MANNY'S LINER NOTES
I first heard Astor Piazzolla's name mentioned in 1980 by legendary guitarist Charlie Byrd. My friend Chuck Redd had recently joined the Charlie Byrd Trio. One evening during the trio's intermission, Charlie spoke to me about Piazzolla. He told me Piazzolla was a virtuoso bandoneon player, a gifted composer and that his nuevo tango quintet was both unique and impressive. Charlie, a brilliant and innovative musician himself, never spoke truer words.
I got a chance to hear Astor Piazzolla's nuevo tango quintet live only once. In the late 1980's, my father bought tickets to a concert which, while not well publicized, was completely sold out at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. As the applause began to roar at the end of their opening number, I could feel a certain magic in the concert hall. I remember being completely dazzled by the group's ensemble playing, stunned by the complexity of the music, and perhaps even a little scared. My ears were being exposed to new textures and sonorities and my brain was having a difficult time processing the information. I wasn't exactly sure what I was listenening to, but I knew it was something special! Thank you dad for an evening I'll never forget!
Over a decade later, I thought it might be fun and musically rewarding to form an ensemble, acquire arrangements, rehearse, and play concerts featuring the music of Piazzolla. I should have taken a deep breath and waited for that feeling to subside! I had no idea how ambitious my dream was. It's difficult enough to gather a small group of good musicians together, let alone five truly gifted players who are willing to take time out of their busy schedules in order to rehearse and perform great music for music's sake. I am deeply touched and honored that the musicians involved in this recording thought enough of this project to make the sacrifice and commitment needed in order to achieve a common goal of serving the music. This recording is the culmination of that entire process. I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to this CD as much as we enjoyed recording and performing these works. Once again, I tip my hat to the members of the ensemble for without them, none of this would be possible. Chuck Redd, Bruno Nasta, Chuck Underwood, Kathy Burchedean and Tom Fowler. As far as I'm concerned, you're the best in the business!
There are too many individuals who have had a positive influence (both personal and musical) in my life to mention by name. I would be remiss, however, if I didn't recognize a few people whose constant support have been my pillar of strength. First, my lovely wife Rene and my two children Emily and Vincent. They've endured all of the hardships associated with living with a musician. Through it all, they have given me nothing less than their unstinting support and encouragement. Second, my mother and father who, with their love, taught me the meaning of work ethic and dedication. More importantly, they never discouraged me from pursuing my dream of being a musician. Finally, I want to express my thanks and appreciation to Paul Langosch who, as producer of this CD, helped organize the project while having to deal with serious personal issues. You're a good friend, a wonderful musician and a class act! I love all of you!