Otero’s Nonesuch debut showcases the extraordinary stylistic breadth of this Buenos Aires–born pianist-composer, in an adventurous mix evoking the feel of Piazzolla’s nuevo tango, improvisational jazz, and 20th-century classical music; filled with "a savage intensity that sweeps the listener away" (Guardian, UK).
Pagina de Buenos Aires showcases Argentinean composer and pianist Fernando Otero's original material in a variety of formats, with piano, violin, cello, acoustic bass, bandoneon, and a 25-piece orchestral ensemble.
Since Otero was a teenager, his compositions have blended the indigenous sounds of his native country with classical, jazz, pop, and rock music. As he recalls, a guitar instructor “showed me the possibility of developing something with the roots of tango, the sound of tango—not necessarily tango itself, but the music I heard as a child, the sound in the streets. I started working with a bandoneon player and tried my first project, which I called X Tango.”
While he’s remained largely unknown to the world at large, Otero has, for some years now, been a well-kept secret among jazz and classical insiders. His CD Plan has circulated among fellow musicians and attracted them to his recitals. Label-mates Kronos Quartet commissioned a piece from him, which will be premiered this season.
Otero has composed and performed with several orchestras and chamber groups in the U.S. and Mexico and has also written for ballet and theatre companies. He has collaborated with one-time Bill Evans sideman Eddie Gomez, flutist Dave Valentin, and pianist/film composer Dave Grusin, among others; he’s lately been sitting in with Chico O’Farrill’s Jazz Orchestra during their Sunday night residency at New York City’s Birdland; and, most recently, he’s joined clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera on stage and in the studio. Pagina de Buenos Aires is is Nonesuch label debut.
Produced by Fernando Otero
Recorded by Fabiola Russo
Mixed by Tom Swift
Except tracks 2, 3, 8 recorded by Jeff Hoffmann; tracks 4, 7, 16 by Julio Pena; track 12 by Andrea Tomassi; track 15 by Benny Facone & Andrea Tomassi
Mixed by Jean B. Smit
Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering & DVD, Portland, ME
All compositions by Fernando Otero
Design by Evan Gaffney
Photography by Erica McDonald
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz
Fernando Otero, piano (1-7, 9-11, 13, 14, 16), Fender Rhodes (12), conductor (8, 15)
Nick Danielson, violin (1-3, 5, 6, 9-11
Humberto Ridolfi, violin (4, 7)
Inbal Segev, cello (1-4, 7, 12)
Pedro Giraudo, acoustic bass (2-4, 7, 12, 16)
Hector Del Curto, bandoneon (2-4, 7, 8, 12, 15, 16)
Diego Urcola, trumpet (12)
Orchestra (8, 15):
Mariano Gil, flute
Ryan Keberle, Jeff Bush, trombones
Nick Danielson, Sergio Reyes, Susan Heerema, Ken Stern, Humberto Ridolfi, Susan Aquila, Tom Hendricks, Maria Du Port, Jeffrey Maure, Francois Dore, Jill A. Rosen, Carroll Potter, violins
Jill Jaffe, Allison Gordon, Alan Leigh, Heather Tsan, violas
Tara Chambers, Margot Svenson, Jon Fisher, Michael Feldman, cellos
Pedro Giraudo, Jeff Carney, acoustic basses