John Buckman's Astor Piazzolla Collection
These Web pages are a review and commentary of my personal collection of Piazzolla recordings, along with pictures and in-sleeve descriptions of the music.
Astor Piazzolla is the master of the modern Tango, what he called "Tango Nuevo." He brought Tango to new heights as he blended it with classical and jazz influences, making it a music to listen to, rather than background entertainment.
He mixes classical instrumentation (piano, violin, cello) with a crystal-clear, jazz guitar. On top of this foundation is Piazzolla's breathy bandoneon. The bandoneon is a relative of the accordeon, and was originally invented as an inexpensive substitute for church organs. From there it went to the seedy side of life, to night-clubs and whorehouses. Piazzolla unites these two traditions of the instrument, by combining the precision and complexity of classical music with the passion and intensity of the whorehouse.
If you have a Piazzolla recording that I don't list here, please let me know and I'll include it (I'll probably try to buy it too!).
Studio recordings (his best).
Live performances of new material.
Live performances of pre-released material.
Piazzolla as Classical Music.
Overview of his recordings.
A picture of young Piazzolla
Piazzolla, a few years before he died
Jörgen Åström, of the guitar quartet A Quattro contributed this wonderful drawing of a Bandoneon player.
Extremely recommended: The Top 100 Tango Recordings
Other sources: A Piazzolla home page and some thoughts on Piazzolla, the Tango group Norteño, the Guitar Quartet A Quattro.