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Sérgio & Odair Assad Play Piazzolla

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About this Album

2008 Latin Grammy Award Winner

Sought as collaborators by such artists as Dawn Upshaw, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Yo-Yo Ma, the Brazilian guitar duo of Sérgio and Odair Assad are known to aficionados as players of astonishing virtuosity and enormous soul—two qualities which serve them well in the complex, yet emotionally direct, music of Argentinean nuevo tango master Astor Piazzolla.

The Assad brothers, who first encountered Astor Piazzolla as young music students in Rio de Janeiro in the 1970s, capture the venerable composer’s trademark bristling rhythms and sweeping melodies on tracks such as the Piazzolla classics Tango Suite, written especially for the Assads, and Suite Troileana. The album features guest artists Marcelo Nisinman, on bandoneón and acclaimed violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Fernando Suarez Paz. Sérgio and Odair Assad dedicate this recording to Astor, a close friend of theirs until his death in 1992.

Described as having a “supple, flawlessly unified sound” by the New York Times, Sérgio and Odair Assad began playing guitar together as young boys, encouraged by their father, a mandolin player. By the time they were teenagers, their prowess brought them to Rio de Janeiro and study with Monina Tavora, a student of Segovia. They have been Nonesuch recording artists since 1985.


Sérgio Assad, guitar (1-12, 14)
Odair Assad, guitar (1-14)
Fernando Suarez Paz, violin (4-7, 13, 14)
Marcelo Nisinman, bandoneon (7, 14)
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin (8)

Tracks 1-3
Produced by Françoise-Emmanuelle Denis
Recorded March 1999 at The Right Place, Brussels
Engineered by Frédéric Briant and Anne Fontigny

Tracks 4, 13 originally released on Fuga y misterio
Produced by Françoise-Emmanuelle Denis
Recorded June 1998 at Mont St. Guibert Church
Engineered by Frédéric Briant and Anne Fontigny

Tracks 5-7, 14
Produced by Françoise-Emmanuelle Denis
Recorded February 2000 at Salle du Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles
Engineered by Manuel Mohino

Track 8
Produced by Karen Chester
Recorded July 1998 at the Joan and Irving Harris Concert Hall at Aspen Music Festival and School
Engineered by Tom Lazarus

Tracks 9-12 originally released on Saga dos Migrantes (Nonesuch 79365)
Produced by Judith Sherman
Recorded May 1995 at Muziekcentrum Frits Phillips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Engineered by Arnout Probst, Channel Classics, Amsterdam
Album Produced by Françoise-Emmanuelle Denis
Mastered by Marc Doutrepont
Additional Mastering by Robert C. Ludwig, Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, ME

All compositions by Astor Piazzolla. Tracks 5-8, 14 arranged by Sérgio Assad.

Design by Gabrielle Wilson
Photography by Michael Wilson

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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