Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman teamed up with Argentine tango-jazz act ESCALANDRUM to pay tribute to Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player and arranger Ástor Piazzolla on April 9 at the Usina del Arte’s Sala Sinfónica in Buenos Aires. The concert featured such songs as "Tangueria", "Vayamos Al Diablo", "Oblivion", "Adiós Nonino", "Libertango" and Friedman's own "Undertow".
Video footage of Marty's pre-show interview with the Argentinian TV channel CN23 can be seen below. Also available is footage of the entire performance.
Friedman said that he discovered Piazzolla's music through his wife, Japanese cellist Hiyori Okuda.
"It's all very coincidental because just when I started listening to his music, I got a call from my friend Rodrigo (from the Mexican guitar-duo RODRIGO Y GABRIELA) and he said, 'Dude, let's do a Piazzolla song together,' and I was, like, 'You're kidding! I just heard about him and he is so fantastic!'" Friedman told the Buenos Aires Herald. "Shortly after, I was invited to play with ESCALANDRUM during my stay in Buenos Aires and that just blew me away."
He continued: "I'm still new to Piazzolla's music because I don't really favor older music, I'm very much into the current Japanese pop music scene."
As for the appeal of Piazzolla's works, Friedman said: "I believe Piazzolla's music has shameless pop melodies in it, something I can really relate to.
"If you think about it, the main theme on 'Adiós Nonino' could be turned into a Britney Spears hit song. Yet, at the same time, the song features chaotic textures and complex arrangements that make the pop stuff sound so much more beautiful. I feel very close to him in that sense."
He added: "People usually wonder angrily why am I so into pop music, but if they could take the time to listen to my work with J-pop bands, they would see there's a method to all the madness. Not that I'm even close to putting myself on the same league as Piazzolla, but I truly feel a relation."