Astor Piazzolla imagined la hora cero as the time after midnight, “ an hour of absolute end and absolute beginning.” It was not by chance, then, that early in his career, he titled one of his breakthrough pieces “Buenos Aires Hora Cero.” It could not be by chance that, as he was entering his autumn days, he called the album that summed up decades of hard work and carried deep personal hopes and professional expectations, Tango Zero Hour. By the mid-1980s, Astor Piazzolla had long been celebrated in Europe, and finally, grudgingly, been given the respect he deserved in his native Argentina. More…
Tito Puente: The Complete RCA Recordings, Part 1
It’s an early summer Saturday afternoon in El Barrio, in New York and the guys have taken the chairs to the sidewalk, right on Second Avenue, right next to the Old Timers Lounge, and are just sitting around, hangin’ out, making plans for the big stickball tournament next week – and talking about Tito. They are loud. But as they bluster and laugh, they also mourn.
No one would seriously argue that a musician has to be born in Vienna to play Mozart. Still, having a Latin-Caribbean pianist, and one best known as a jazz virtuoso, play symphonic Gershwin may raise a few eyebrows.
Yet, on a closer examination, Michel Camilo turns out to be singularly qualified.
Like George Gershwin before him, Camilo is an irrepressible New World Romantic. Both his music and his playing are open-faced, generous, and ambitious, full of energy and brash optimism.
Like Gershwin, Camilo tells in his work a distinctly American tale. More…