What The Press Is Saying About
Pablo Ziegler Trio
"Ziegler continues to push the art form forward… nuevo tango's leading living exponent."
All About Jazz
"There's no question that Ziegler takes the tango to levels of sophistication and refinement probably undreamed of by Piazzolla."
The Chicago Tribune
"No one embodies the art of the tango better."
Lincoln Journal Star
"He is cool, understated and makes everything look easy and natural… just as a really suave tango dancer seems not to move with feet but on wheels, Ziegler skates the keyboard."
The Los Angeles Times
"A trip to the heart of this music… [Ziegler] is a sort of musical brujo, a conjurer who can make all within earshot a believer in his message."
New York City Jazz Record
Raul da Gama
Editor’s Pick · Featured Album · Jazz Tango
Unlike the tango, which – as a dance form – has a relatively clear, almost mathematical definition, there are really no words that can be used to describe the art form of Jazz. However where the two forms certainly meet is in the seemingly bottomless wellspring of ineffable emotion: in the molten movement of tango dancers. As far as Jazz is concerned there is the unquenchable desire to improvise further than boundless horizons where every note played is drenched in the feeling of The Blues. Passion is the glue that binds these two forms together in the music of the appropriately entitled Jazz Tango by Pablo Ziegler, who joins forces here with perhaps the most prodigiously talented young bandoneon player Héctor Del Curto and another monstrously gifted guitarist, Claudio Ragazzi to make this memorable live recording.
If it should come as no surprise that Pablo Ziegler should favour the music of Astor Piazzolla for this recording, it is also fitting that this programme should de rigueur include Mr Ziegler’s compositions for they more than complement those of the man who revolutionised the tango. But what really gives this recording its particular character is the profoundly meditative beauty of the performance of each of the musicians. Pablo Ziegler is a giant among men and, like his illustrious musical ancestor Astor Piazzolla, he worships at the altar of originality, creating furiously beautiful arabesques whose black dots leap off the page as he (Mr Ziegler) commands them to pirouette and fly airborne into the rarefied realm of his art. One is so mesmerised by his fierce pianism that experiencing him play is to be bewitched by his madly dancing fingers.
One is no less dazzled by Héctor Del Curto, who is casting a long shadow on bandoneon playing in the post-Piazzolla era. His expressive playing is born of spry finger-work that creates glorious dynamics by the seemingly stealthy manipulation of the buttons on his instrument. The result is an explosive phrase that could be played with very subtle depressions of the buttons, almost imperceptible to the eye, but at the beck and call of Mr Del Curto nevertheless. Claudio Ragazzi is more introverted in his musicianship but no less ingenious when it comes to fretwork and the ensuing harmonics that adorns the music on this programme. Together the musicians make this one of the most memorable experiences for audience. The superb recording has also been mastered to perfection by Oscar Zambrano, preserving the warmth and vivid colours of the live performance.
Pablo Ziegler Trio's "Jazz Tango" by Dodie Miller-Gould
May 12, 2017
With Pablo Ziegler’s new CD, “Jazz Tango,” the tango lives and breathes–a common theme in Ziegler’s work; to ordinary people, there seems only so much a person can do with a tango. On this release, the music moves as if it possessed its own blood and limbs, and renders the tango a sinewy and electric thing, a move that impresses old and new fans alike.
Fortunately, all the songs are recorded live. There is something gratifying about hearing other people, faceless strangers in this case, applaud a performance that you, the listener, have also enjoyed. It is unclear whether the passion for Ziegler’s work comes from his approach—the task of making the tango new, or if it is the gravitas that comes with being a craftsman of his form. Maybe it is both. The music is enjoyable, and will teach listeners about music, about tango and about Ziegler.
In this release, Ziegler, on piano, is joined by Hector del Curto playing bandoneon, and Claudio Ragazzi on guitar. The “bandoneon” is a type of concertina popular in Argentina, Uruguay and Lithuania. The effect the instrument has on this CD is an emotive quality brought about by willowy swells and long, pensive notes. The way all three parts work together for an evocative impression on songs like “Muchacha de Boedo” where listeners can hear the piano, guitar and bandoneon take turns rising and falling, until (seemingly) exhausted, they fade out at the end. This song, like many of Ziegler’s compositions, sound as though they are the movie scores without the accompanying film.
“Libertango” is a frantic mash-up of piano and guitar, until, less than two minutes in, the piano begins a spirited motif that the other instruments begin to complement. Roughly a quarter of the way through, the song morphs again, into the tango that many listeners are used to.
“Michelangelo 70” is spirited and moody, like an expressive dancer. The word “rollicking” comes to mind at times. The bandoneon is used to punctuate the twists and turns in the song. Listeners can envision the graceful but strong moves of tango dancers.
Since his debut album in 1990, “Cuarteto Para El Nuevo Tango,” Ziegler has crafted a career out of joining the traditional to the new and making an art out of it all.
A real cooker right out of the box, it makes you glad that Ziegler is the kind of muso that sends you records where the reviews just write themselves. A mostly original date with a few Piazzollas tossed in to appease the tourists, the piano ace justifies my decision to abandon piano lessons when I was eight because I must have instinctively known I could never play like this. A masterful work by a master that loves tango so much he'd rather use his energy and smarts to move the form forward in fine style rather than keep it embalmed in amber. Must hearing if you've got the slightest of tango bugs.
Chris Spector Midwest Record
Pablo Ziegler Trio's "Jazz Tango" by George W. Harris
October 5, 2017
Pianist and composer Pablo Ziegler creates an intriguing trio with Hector Del Curto on bandoneon and Claudio Ragazzi on guitar through a mix of originals and pieces from Nuevo Tango icon Astor Piazzolla. The three Piazzolla pieces, “Michelangelo 70,” “Fuga y Mesterio” and “Libertango” are filled with complex moves, sensuality and drama as the strings are tapped, strummed and spliced. The dynamics rise and fall like a wave on “La Fundicion” and Old World charms are in abundance on “Elegante Canyenguito.” Ziegler is misty-eyed on “Milonga Del Adios” and the team plays a game of Peek-A-Boo on the clever “Blues Porteno.” Lots of thought mixed with heart.