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May 2007

Dino Saluzzi/Anja Lechner
Ojos Negros
ECM Records

I discovered Dino Saluzzi late, in 1999, on Tomasz Stanko’s From the Green Hill. The instrumentation included two horns, violin, bass and drums. In Stanko’s post-modern jazz context, the injection of Saluzzi’s bandoneon, with its grainy texture, its complex colors and its yearning poignance, was a revelation.

An entire album of Saluzzi accompanied only by a classical cellist is a very different experience. For those who have heard Saluzzi only in cameo roles, it provides an hour-long immersion in his uniquely affecting voice. But it is music for people who can find beauty in the shadows and twilights of longing.

Ojos Negros includes seven Saluzzi originals which draw upon the folk music and tangos of his native Argentina. Anja Lechner is the cellist with Germany’s Rosamunde Quartet, renowned for its interpretations of Webern and Silvestrov. They have been playing together since 1996, and have arrived at an alchemy that integrates street music from Buenos Aires, rigorous European classical precision and free interaction inspired by American jazz improvisation.

Saluzzi and Lechner make a quiet, self-contained world of penetrating, rich sonorities, and reward patient listeners by including them in their resonant correlatives of memory and emotion.

Originally published in May 2007
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