Jack del Rio - Latin Percussion Pierre Michelot - Bass Astor Piazzolla - Bandoneon, Arranger Lalo Schifrin - Piano Martial Solal - Piano, Celeste Jean-Louis Viale - Drums.
By Kurt Harding Those who are fans of both Lalo Schifrin and Astor Piazzolla should be delighted by this reissue of important early works. The tunes here were originally on separate albums by their respective artists and have been long out of print until the issue of this BMG compilation. The first eight songs are by Lalo Schifrin and they show the listener both his piano virtuosity and his already strong skills as an arranger. I recognize many of these songs having heard them done by other artists in my father's record collection. Though the "tropical" sound may seem dated and quaint to modern ears, several listens will show you just how far advanced Schifrin was for his time. Jack del Rio's Latin percussion work is just outstanding across the board! The booklet says that Schifrin is embarrassed by the title of the album on which these songs were originally available, and so they have been omitted from his discography and from previous compilations. Once you hear them, you will be perplexed by his embarrassment. The last eight songs are from an Astor Piazzolla recording session in Paris done the same year (1955) as the Schifrin sessions. They are available with other songs from the Paris sessions on another CD called Paris 1955 that I own and which can be obtained from the French music publisher that owns its rights. These were done at a time when Piazzolla was getting away from the traditional "orquesta tipica" that dominated the Argentine tango scene and began blending his tango with classical and jazz elements. The results here are nothing short of spectacular. Never before and never since had Piazzolla made a recording of such dazzling beauty! I am a fan of most of what Piazzolla did in his career, but these timeless compositions remain among my favorites. If you are a Piazzolla fan who hasn't yet heard these obscure and admittedly hard to find recordings, then your understanding of Piazzolla's music and career cannot yet be fully developed.