IuntitledTell me what’s there not to love about self-produced CD’s

Our fondness for self-produced CD’s has its roots in our respect and admiration for musician-entrepreneurs who have the initiative to take matters in their own hands and get their music “out there.”

Many of these artists do so without representation and without the help of record companies. They do so not depending on an industry that is gradually fading from the picture.

All I wish for these enterprising young artists is for them to sell lots and lots of CD’s whenever and wherever they play a gig.

I hope and pray that they don’t get stuck with boxes of unsold CD’s in their attics or basements, something unlikely to happen anyway, since most musicians live in urban spaces that have neither attics nor basements (unless they happen to live in their parents’ house.)

But I digress.

Yuri Liberzon has already produced a debut CD, which I reviewed and raved about last January on my blog. The Russian-born, naturalized American guitarist does not sit on his laurels, for less than a year later he is out with his fresh off the press ¡Acentuado!

Note that inverted Spanish exclamation mark ¡  It hints about the emphatically emotional quality of our artist and the music on this CD, whose title means “accented.”

This is not a calling card debut album with a bit of this and a bit of that, but rather an in-depth sampler of the music of Nuevo Tango Master Astor Piazolla.

What makes an old dance form born well over a century ago in the dives and digs of Buenos Aires “nuevo” (Spanish for new) is essentially the lifetime labor of the late Astor Piazolla.  This kind of tango is not for dancing but for sitting and having a drink with someone you like or love or both and talking and maybe crying and reminiscing and laughing a little and making love.

Cuban guitarist Manuel Barrueco gave Liberzon six pieces originally conceived for solo flute by Piazzolla and adapted by Barrueco for solo guitar. The set of six studies bear French titles, translated here as Decidedly, Anxiously and Freely, Very Markedly and Energetically, Slow and Meditatively, Without Indication, and Anxiously.

In case the reader wonders how our guitarist would want to or could even play “anxiously” and not make a mess of the music let me suggest you buy the CD to dispel any doubts as to the “duende” of Yuri Liberzon. As a teaser, check out Liberzon’s website: https://www.yuriguitar.com There you shall find links to a couple of this album’s tracks and, what’s better, you’ll be able to order an MP3 download of it or, better, a hard copy.

But beyond musicality (what one does to the music) and musicianship (what one must have in order to do anything to the music) and technique (without which you better get a day job and forget about the music), there must be that which the Spaniards call “duende.”

Call it magic, passion, fire, expressiveness – it is in Spain the term for playing with fire in the belly. Liberzon has that. In spades.

In the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th tracks, the guitarist sets out to tell Piazzolla’s four-movement History of the Tango and its journey from a 1900 River Plate bordello to a slightly tonier 1930’s Buenos Aires café to a trendy 1960’s nightclub to a dressed up concert of today in which the humbly-born tango is finally welcomed in polite society without losing any of its syncopated backbone.

Flautist Josué Casillas makes a very fine contribution to the album, bringing purely solid technique, a lovely singing tone and a keen flair for the down-home soul of the tango. I hope these two guys can get together again on some of the Bach sonatas for flute and guitar plus some other Baroque beauties.

Here’s wishing Yuri Liberzon many gigs, many sales of his CD and also here’s hoping for a third and upcoming CD in collaboration with his flautist friend.

Rafael de Acha


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