© 2018 Guillermo Nojechowicz

 

 

ABOUT

 
About Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933

EL ECO with Guillermo Nojechowicz   
Featuring Helio Alves, Fernando Huergo, Kim Nazarian,

Marco Pignataro & Brian Lynch


I am so happy to listen and to honestly say that this is a beautiful and important record.

          — Jazz vocalist Luciana Souza

 

Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 is the long-awaited new CD from Argentinean drummer-composer Guillermo Nojechowicz and his jazz ensemble EL ECO. The disk is being released by Zoho Music, the Grammy-winning New York-based jazz label.

 

The project was inspired by a remnant of Guillermo’s family history, the passport that his grandmother carried when she fled Warsaw for Argentina in 1933 along with her small son. Crossing Europe by train, they left behind everything familiar to face the unknown in Buenos Aires — a trip that spared them from the Holocaust, when so many others in their community later perished. The Latin jazz suite that chronicles their long, uncertain journey is the centerpiece of EL ECO’s new recording, Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933.


Featured on the album are EL ECO ensemble members Brazilian pianist Helio Alves (Joe Henderson, Yo-Yo Ma), Argentinean bassist Fernando Huergo (Antonio Sanchez, Dave Liebman), Italian saxophonist Marco Pignataro (Eddie Gomez, George Garzone), and vocalist Kim Nazarian (New York Voices). They are joined by Grammy award winning guest trumpeter Brian Lynch (Eddie Palmieri). Guillermo has played with Claudio Roditi, Romero Lubambo, Donny McCaslin, and Airto Moreira, the master Brazilian drummer who played with jazz legend Miles Davis.

 

He and the band are joined on several tunes by Italian accordionist Roberto Cassan, who sadly passed away shortly after this recording. The album also includes percussion by Argentinean drummer Franco Pinna, with string arrangements by pianist Nando Michelin, performed by Megumi Stohs Lewis (violin), Ethan Wood (violin), Sarah Darling (viola), and Leo Eguchi (cello).

 

A drummer who plays with the ear of a composer, Guillermo wrote most of the material on this new release. With percussive drive and lyric focus, EL ECO’s music digs deep into straight-ahead jazz, punctuated by a deep respect for the complexity of Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms darkened, occasionally, by echoes of Piazolla. Here that reverberates with the certainty of the past, stretching back into a time of fear and flight and the fragility of survival.

 

The evocative sound of Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 is already capturing attention. “There is something very powerful in these compositions,” said internationally renowned composer Osvaldo Golijov. “Excellent material – and great musicians!” said Oscar-winning film composer Gustavo Santaolalla (Motorcycle Diaries, Babel). “And I love that the music is rooted in personal identity - something that I always try to include in what I do.”

 
Credits for Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933

1. Milonga Para Los Niños
With: Guillermo Nojechowicz, Helio Alves, Fernando Huergo, Kim Nazarian, Marco Pignataro. Featuring: Roberto Cassan

2. Trains
With: Guillermo Nojechowicz, Helio Alves, Fernando Huergo, Kim Nazarian
Featuring: Megumi Stohs Lewis, Ethan Wood, Sarah Darling, Leo Eguchi

3. Europe 1933
With: Guillermo Nojechowicz, Helio Alves, Fernando Huergo, Kim Nazarian
Featuring: Roberto Cassan, Megumi Stohs Lewis, Ethan Wood, Sarah Darling, Leo Eguchi

4. Puerto de Buenos Aires
With: Guillermo Nojechowicz, Helio Alves, Fernando Huergo, Kim Nazarian, Marco Pignataro. Featuring: Brian Lynch, Roberto Cassan, Franco Pinna  

5. Berimbao’s Baby
With: Guillermo Nojechowicz, Helio Alves, Kim Nazarian
Featuring: Franco Pinna

6. The Unknown Road
With: Guillermo Nojechowicz, Helio Alves, Fernando Huergo, Kim Nazarian, Marco Pignataro. Featuring: Brian Lynch

7. I Loved You Too
With: Guillermo Nojechowicz, Helio Alves, Fernando Huergo, Kim Nazarian, Marco Pignataro. Featuring: Brian Lynch

8. The Possibility of Change
With: Guillermo Nojechowicz, Helio Alves, Fernando Huergo, Marco Pignataro
Featuring: Brian Lynch, Franco Pinna

9. Bebe
With: Guillermo Nojechowicz, Helio Alves, Fernando Huergo

10: Friday Night Mambo
With: Guillermo Nojechowicz, Helio Alves, Fernando Huergo, Kim Nazarian, Marco Pignataro. Featuring: Brian Lynch, Franco Pinna

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10 composed by Guillermo Nojechowicz
Track 8 composed by Fernando Huergo
Track 9 composed by Hermeto Pascoal
Tracks 2, 3 string arrangements by Nando Michelin

Produced by Guillermo Nojechowicz
Associate Producer Fernando Huergo
Executive Producer Joachim “Jochen” Becker
Recorded by Kyle Cassel
Additional Recording by Matt Hayes at Wellspring Sound, Acton, MA
Mastered by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Recording, New York, NY
Art Direction & Package Design by Chris Drukker
Additional Design by Eike Wintzer and Laurie Covens
Photography by Jon Beckley
Additional Photography by Alfonso Pagano and Maya Nojechowicz

About El Eco

EL ECO, one of the pioneers of Latin jazz in Boston, is led by Argentinean drummer-composer Guillermo Nojechowicz. Their appearance at the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival marks the debut of Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933, their long-awaited new CD just released by Zoho Music, a record that jazz vocalist Luciana Souza has called “beautiful and important.”

