Personnel: Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon); Jon Christensen (percussion); Dino Saluzzi; Jon Christensen.
Recording information: Rainbow Studio, Oslo, Norway (11/2002).
Photographers: Juan Hitters; Roberto Masotti.
On his first offering in five years, Argentine bandoneon master Dino Saluzzi teams with veteran ECM session drummer Jon Christensen on Senderos. Of the 14 cuts here, ten are duets -- freewheeling, often improvised, intimate, and engaging to the hilt. What marks great improvisers is the ability to listen. The thought, spontaneous creation, and response that go into these pieces are remarkable. The players feel like a single entity as they wheel through their respective roles. The intense lyricism inherent in Saluzzi's approach comes from his immersion in the evolving folk musics of South America during these past 30 years and his incorporation of these musics in his own contemporary compositions. In addition, his love of jazz's dynamic and harmonic innovations, tango, and classical music meld in these duets. Christensen is the perfect foil, slipping inside the rhythmic bent of Saluzzi's chromatic forays and tagging them with his own spare flourishes, and moving them toward an opaque margin of expression while making them feel almost like dances. Four of the pieces here are Saluzzi bandoneon solos; indeed, they are songs. Saluzzi's deep sense of history and memory evoke not only earlier eras but the bittersweet nostalgia that communicates the ghostly traces of cultural -- particularly musical -- history as it marks emergence, evolution, and disappearance. Simply put, there is no other recording like this. It is a watershed marking a brilliant artist's return to recording, and a step outside his comfort zone that offers proof of the restless and poignant direction of his muse and his ability to translate it directly, honestly, and with passion. ~ Thom Jurek