Juan Condori

Dino Saluzzi Group

Featured Artists Recorded

October 2005, Estudios Moebio, Buenos Aires

Original Release Date


  • 1La Vuelta De Pedro Orillas
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 2Milonga De Mis Amores
    (Jose Maria Contursi, Pedro Laurenz)
  • 3Juan Condori
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 4Memoria
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 5La Parecida
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 6Inside
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 7Soles / La Camposanteña
    (José María Saluzzi, Dino Saluzzi)
  • 8Las Cosas Amadas
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 9A Juana, Mi Madre
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 10Los Sauces
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 11Improvisacion
    (Dino Saluzzi, Felix Saluzzi, José María Saluzzi, Matías Saluzzi, U.T. Gandhi)
  • 12Chiriguano
    (Dino Saluzzi)
Songlines, Top of the world
Stereoplay, Jazz-CD des Monats
This is another very characteristic outing from the Argentinean, who is surely the best known exponent of the bandoneon after the late Astor Piazzolla. He is joined here by three other members of his family and drummer U.T. Ghandi in a set that is very redolent of his homeland in both feel and musical idioms, but with a distinctly experimental edge thrown in at times. …
Strongly atmospheric and exploratory music from an established artist who continues to push the boundaries of his chosen form.
Kenny Mathiesson, Jazzwise
This is a set of haunting melodies that don’t come from anywhere near the jazz tradition – but an improvisational spark keeps appearing. … There’s a tango classic that develops dark, stealthy investigations in between visits to the main theme, and the title track is a captivating exchange between bandoneon and guitar. There’s a short group improvisation as still as church music, and constant reflections of both the exhilaration and sadness of the tango. The sax sound and guitarist José Saluzzi’s jazzy phrasing broaden this set’s appeal and the spontaneous empathy of the players reaches out.
John Fordham, The Guardian
This is a very warm, approachable album both in texture and in its rhythms. Tango is more than an idea or a pulse; it is the framework on which the songs are hung. … There has always been conflict – or at least tension – in Saluzzi’s compositions. It stems from his reverence for a certain kind of humanity and an ancient, rural way of life that is – by virtue of his vocation – beyond his grasp. But on Juan Condori, the dialogue is harmonious and the mood lyrical. Tango, the product of immigrant alienation and nostalgia, here turns in on itself, easing the soul of the exiled musician-intellectual.
Chris Moss, Songlines
Dino en famille, c’est une nouvelle occasion de s’aventurer sur les sentiers mystérieux hantés par les fantômes de personnalités mythiques qui peuplent l’imaginaire des habitants ruraux du Nord argentin. C’est aussi une nouvelle immersion dans la mémoire d’hommes disparus qui, musiciens ou pas, ont laissé une trace profonde dans l’esprit du bandonéoniste argentin, probablement le plus atypique et créatif parmi ses pairs en vie. Témoin extrêmement lucide et sensible à son temps, à l’automne de sa vie Dino conjure le sort des absents avec « La Parecida », célèbre le retour de Pedro Orillas, évoque le charisme de Juan Condori, invoque la force spirituelle des choses que l’on aime le plus dans la vie, et rend un pudique hommage à sa mère, doña Juana. Dans ces élans de la « Memoria », le bandonéon se mue en guide onirique et, sans pathos, laisse transparaître l’émotion et parler les sentiments. …
Celui qui a brillamment joué avec le Rosamunde Quartett, Maria João, Enrico Rava, Al Di Meola, Marc Johnson ou Palle Danielsson, c’est en famille qu’il improvise le mieux la « milonga » de ses propres amours.
Francisco Cruz, Jazzman
Wenn der argentinische Bandoneon-Improvisator Dino Saluzzi auf seinem neuen Album auch einen Tangoklassiker spielt, dann als Erinnerung an eine der Musiktraditionen, die ihn prägten…, der er aber seit langem entwachsen ist. ... Derlei Folk-Anleihen weiterzuentwickeln, zu öffnen, bis ins freie Terrain hinein, braucht man Musiker, die den Komponisten und seine regionalen „roots“ kennen, jede Andeutung verstehen, aufgreifen, transformieren. ... Vertraut, wie sie auf ihren „Ober-Saluzzi“ eingehen können, bringen die Verwandten dessen Musik in einen organischen, scheinbar nicht enden wollenden Fluss von atmosphärischer Dichte und emotionaler Tiefe.
Berthold Klostermann, Fono Forum
Die ganze Familie ist mit von der Partie. Sohn José Maria verzaubert mit eindringlichen Gitarrentönen. Dinos Bruder Felix, dessen Sohn Matias und U.T. Gandhi steuern mit Saxophon, Klarinette, Bass und Schlagzeug städtische, von Jazz und Schlagern infizierte Klänge bei. Vom tiefen Verständnis der Quintettmitglieder getragen, changieren die bis ins feinste Detail nuancenreich aufgezeichneten Songs zwischen introvertierter Melancholie und extrovertiertem Vergnügen.
Hans Sterner, Stereoplay
“Everything flows together. Like clear water.” – Dino Saluzzi

Dino Saluzzi is a unique musical storyteller. The fact that he is also, by general consensus, the outstanding bandoneonist of his generation, is for Dino almost an incidental distinction. “I don’t want to be a competitor in a championship world of music making. If we think like that we lose much, including our understanding of our culture, including our memories.”

