Adrián Iaies & Michael Zisman: 'Round Midnight
Adrián Iaies & Michael Zisman
Vals de la 81st & Columbus (Sunnyside 1192)
Recorded: Buenos Aires, January 29-31, 2008
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
The keyboard-based accordion has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, but we still hardly ever see its cousin, the bandoneón, on jazz CDs. What a shame. The latter instrument, associated with tango music, has the right personality for jazz. Even at its most romantic, the bandoneón possesses an acerbic, ironic attitude lurking just below the surface, and this tension between warmth and distance has long been a productive formula for great jazz. Michael Zisman is a young master of the instrument, having taken first place in the bandoneón category at last year's international accordion competition. Zisman joins Adrián Iaies here, and completely transforms "'Round Midnight" from the moment he enters. The interaction between the two players captures the perfect balance between jazz and tango sensibilities. Iaies's solo piano intro takes on a moody cast, but Zisman makes this midnight setting seem positively dangerous. Someone might be lurking around the corner with a knife, and the couple strolling toward you may be lovers or thieves, who can tell? In an ocean of Monkfish covers, this one is a real catch, standing out for its fresh take on a familiar standard.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia