Navidad de Los Andes (Andean nativity) is the debut from the trio of Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon), Anja Lechner (violoncello), and Felix Saluzzi (clarinet, tenor saxophone). Though the brothers Saluzzi have worked together countless times in the past, this is their first collaboration with German cellist Lechner as a trio, and together these three have come up with some magical sounds and soaring melodies on Navidad de Los Andes.
At first, you'd think that arrangements comprised of just violoncello, bandoneon, clarinet, and sax would be kind of sparse and laid back. Well, laid back at times it is, but there's nothing sparse about what you'll hear on this lovely CD. Those not familiar with the bandoneon should know that this instrument performed by Dino is similar to a concertina or accordion, and it gives off a full, rather weepy sound, which is permeated by Lechner's emotional, somber strains on the violoncello. The two instruments provide for many heart tugging, poignant moments throughout Navidad de Los Andes, with Felix's clarinet or sax darting in and out for some quick solo passages, as he does so well on the ominous "Fragments from "Trio for clarinet and two bandoneons" or the almost gypsy sounding "Son qo'ñati". Other highlights here include the engaging, classical themed "Flor de Tuna", the stunning "Gabriel Kondor", and the quirky, somewhat jazzy "Candor / Soledad".
As with most ECM recordings, Navidad de Los Andes has a nice warm sound that is so inviting you just want to close your eyes and let the music take complete control of you. The CD comes with a great booklet filled with black & white photos and a short essay from Leopoldo Castilla. It all makes for a charming new release from the folks at ECM that is just right for those wanting a little more classical oriented jazz in their life.
- Flor de tuna
- Fragments from "Trio for clarinet and two bandoneons"
- Son qo'ñati
- Requerdos de Bohemia
- Gabriel Kondor
- El vals de nosotros
- Candor / Soledad
- Variaciones sobre una melodia popular de José L. Padula
- Ronda de niños en la montaña