Dino Saluzzi’s first live album for ECM finds the Argentinean bandoneon master at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, presenting new orchestral compositions. Dino himself is principal soloist throughout the recording, joined by Anja Lechner and brother Felix Saluzzi at points along the way.
The flowing music, with strings shadowing the movement of the bandoneon, extends the spirit of Dino’s “storytelling” solo works such as “Andina” (to which the piece “Plegaria Andina” makes reference). Dino says, “a lot can be told using few elements. The music should not be too rational. It has to brim with innocence.” “On ‘El Encuentro’” writes Javier Magistris in the liner notes, “the collaboration with cellist Anja Lechner and saxophonist Felix Saluzzi adds a new chapter of beauty in a wider and more complex structure. The soliloquies of the three main characters intertwine prodigiously, like a naturally-flowing current, each voice attaining its greatest expressive splendour by interacting with the harmonic structures.”
The project was set in motion by Amsterdam-based writer/producer Gustavo Pazos, who had visited Saluzzi in Buenos Aires in 2004 to prepare a radio portrait of the bandoneonist-composer, and got to hear some of Dino’s works-in-progress. Holland’s Metropole Orchestra subsequently expressed interest, and with the support of NPS Radio it was possible to present the music in Amsterdam. Pazos points out that the Metropole Orchestra has “fulfilled a major cultural role in the Netherlands” with its long history of encouraging musicians outside the classical mainstream.
“El Encuentro” marked a first-time encounter for composer and orchestra (and both the Metropole Orchestra and conductor Jules Buckley make ECM debuts here) but the cast of soloists draws on some long-standing playing associations, in the case of Dino and Felix more than 60 years of collaborations.
They started making music together as children, and today Felix frequently works with his brother in Dino’s “family band” projects, as heard on albums including “Mojotoro” and “Juan Condori”. Felix also plays in a new group with Dino and cellist Anja Lechner, a trio whose formation was a direct result of the shared experience of playing together on “El Encuentro”.
Anja Lechner has worked closely with Dino since the mid-1990s, beginning with the “Kultrum” alliance between Saluzzi and the Rosamunde Quartett, a collaboration which in several respects prefigured “El Encuentro”. She has also toured widely in duo with the bandoneonist, and recorded with him on “Ojos Negros” in 2006.
“El Encuentro” (The Encounter) is released in time for Dino’s 75th birthday on May 20th, 2010.
In July 2010, Dino is the subject of a special ECM focus at the Atina jazz Festival in Italy. There, he will be joined on stage by Felix Saluzzi, Anja Lechner, John Surman, Palle Mikkelborg, Rosario Bonaccorso and U.T. Gandhi.