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Pablo Ablanedo Octet :: Jazz is Still a Vibrant and Diverse Sound
by Beatrice S. Richardson

Bossa Nova, Cubop, Calpso, Salsa, Tango, Cha-Cha-Cha, Almost since the beginning of jazz Latin Rhythms have spiced up the music. Latin can be a misleading word. Latin jazz is a catchall phrase that refers to merges of American music. Such a merger has taken place with the Pablo Albanedo Octet.The octet is lead by Pablo Albanedo who encompasses some of the best jazz compositions that are definitely jazz but distinctly Argentinean.

Jazzquad:How did you get your start in the jazz business?

PA: I studied music when I was 16 or 17, I was very enthusiastic about it. I studied different types of music, I love the flavor of jazz and classical music;It was right after high school that I started seriously studying piano and composition with Edgardo Beilin,Manuel Fraga and Marcelo Braga and classical composition with Enrique Cipolla. I had the opportunity to continue to pursue my musicial studies at Berklee, after finishing there I began to put a lot of things together including the CD"From Down There".

Jazzquad: What led you to use the unusual combination of so many instruments? The violin, trumpet, two reeds, guitar, piano, bass and drums...

PA: The combination was the result of trying to find and get the sound I need to compose such as: bringing the violin together with the horns. It gives me a contrast and a different kind of color while providing technical techiques. It's basically the result of the search for the song that I envision in my head, the song that I needed to listen to.

Jazzquad: It's such a diverse group of talented young musicians. How was it founded?

PA: It was little by little, I started with a quartet and brought several persons together. When I started with a sextet I was not satisfied with the limitations of six instruments. It was a long and painful process. I found many who were good musicians but I continued to choose the right instrument and the group. We play a lot of time before going to the studio, that was one of my goals. I don't like going to the studio without the musicians knowing what they are going to record. Every performance has to be in time and every beat must be fine tuned.

Jazzquad: You recently signed with the Barcelona based record label Fresh Sound New Talent. Tell us about this new union.

PA: Fresh Sound New Talent released "From Down Under". Before I signed I recorded the music with Frederik Rubens. He came to one of our performances in New York and offered to record the music. He has become number nine of the octet. He introduced us to Fresh Sound New Talent and offered us the opportunity to record for them. We are now going to record together again.

Jazzquad: Do you compose all the music?

PA: Yes, I compose all of the music for the octet.

Jazzquad:The South American rhythms and styles in the octet, an Argentinean Tango, Zamba and Chacarera with a jazz lineage, What prompt the crossing of such a sound?

PA: It's something that becomes natural. I was a professional musician for a long time and I was searching for something that would present and reflect my ideas and emotions. That's what makes the strange mix of Argentinean,jazz, and classical music. I really don't force the music in one or other direction. I try to fill my needs of expression.

Jazzquad: How do you manage to balance your career as a professional musician, a teacher and composer?

PA: Yes, I don't know if it's balanced(laughs) I try, besides studying english(laughs). I try to be very busy, if I don't do that nothing will be possible.It's important that I am disciplined in my time to practice, to compose, to teach, manage the group, organize the concerts and promote the materials while also dealing with the business.

Jazzquad: You're wearing a lot of hats.

PA: Yes,I am (laughter)I hope to find a booking agent, It can be overwhelming. One of my goals for the year is to bring the Octet group to Europe. But I find I need others to manage that. I don't want to find myself in a situation where I'm booking the group to play the music that I compose.

Jazzquad: You studied the mind/body CAPTO piano method with Susana Bonora. How has the method and techniques influenced your piano performances?

PA: Totally! Susana changed my life with her teaching. I still take classes with her every time I go to Argentina or study with her when she is in the United States conducting a workshop on her method. All my teachings, my work, my music, my composing go with my work with Susana. She has taught the method of mind/body CAPTO piano method. These techniques have encouraged me to teach piano and composition and given me the opportunity to have my students learn parts of the CAPTO method.

Jazzquad: I understand you had 2 articles published in the music magazine "El Musiquero" about the pianist Bill Evans and his music. Was he one of your earliest influences?

PA: Yes, Bill Evans was of my earlist influences,I had an obsession of his music. The first time I listened to him, it was something that I was looking for and I opened up a little. I transcribed and analyzed a lot of his music. Everything made sense. It's content was very organized, emotional and impressive.What he brings out was very fascinating. I also love classical music and have copied the style of the masters. My early influences include: Astor Piazzoolla, Egberto Gismonti, Bill Evans and Igor Stravinsky.

Jazzquad: Where do you think jazz is going?

PA: Jazz today is very healthy, many people are very broad so it's hard to define. It's positive. When something is moving its because its alive, when something is hard to define its because its growing. I don't know where it's going but it looks good and feels good. So many people are doing so many things in jazz today. I think about the music of jazz and where it's going not so much about the marketing but how the music is composed.

Jazzquad: You have quite a schedule-Where do you see Pablo Ablanedo in the next 5 years?

PA: Most of my performances are in NewYork with the octet. We are looking for new concerts. I am very happy with what I'm doing now.I just hope that I can keep doing this and everything grows. I see myself playing the piano and composing for my group and maybe doing all of this in an easier situation. I'm very happy doing what I love to do. The group was founded in 1999,with the format we have I can only see us making a major contribution to the music of jazz.

published 30.06.2005 2005 jazz news :: home page

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