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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Pipi Piazzolla: “We will never play in a stadium, but we are free”

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Lisa Harris
Lisa Harris
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.
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Piazzolla assures that, when it comes to listening to music, he likes all formats equally, although his voice takes on a special tone when he talks about old vinyl: “I listen to music on Spotify without problems, and I also have a large collection of CDs and lately I’m bringing back all the great classic jazz albums on vinyl, starting with John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” and those kind of masterpieces; It’s something I really enjoy. But what surprised me is that Mora, my 16-year-old daughter, loves listening to vinyl, and then you realize that it’s not something to do with nostalgia, it’s something else. Not only do you see the cover differently, because of the size, but you don’t listen to individual songs, but rather an entire album, or rather, the entire A side and then the B side, and that’s a different experience”.

The Trio’s previous albums arose from more conceptual ideas such as putting the movie “El Arca Rusa” to music, but in this new album, right from the title, what matters is jazz and percussion. It is that “Stick shot” is the name of a classic hit used by drummers since the beginning of the last century, when the instrument began to become popular. “It is a very popular type of beat that is played on the drum, resting one stick on the patch and the other hitting on the same stick, which was used a lot from the beginning of drums until the 60s. It is vindicating the tradition of the instrument and not forget its origins. It was the type of shot that Gene Krupa or Buddy Rich used, and then it was forgotten and replaced by the so-called “Ring shot” that sticks to the metal. In the 90s you didn’t hear a “stick shot” anywhere, but I adopted it almost since I started playing, and of course it’s present throughout this album, where there are songs composed by the three of them, and where we wanted each track to have different sound layers that the listener discovers”.

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In Escalandrum more musicians play, but apart from that there must be a difference between Piazzolla of that group with whom he has been with for almost a quarter of a century, and that of the trio he formed a decade ago: “With Escalandrum we have been together for 20 years and we do whatever they ask of us, they ask us for Mozart and we do Mozart; the trio is more relaxed, and basically when I write a song I write it for the trio, and then we see if it works for us or it can be better if it’s played by Escalandrum. Sometimes it seems that it doesn’t work for either of them and I keep it: that happened with “Polacos”, the first track on “Stick Shot”; we had discarded it for both bands and at the last minute I gave it a spin in style and we tried it and it was one. It’s just that this whole album was recorded very quickly, in about 5 or 6 hours, sometimes with only a couple of takes per song”.

There is something that draws the attention of the Pipi Piazzolla Trio and that is that it is the group of a drummer who, unlike most of his colleagues, decides to do without the bass, which is usually his allied instrument as a rhythm section. “There is nothing more beautiful than playing with a bassist, who is usually the best friend of the drummer. But in the trio we never had a real bass, it gives us a lot of freedom not to have associations between the instruments but to go back and forth between the melodies and the improvisations. The three of us feel a fake bass that helps us get up to speed. And sometimes on the record, the guitar or the sax play notes that serve to replace the bass a bit, but something that doesn’t work is “counting” so as not to lose the rhythm. That is something that they ask me a lot when I give a master class…”.

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As in his previous album “Rata”, in which he played “Evidence” by Thelonius Monk, in this new “Stick Shot” (edited by Club del Disco) there is a tribute to the great pianist, “Brillant Corners” “is like a homage to the sources of jazz” says Piazzolla, “but my influences are multiple, there are musicians who say they only play and are inspired by jazz, but I believe that every musical genre has things to offer a drummer. At home I have a poster of Max Roach, Monk’s drummer, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, but I could also have a poster of my great idol, Tony Williams (on some of Miles Davis’ best records, among many other things), and of course there is an album that seems essential to me and that is “Spectrum” by Billy Cobham. I listen to everything, sometimes I come from playing a great jazz deformity at a show and in the car I put on Soda Stereo or Virus, although sometimes Coltrane too. But kidding, I love Argentine rock from the 80s, and at any moment I’m going to do a very jazzy cover of a Virus hit”

Source: Ambito

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