Legendary tango performer and composer Astor Piazzolla gained experience of jazz in New York and classical form and technique through studies with Alberto Ginastera. His work lends itself perfectly to arrangement for all kinds of ensemble, and this is the first recording with solo trombone. These popular pieces showcase the stunning playing of multi-award winning soloist Achilles Liarmakopoulos in a variety of moods, including the famous Oblivion, and Le Grand Tango, a virtuoso show-stopper originally written for cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
"The award-winning, Greek-born trombonist (a permanent player with Canadian Brass) serenades and scampers with seductively sweet tones in popular, jerky tango rhythms used by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). Assisting the soloist are backing musicians ranging from solo guitar in two parts of Histoire du Tango, to a string quartet in the Serie del Angel, with bandoneon (Hector del Curto) and marimba notable in places. Included is Le Grand Tango, written as a virtuoso item for Rostropovich on cello, and now a brilliant tour de force for trombone and piano (Robert Thompson).
Highlight: magnificent trombone swoops in Michelangelo ’70 herald dazzling performances."
Geoff Adams - Otago Daily Times - March 2012
"...Achilles Liarmakopoulos does not show off, does not squeeze surplus emotion out of the music. His performance is noble. He demonstrates rare restraint, considering it’s his debut disc; on first discs people usually want to impress and not necessarily with the music. The recording is clean and good. The trombone does not achieve a completely resolved blend with all the instruments, but you probably wouldn’t expect it. It is placed forwardly.
This disc definitely serves as a good introduction to Piazzolla: I am sure it will only spur further interest. For those who know this composer, it can come as an interesting alternative to the more “standard” readings. The music of Piazzolla suits the trombone surprisingly well, especially when the instrument’s voice soars so expressively, as in Oblivion or Milonga del Angel. I doubt that anyone would be unmoved when this happens."
Oleg Ledeniov - musicweb-international.com - 5 April 2012
"A swinging, sultry collection of arrangements of the Tango King’s music showcasing the exceptional talent of Greek trombonist Achilles Liamakopoulos" ****
Terry Blain - BBC Music magazine - March 2012