwinds, and in particular his clarinet playing, offer good melodic counterpoint across the disc showing a keen ear for compatible sounding soloists. The title track is a purely sweet ballad named for a long-time personal friend and features perhaps the best interplay between ensemble, with bassist Matias Saluzzi and drummer U.T. Ghandi adeptly gluing pulses together. Guitarist José Maria Saluzzi is clearly capable in creating good economical interplay, as heard on the opening cut, “La Vuelta de Pedro Orillas,” as well as adding appropriate straight tone fills. His Pat Metheny-esque fills and chording heard on “Soles / La Camposantena” offer up his best performance on the disk. One of the more assertive pieces on the disc is the tango “Memoria,” which indicates a comfortable unforced arrangement. The rhythm section is confident and spirited, underpinning the tempo across the twelve pieces. “Chiriguano” is possibly the most ethereal world music piece on this disc where the guitarist imparts a warm tone driving a passive ambiguous mood. Overall the disc serves as a fine jazz marker for unusual and persuasive jazz influences.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Dino Saluzzi

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