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Emilio Solla's Tango Jazz Orchestra Debuts at Dizzy’s Club "Coca-Cola"
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Emilio Solla's Tango Jazz Orchestra Debuts at Dizzy’s Club "Coca-Cola"

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Emilio Solla Tango Jazz Orchestra

Reeds: Alejandro Aviles, Todd Bashore,
Tim Armacost, Jon Irabagon, Terry Goss
Trumpets: Alex Norris, Jim Seeley,
John Bailey, David Neves
Trombones: Noah Bless, Mike Fahie,
Chris Blackwell, James Rodgers
Piano/Conductor: Emilio Solla
Bandoneón: Julien Labro
Bass: Pablo Aslan
Drums: Ferenc Nemeth
Guest Singer: Roxana Amed

Frederick P. Rose Hall
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th Street
(Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Website)
Roland Chassagne, Manager
Zooey T. Jones, JALC Director, Public Relations
Rebecca Kim, JALC Asst. Dir. Public Relations

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 22, 2018

For well over a decade I have been favorably reviewing the sensational Argentine pianist, composer, and now bandleader, Emilio Solla. Tonight, at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Emilio was interviewed by WBGO Radio, before his broadcasted Tango Jazz Orchestra debut, a 17-piece band with the crème de la crème of Argentine tango and progressive jazz musicians. The performance was thrilling, and this first set was packed throughout the Club. I enjoyed the cheese and fruit board with a cold Chardonnay, a Dizzy’s Club service always in top form, just like the music.

Emilio’s compositions for his Tango Jazz Orchestra were mesmerizing, with the first exuding a brassy, rhythmic theme, and then, out of the blue, Julien Labro’s featured bandoneón. The piece was inspired by the chacarera dance, which I know well, from my Tango days. The second piece was inspired by another dance genre, flamenco. It was mellow with sultry passages, led by Pablo Aslan on his renowned bass. Pablo is a master of Argentine Tango bass solos, accompaniment, and a bandleader of tango music ensembles as well. A soft brass pulse was buoyed by bass, piano, and Ferenc Nemeth on drums. A Caribbean motif was next, in a piece about tropical sun and sound. The brass section played up the tonal scale, before the orchestra turned sultry.

The orchestra shifted to a bluesy tribute to Miles Davis next, with a fabulous trumpet solo, followed by a second trumpet, with an atonal, energized theme. The effect was like a caravan, charging along tonally, changing keys along the way. The musical moment was compelling and exotic. A muted trumpet solo could be heard throughout, as if Miles was in the house. “Lejos de casa” followed, with Roxana Amed, a Miami-based, Argentine singer and friend of Emilio on Dizzy’s lush microphone. Her vocals were deeply resonant, with yearning phrases and gestures. A solo bandoneón, along with Ms. Amed’s stylish song, brought audience accolades. For the final piece of the set, Emilio’s languid piano introduction, with full brass contingent, included an extraordinary saxophone solo, that soon drew in the entire orchestra. Emilio’s solo piano phrases evoked the tangos of Buenos Aires. The bandoneón and bass also served as hand percussion as the musicians sharpened the beat against their instruments. Kudos to Emilio Solla and his new Tango Jazz Orchestra.

Emilio Solla at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at