Highly attractive and very special debut recording of a new trio with a lot of shared history. Brothers Dino and Felix Saluzzi have more than 60 years of collaborations behind them. They started making music together as children in Argentina, and Felix frequently plays in Dino’s “family band” projects (as heard on ECM albums including “Mojotoro” and “Juan Condori”).
Cellist Anja Lechner and clarinet and sax man Felix Saluzzi both appeared as soloists on Dino’s orchestral recording “El Encuentro” in 2009, a shared pleasure in the work leading to the formation of the new group. Anja Lechner has worked closely with Dino since the mid-1990s, beginning with the “Kultrum” alliance between Saluzzi and the Rosamunde Quartet. She has also toured widely in duo with the bandoneonist, and recorded with him on the critically-acclaimed “Ojos Negros” in 2006.
“Navidad de Los Andes” has its own distinct character, at once simple and elusive, like the magical realist tales of the region. From the liner notes by Leopoldo Castilla: “In this beautiful musical work sound is born with the intensity of the wind and the powerful progression of the sand that preserves memories.“ That seems a fitting description of the yearning music here – memories carried by the wind. In Dino’s pieces we catch the sounds of birds in the mountain forests, glimpses of dance halls and village churches. A lot of life is here.
The three musicians have arrived at a very unique sound-blend with bandoneon, cello, and clarinet (or sax), very integrated in a chamber music format that breathes with the apparent effortlessness of folk music. Neither “jazz” nor “classical” nor tango in a strict sense, temperamentally between the genres, Dino Saluzzi can hardly help but be ‘intercultural’. This open-minded music can likewise speak to a wide public.