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April 30 , 2007

U.S. Press Accolades for Saluzzi-Lechner "Ojos Negros" Tour

Argentine bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi and German Cellist Anja Lechner have just completed a coast-to-coast U.S. tour performing music from their new release “Ojos Negros”. U.S. press reactions to their concerts and to the CD are unanimous in their praise and enthusiasm. Excerpts from a selection of the press follow here:

"Their program at the Skirball Center was a masterful display of cross-cultural chamber music.…Lechner’s cello phrases employed the full panoply of the instrument’s extraordinary potential, from sonorous low tones to high harmonics, from jazz-like pizzicatos to the metallic sounds of sul ponticello. The effect, combined with the intensely atmospheric sound of Saluzzi’s bandoneon, was mesmerizing. The music was further enhanced by the remarkably synchronized rubato playing. Even in the passages that simmered with an undercurrent of tango rhythms, the time flowed like a living, breathing entity, with Saluzzi and Lechner combining their phrases with the impeccable grace of a pair of elegant, sensuous dancers. Solo selections provided an opportunity to display their individual improvisational skills. But this was an evening for togetherness, for duo playing of the highest quality." - Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times

"The combination of bandoneon and cello sounds exquisite. The rasp of the former curls against the plangent cry of the cello like an old lover. Saluzzi and Lechner take that textural relationship to rapturous places, performing seven Saluzzi compositions and Vicente Greco’s title work with passion and breathtaking drama." - DownBeat

"Lechner has been able to get inside of this music and especially become one with Saluzzi, whose music, at this point, transcends tango. The resulting performance is beyond category…Whatever it is – and Saluzzi would say, “I play music” – its emotional impact derives from a delicate intimacy that emerges from the music’s depth and breadth. Lechner, as a playing partner, has tapped into Saluzzi’s ability to communicate directly to the listener. They are talking to us, or better, we are overhearing a musical conversation with all artifice discarded, and what is left is from their hearts to ours. …Ojos Negros is another gem in the ECM catalogue of gems, and will continually show new faces and reflections no matter how many times it is heard." - Budd Kopman, All About Jazz

"The duets between the Argentine bandoneon player and the German cellist are obsessed with romance and injected with filigree. The new Ojos Negros can be wickedly intricate, but the lithe nature of the musicians’ interplay always makes it disarmingly natural." - MacNie, The Village Voice

"The art of the Argentine bandoneon player Dino Saluzzi occupies the gray areas among tango, jazz and classical chamber music. … Ojos Negros, his new duet album with the classical cellist Anja Lechner, is a slow, luxurious version of that gray. It relates to specific musical styles and histories only in passing. Moving through original harmonic routes, thick with intelligent emotion, the record is original, easy to understand and difficult to absorb. Its small dramatic gestures keep momentarily stunning you, and it takes a while to make out the overall architecture of each piece." - Ben Ratliff, The New York Times