 

Guillermo wrote most of the material on this new release. It was inspired by his grandmother’s journey out of Warsaw in 1933, a trip that spared her and her small son from the Holocaust, when so many in their community later perished.

 

EL ECO’s elegant fusion of Brazilian-Argentinean jazz digs deep into straight-ahead jazz, punctuated by a deep respect for the complexity of Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms darkened by echoes of Piazzola.

 

In addition to Guillermo (Claudio Roditi, Donny McCaslin), the band’s members include Brazilian pianist Helio Alves (Joe Henderson, Yo-Yo Ma), Argentinean bassist Fernando Huergo (Antonio Sanchez, Dave Liebman), Italian saxophonist Marco Pignataro (Eddie Gomez, George Garzone), and vocalist Kim Nazarian (New York Voices). On Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933, they are joined by Grammy award winning guest trumpeter Brian Lynch (Eddie Palmieri), as well as Italian accordionist Roberto Cassan, who sadly passed away shortly after this recording.

 

Guillermo also composed the material for the band’s earlier CD, Two Worlds, immersed in the chacarera of Argentina, the candombe of Uruguay, and the samba of Brazil. One piece – Chacarera de Paloma – was dedicated to a friend who became one of the “desaparecidos” lost in Argentina’s dirty war. Another tune – Uruguay – was written as a tribute to the place where he spent many summers.

 

Of that record, Fernando Gonzalez wrote, “If the results sound organic, lived-in, it is because they reflect a life experience that is not just bilingual but bicultural. This is music from a place with blurred boundaries: a place of memories, echoes, and startling newness."

 

In addition to being featured on NPR’s Jazz Set, EL ECO has performed at the Regattabar and at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, the Blue Note in New York City, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Festival performances have included Telluride Jazz Celebration, where the line-up featured Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard; Freihofer’s Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, produced by the legendary George Wein; the Montreal Jazz Festival; the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival; and the Curação North Sea Jazz Festival, where the line-up featured Jon Faddis and Richard Bona.

 

EL ECO guest artists have included Claudio Roditi (trumpet), Luciana Souza (vocals), Romero Lubambo (guitar), Donny McCaslin (sax), Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica), Airto Moreira (percussion), Osmany Paredes (piano), Nando Michelin (piano), Jay Ashby (trombone, percussion), Diego Urcola (trumpet), Avishai Cohen (trumpet), John Lockwood (acoustic bass), Doug Johnson (piano), and Bruno Raberg (acoustic bass).  

 

Past EL ECO band members have included Olga Roman (vocals), Dario Eskenazi (piano), Rachel Z. Hakim (piano), Alain Mallet (piano), Yorai Oron (bass), Philip Hamilton (vocals), Naoki Matsuura (bass) and Lionel Girardeau (bass).

About the Musicians

 

Bandleader Guillermo Nojechowicz is the percussive drive behind EL ECO’s elegant fusion of Brazilian Argentinean jazz. Combining samba and candombe with the tighter lines of straight-ahead jazz, he is a master of all the idioms, including Cuban, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Funk – and of course, tango. A drummer who plays with the ear of a composer, Guillermo wrote most of the material on Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933.

 

He has performed with Claudio Roditi, Donny McCaslin, Jon Faddis, Danilo Perez, Airto Moreira, Luciana Souza, Romero Lubambo, Carly Simon, Walter Vanderlei, and Pedro Aznar, among others.

 

Vocalist Kim Nazarian is an integral part of EL ECO’s sound, especially because Guillermo often writes for voice as an instrument, sans lyrics. A co-founder of New York Voices, Kim is a passionate performer and polished, expansive soloist, bringing a dynamic sound palette to the band. With the penetrating timbre of her voice and her sometimes near-theatrical reach, Kim brings heart to every EL ECO performance. 

 

The other key component is EL ECO's bassist Fernando Huergo (Tom Harrell, David Sanchez), Guillermo’s fellow Argentinean.  A formidable musician, Fernando plays from a very deep knowledge of those Latin grooves so characteristic of Guillermo’s composition - the Argentinean 6/8 chacarera, the Brazilian samba, the Uruguayan candombe, and Afro-Cuban feels. An infallible and very creative jazz player and soloist, Fernando has been a core member of EL ECO for close to two decades.

Originally from Brazil, pianist Helio Alves is an extraordinarily virtuosic player. He brings exciting energy to every live performance. Formerly a part of the Joe Henderson Brazilian Project, Helio performed with Yo-Yo Ma on his Brazilian project recording, and is currently touring with Brazilian jazz vocalist Joyce Moreno. He spins melodic ideas into dizzying solos that always surprise.

 

Saxman Marco Pignataro (Eddie Gomez, George Garzone) is a dynamic, lyrical player who brings a particularly soulful sound to EL ECO in his tenor and soprano work. He embraces every tune with warm intensity. Marco is also managing director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, of which renowned pianist Danilo Perez (Wayne Shorter, John Patittuci) is artistic director.

Joining EL ECO on Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 is Grammy-Award winning trumpeter Brian Lynch (Art Blakey, Eddie Palmieri), who brings a sophisticated sound and a deep understanding of the crossover between jazz and Latin music.  A 2017 Grammy Nominee for Latin Jazz, Brian has been called “a major post-bop trumpet stylist.”    

Other featured artists on Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 include Italian accordionist Roberto Cassan, who sadly passed away shortly after this recording. The album also includes percussion by Argentinean drummer Franco Pinna, with string arrangements by pianist Nando Michelin and  performed by Megumi Stohs Lewis (violin), Ethan Wood (violin), Sara Darling (viola), and Leo Eguchi (cello).