Emilio Solla, piano
Raul Jaurena, bandoneon
Pablo Aslan, bass
Nick Danielson, violin
Executive Producers: Kabir Sehgal & Denny Abrams
Senior Producer: Nicolas Rodriguez-Brizuela
Producers: Kabir Sehgal, Denny Abrams, Pablo Aslan & Nicolas Rodriguez-Brizuela
All music arranged by E. Solla except track 11, arranged by P. Aslan
Recorded & Mixed by Luis Bacque at Bacque Recording Engineering, New Jersey, February 2016
Mastered by Mike Marciano at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY, October 2016
Recording Session Photos by Hernan Valle
Other pictures by Gustavo Pereyra
Liner Notes: Kabir Sehgal
CD Design and Cover Art: Karima Cammell
“This album is my tribute to the tango,” says Emilio Solla, composer, bandleader, and pianist. Given that he performs a tango gig every Sunday night at a New York City jazz club, it made sense for him to pay homage to this style. “It was time for me to rediscover why I fell in love with this music in the first place.” And so in composing and adapting these eleven tracks, he went back to the roots of the tango tradition.
“And what a storied tradition it has,” says Pablo Aslan, bassist and tango cognoscenti. Born at the end of the nineteenth century on the shores of the Rio de la Plata, as a dance of suggestive yet restrained movement, it was founded upon the rhythms of the Cuban habanera, Brazilian and Spanish tango, Argentine milonga and the Afro-American candombe. First performed by the immigrants at the cafes of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the tango gained prominence as conservatory-trained musicians added it to their repertoire, as it became an international rage in the 1920s. Then again in the 1940s, the tango experienced a second Golden Age, as it was performed across many different countries. That the tango has been adapted into various forms was grist for Solla to put his own stamp on this music. To be sure, he listened to the works of the tango masters Osvaldo Pugliese, Juan D’Arienzo, and Astor Piazzolla. “But I wanted to color the music with more harmonies while also keeping it danceable,” he explains.
“More harmonies” is an understatement. Tributango is the creation of a genius composer who imbues each track with a full range of sonic material: vivid melody, thoughtful development, contrasting accompaniment, searing solos, and yes “more harmonies.” This is to be expected of Solla, who left Argentina for Barcelona in his early 30s in search of “new horizons and bigger challenges,” as he puts it. He eventually moved to New York, where he has lived for ten years, and where he has become a cornerstone of the jazz scene -- and one of the best composers of our time. Solla wanted to see if he could make it with the big guys, and in so doing, he became one himself.
In creating this album, Solla called upon three other big guys: Pablo Aslan, bass; Raul Jaurena, bandoneon; and Nick Danielson, violin. If they were a football team, they would be called the “tango all-stars,” as they are all “experts of the craft,” according to Solla. He considers Aslan as his primary mentor, who first invited Solla to the United States to perform. Danielson is a virtuosic violinist who has deep experience with both classical and tango music. Jaurena hails from Uruguay and started playing professionally when he was sixteen, and has performed with the great tango maestros like Piazolla. “When Raul plays a tango, it’s like okay, guys, that’s it. This is how it should be played,” says Solla.
Tributango is Solla’s ninth release as a bandleader. And it’s more than a tribute. It’s a triumph of an artistic mastermind, who has given us something new, by channeling the giants of this art form. However, Solla has rendered this music not just for aficionados but DJs and dancers too. These tracks will compel you onto the dance floor. This is quintessential Solla: accessible tunes with refined arrangements. Tributango is both historical and fresh, bittersweet with nostalgic references yet thought-provoking with modern touches. No matter its era, tango goes on, well into the night.
Executive Producer & Producer
New York, November 2016
Grammy nominee Solla has released 7 albums as a leader and more than 40 as producer/arranger and is considered one of the
most outstanding voices worldwide in the New Tango-Jazz stream. His previous album, "Second Half" was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award as Best Latin Jazz Album.