I discovered Astor Piazzolla yesterday, while I was researching the artist for my blog post and as soon as I heard the music I was very intrigued by his style, because it was unlike any music I'd heard before. I was captivated by the way in which he invoked emotion and tension into his music.
Astor Piazzola was a tango composer and bandoneón player from Argentina but he spent a great part of his childhood in New York. His style was very original in the way that it included elements of jazz and classical music in tango music, and so it was this style that gave birth to the term, nuevo tango. His revolutionary style of tango made him so popular that he came to be known in Argentina as, El Gran Astor (The great Astor). When he was a young musician, he studied with the composer, Alberto Ginastera, and this led to him temporarily giving up his passion for tango to become a modernist classical composer. Nevertheless, he ended up abandoning this career to go back to Argentina and form the Octeto Buenos Aires in order to focus on his interest in tango. His very original style of tango made him unpopular among some Argentines because it went against the famous Argentinian saying, "in Argentina everything may change — except the tango”. His music was very popular among liberal Argentines who were campaigning for political change in Argentina because they felt that his musical style reflected their desire for change. His music was also very popular in Europe and North America.
If you'd like to listen to more samples of his music on Amazon, here are the links: The Soul Of Tango - Greatest Hits, The Best Of Astor Piazzolla, Tango: Zero Hour, The New Tango: Recorded At The Montreux Festival (this album features another artist aswell), Vuelvo Al Sur (Electronic Remix By Koop) (this album also features another artist), Piazzolla: Suite Punta del Este (many other artists are involved in this album), Libertango, La Cumparsita, Live In Colonia, 1984, Edición Crítica: En Persona (this album includes another artist), Tangos & Milongas (this album also features another artist), Tango: Zero Hour, Adios Nonino and 4 Seasons de Buenos Aires.