Saluzzi writes his music to hold onto these things: “If we don’t take responsibility for our memories, who will? As a musician, I’m the servant of my memories, but my memories also help me.” Consider the title track here: “Juan Condori was one of our friends from childhood, who grew up with us in the same village”, the village of Campo Santo in Northern Argentina. “My first picture of him is when I was three or four... now we go back almost 70 years... this picture is inside of me like a dream. But when we play the music I remember more clearly – and I am together with him again.” “Juan Condori”, the composition, is a portrait of a man from one of the Amerindian families of the Salta province, “who had a real sense of humanity and a magical relationship to the whole context of nature. He preferred to live outside, in the countryside, in touch with birds, animals, fish, insects, plants. A wise, funny, warm-hearted man...”

‘Warm-hearted’ or ‘tender’ can serve as a fair description of this project as a whole. Musicians of many cultures have played with Dino Saluzzi. The present recording is concerned very specifically with roots, the shared roots of the Saluzzi family, and “memories also of our ancestors who sing through us.” Dino is heard with his brother, saxophonist Felix Saluzzi, his son José Maria Saluzzi on guitar, Felix’s son Matias Saluzzi on bass, and a new friend and honorary family member, Italian drummer U.T. Gandhi, who makes his ECM debut here. The Dino Saluzzi Group, which has also toured as the Saluzzi Family Project, has been a much loved group on the international touring circuit for a long time. It has been fifteen years since Dino last recorded a family album, 1991’s “Mojotoro”. Like that disc, “Juan Condori” was recorded in Buenos Aires, “because that’s the place where this kind of playing can be more readily captured... The music industry is centralised now, but music making is still regional, still local, even if we are all reaching for the ‘universal’.”

Dino and Felix have played music together since childhood. “We’d gather around the dinner table with instruments. It was like a game originally. We have been doing it for so long we don’t have to talk about it much. It really is a shared language. Sometimes my brother will play something, a phrase and I remember it from long ago and realise it’s something I once heard sung, by the Indians.

“In another context, musicians might be able to play my pieces ‘perfectly’ in an academic sense and still be unacceptable to my ear. The question is always: how do we get from the notes on the paper to the reality that’s happening in the moment. I don’t have to explain this to the players in the family, I don’t have to tell them how to play my melodies, not even the young guys, and it’s not that it’s something I’ve ‘taught’ them. My son: he learnt from other players, not from me. He has a different life experience, but we do have things in common. So if one of the goals is ‘communication’ –and that is a big word – on records like this one we want to show you a glimpse of places far away, places you don’t know. That is one of the things this group can do. We work on the music as a family. The music is coming from my ideas but everybody has freedom of expression and I am open to the changing of harmonies, intonation, rhythm as the pieces are developed.”

José Maria Saluzzi first played percussion and drums – he was the drummer at 16, on “Mojotoro” – before turning his attention to piano, electric bass and then guitar. He studied with Walter Malosetti and Anibal Arias and later had some lessons from Ralph Towner. He’s been heard on 1996’s “Cité de la Musique” and 2001’s “Responsorium” as acoustic guitarist; “Juan Condori” is the first of the ECM Saluzzi releases to include also his more jazz-aligned electric playing. The new disc also includes Jose’s composition “Soles”, which segues into his father’s tribute to his home town, “La Camposanteña”.

Other tunes are all Dino’s, save for the Pedro Laurenz tango classic “Milonga De Mis Amores” and the spontaneously-created “Improvisacion”. As ever his pieces reflect upon things lived, seen, experienced. “La Vuelta De Pedro Orillas” bemoans “the turning away from the wisdom of the people who live on the periphery, the Indians.” “Chiriguano” is similarly dedicated to one of the last Indian tribes. (“When we were young we had a lot of contact to them. We’d go to their land by the river, go fishing with them, bring them salt and oil, spend weeks without any contact to ‘civilization’.”) “Memoria” recalls the victims of the 1994 bombing of the Jewish Community Centre in Buenos Aires. “La Parecida” is concerned with the music’s attempt to claim autonomy and freedom for itself, beyond service to the dance. “Los Sauces” is dedicated to Dino’s “favourite tree”, the weeping willow, “with its branches like women’s hair”. Saluzzi’s memories fan out in all directions...

Felix Saluzzi’s contributions on saxes, especially the full-throated tenor, have a rough-hewn quality that jazz observers may consider characteristically ‘Argentinean’. It should be remembered however that it was Dino Saluzzi who guided Gato Barbieri back to his roots on recordings such as 1973’s “Chapter One: Latin America”. Is there in fact a post-tango saxophone tradition? “No, no,” says Dino. “Or if there is, we started it. The important point for me is that the saxophone has its own diction, its own impulsion, and does not attempt to imitate the phrasing of the bandoneon. The same goes for the guitar and the bass. José and Matias – I have a lot of trust in them. They are very receptive and they take seriously the idea of creativity and finding your own way.”

Udine-based drummer U.T. Gandhi, born Umberto Trombetta, was brought to the group by producer Manfred Eicher, and has already toured widely with the Saluzzis. (So compatible has the combination proven that Dino is now playing in Gandhi’s new group as well). In Italy the drummer is best known for his membership of Enrico Rava’s Electric Five band. He has also played with Richard Galliano, Giancarlo Schiaffini, Gianluigi Trovesi, Tony Scott, Jack Walrath, Louis Sclavis, Stefano Bollani, and many others. Dino: “He’s really one of the best. A very open and sensitive guy. He plays differently to us yet we work very well together. Everything flows together when this group is working well. Like clear water.”