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Juan Jose Mosalini: One Man’s Tango

The legacy of the late great Astor Piazzolla shows no particular sign of let-up. Reissues march forth-as with the fine series on the Milan label-his music is paid tribute to, and his scores are assuming greater prominence in the classical world and elsewhere. But, also important to the culture of the spirit of nuevo tango, which he mastered, is the emergence of other important bandoneon players. Dino Saluzzi has successfully fused Argentine roots with a European chamber sensibility that makes for a logical association with ECM records.

Now comes the first American album from Juan Jose Mosalini, a gifted prot g of Piazzolla’s, born in 1943, who experimented with and hybridized the genre of tango and emigrated to Paris in the ’70s. A mostly romantic affair, One Man’s Tango (Shanachie 64097; 62:33) is a collection of tracks originally put out by Label Bleu, showcasing the bandoneon player in various settings, from solo to larger ensemble work, with jazz and classical musicians. Mosalini boasts supple phrasing and understated intensity: sensual, rounded lines will be interwoven with fast, jazz-inflected flights, reminding us of his eclectic lineage. Like Piazzolla, Mosalini tampered with the orthodoxy of the tango, out of respect for its need to grow. Not surprisingly, one of the highlights is a piece by Piazzolla himself, “Triztesas de un Doble A.”

Originally Published