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APQ: Lo Que Vendrá

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APQ: Lo Que Vendrá
2013: Austin Piazzolla Quintet

James Anderson on Violin
Heather Anderson on Viola
Jonathan Geer on Piano
Pat Harris on Bass
Chris McQueen on Guitar
Mike Maddux on Accordion
Tony Rogers on Cello

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
July 29, 2013

This CD is a fabulous rendering of Nuevo Tango tracks, six by renowned bandoneónist-composer, Astor Piazzolla, five by James Anderson, violinist, and three by Jonathan Greer, pianist. The Texas-based group is called Austin Piazzolla Quintet, and its sound has the quintessential edge of Nuevo Tango genre, with slick violin sweeps, compelling percussion, high drama in the bandoneón or accordion, and atonal infusions. As a former tango dancer and impassioned tanguera, I have heard quite a bit of Piazzolla over the years, and APQ has successfully captured the maestro’s mood and motif. Plus the eight original compositions have fascinating characteristics of their own. Added to the quintet are guitar and cello. The music is danceable, plus riveting for home enjoyment.

Notable tracks:

#2 – Viñeta – Composed by James Anderson. This is a brief piece that appears three times on the recording. On this track, it’s recorded as if on vinyl, with static and muted retro tones. Here, the music is rapid, danceable, and inviting. On the eighth and eleventh tracks, it takes more contemporary forms. James Anderson’s violin and Mike Maddux’ accordion create a beguiling duet on this track, exuding simplicity and poignancy.

#3 – Decaríssimo – Composed by Astor Piazzolla. This is authentic Piazzolla interpretation, with Jonathan Geer leading on piano with driven dynamics, James Anderson taking a mid-track role in atonal string effects, before maximizing the stunning finale, Pat Harris adding vibrancy and depth with slaps on the bass and resonant string rhythms, Mike Maddux infusing accordion ardor, and Chris McQueen embellishing the sound with his enchanting guitar.

#7 – Chin Chin – Composed by Astor Piazzolla. This track could be a sensational and unforgettable dance score for tango performance or modern ballet. It has speed, vivacity, serendipitous percussion and strings, improvisational drama, and romanticism. One is immediately transported to Buenos Aires at midnight. I have heard this composition many times with many ensembles, but here I was truly magnetized in the moment, with the six instrumentalists, minus the cellist, who performs on the next reviewed track.

#13 – Ghost Milonga – Composed by Jonathan Geer. Tom Rogers on cello joins the ensemble for this eerie, surreal composition by Jonathan Geer, pianist. There are generous piano solos that infuse theatricality and mystery, plus sharp, edgy violin sweeps throughout. The accordion and bass fill out this grouping of five musicians, making this a must-listen-to-again track. In fact, this is a CD I will keep near the stereo.

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