Half Notes: Pablo Aslan – Piazzolla in Brooklyn (2011)

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You hear about musicians being moved to a new tribute by dusty old masterpieces, about timeless moments on vinyl that crackle and pop to life as reborn honorifics. Then there’s the jazz tango disaster Take Me Dancing, a 1959 recording by Astor Piazzola that is so irredeemably bad that it has spurred the Grammy-nominated Pablo Aslan to action. (Piazzolla himself came to despise the failed experiment himself, calling Take Me Dancing “an artistic sin.”) Aslan avoids those old missteps on his new Piazzolla In Brooklyn project, first by righting the original album’s principal misfire — its monotonous rhythmic approach. Then the Argentine-born, Brooklyn-based bassist and bandleader gets to work expanding sections, adding solos, slowing things down, speeding others up — and he even brought along Daniel “Pipi” Piazzolla, the old tango master’s grandson. The results, due Nov. 8 from Soundbrush-Allegro, illustrate anew how inspiration — fun, dynamic, spontaneously danceable inspiration — can come from the unlikeliest of places.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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