Press

‘Cuentos’ CD Reviews

(***** – 5 STARS) Pedro Giraudo’s purposeful, imaginative and inventive music has rightly gained its own following, which his Big Band’s performance of Cuentos, an album revolving around a four-part suite, is doing much to consolidate. This sixth album returns us to Mr. Giraudo’s large ensemble. It is a spectacular record. There is nothing tentative or, on the other hand, exaggeratedly flamboyant about these late works. Partly, no doubt, this is because they were preceded by the six albums in the Argentinean vein. Beside certain of his Argentinean contemporaries, the sound world is decidedly big and bold and unapologetically so, because the music radiates a sense of purpose and goal directedness that brings its own rewards. The particular works on this disc strike me as being real bullseyes as they hit home with candour and a certain grandiosity that is not necessarily a bad thing here.” Raul da Gama, LatinJazzNet.com (Full review)
Music is a perfect forum for storytelling, and once artists find the right context for their work, they can fully express themselves to varying levels of depth and detail. While the idea of storytelling often leaps right to a discussion of lyrics, that’s not the end of the line – a skillful jazz composer can infuse instrumental music with an emotionally charged narrative. Developing this amount of compositional skill can be a long process, where an artist may experiment with different instrumental compositions and musical ideas. They’ll often take the the time to find a complementary group of musicians to perform their work – this type of connection will often create a symbiotic relationship that allows the composer to write towards a musician’s strengths and enables the perform to accurately interpret the composer’s intent. It’s a long process that can produce a wealth of interesting music, but there’s a new level of artistic completion arises when a musician finds the right context for their work. On Cuentos, his first recording with a full big band, composer, bandleader, and bassist Pedro Giraudo finds the ideal setting to tell his musical tales in complete detail and broad emotional strokes.” – Chip Boaz, The Latin Jazz Corner (Full review)
Pedro Giraudo, an Argentinian bassist/composer/arranger, has led a 12-piece large ensemble in New York over 14 years and released two albums previously. This time he takes his first attempt at a full-size big band formation. The harmony becomes richer, and the compositions become more complex than ever. Made with skillful use of various Argentinian rhythms, his compositions are conceptual and original. For examples, “Angela Suite” is dedicated to his beloved daughter, and “La Ley Primera” and “El Cuento Que Te Cuento” are inspired by poems. The fusion of Argentinian music and American traditional big band jazz has begun right here.” – Tokiwa Takehiko, Lazz Life (Japan)
The album showcases a new, wild aspect of his music, in addition to the traditional Latin rhythms and symphonic sounds. This album appears to suggest a next direction of contemporary big bands. Epic compositions such as Angela Suite are lined up in the album. Recorded with John Ellis, Ryan Keberle, et al. ” Takao Fujioka, Way Out West
PEDRO GIRAUDO BIG BAND/Cuentos:  From Argentina the bass player came but this big band set isn’t loaded with Latin big band jazz, Giraudo has mastered the idiom of music of the Americas.  Tasty stuff with the feel of classic forward thinking big band, there’s nothing atavistic about the presentation or the sounds.  A real find for big band fans that just don’t need another rendition of “Cherokee”.  Check it out. ”  —  Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher, MIDWEST RECORD
The PEDRO GIRAUDO BIG BAND explores an interesting mix of challenging charts by Giraudo on Cuentos.  Giraudo, originally from Argentina, uses the rhythm and musical styles of his native land in his writing.  This album contains nine tracks, including the Angela Suite, a four-movement work dedicated to his daughter Angela.  His pieces are well conceived, and executed with precision by his crew of New York based musicians.  He carefully describes what he was trying to achieve in his liner notes, and these comments enhance the pleasurable listening experience that this music brings with it.  While Giraudo does employ Latin musical forms as a foundation, this music is not in a style that one associates with the term Latin jazz.  It is thoughtful contemporary big band music that demands attention from the listener to fully appreciate the impressive artistry of Giraudo and his musicians.  Take up the challenge, and you will be rewarded generously.”   —  Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz
Radicado en Nueva York, el genial contrabajista cordobés Pedro Giraudo acaba de publicar Cuentos, un ambicioso disco de jazz.”  —  Jose Heinz, La Voz (Full review in Spanish)

Bassist Pedro Giraudo prefers working with large ensembles for the freedom it presents with arrangements of his compositions. On Cuentos he goes even further deploying a full big band. It is well orchestrated and dynamic but not congested. The program has nine vibrant songs including the grandiose 4-part Angela Suite. All of the music is composed and arranged by Giraudo, a fine job.”   —  D. Oscar  Groomes, www.OsPlaceJazz.com


‘Córdoba’ CD Reviews

– Pedro Giraudo’s CD Córdoba has landed 4 winning categories from The Latin Jazz Corner’s  “Best of 2011” Awards!
  • 2011 Latin Jazz Large Ensemble Album Of The Year
  • 2011 Latin Jazz Boundary Breaking Album Of The Year
  • 2011 South American Jazz Album Of The Year
  • 2011 Latin Jazz Composition Of The Year
From the opening notes of his “Push Gift” Giraudo’s prodigious abilities as a composer & arranger were instantly apparent, lush orchestrations inspiring the soloist’s expansive improvisation as his engaging bass lines navigated the band through both sudden and subtle shifts in tempo and rhythm. — By Russ Musto for “The New York City Jazz Record
The rich eloquence of Giraudo’s gorgeous artistic expression flows through the music with an undeniable grace. . .through the colors of Giraudo’s finely tuned compositions.” —Chip Boaz, Latin Jazz Corner
 * * * * ” – “Giraudo’s orchestra is lithe and light on its feet [with] the leader’s highly active bass and his movement-filled arrangements.” —Downbeat Magazine
Careening instrumental textures, dovetailing riffs, shifting terra firma and individualistic solo voices . . . Giraudo takes this band on an eye-opening journey through his world.  His odyssey contains odd-metered music with intensely vibrant sounds and driving rhythms, graceful and reflective ruminations of a peaceful nature, and a Maria Schneider-esque savoir faire.” —Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
Pedro Giraudo, from Argentina, is attracting rising attention in NY with his latest CD, “Córdoba.” inspired by memories of his hometown in Argentina.  In the featured suite, he blends traditional Argentine rhythm and Jazz. The mixture of heavy ensemble and thrilling solos on top of complicated rhythms makes this suite epic.” —Takehiko Tokiwa, Jazz Life (Japan)
Giraudo’s writing for big band is propulsive, determined, dense, tense.” —LondonJazz
The arrangements are spot-on; the ensemble work of the 12-piece orchestra, breathtaking; the solos, exhilarating; and the compositions themselves, sturdy and expressive. The pieces unfold in ever-surprising ways, keeping the listener in a state of heightened anticipation”. “…Giraudo delivers music full of humanity.” —Mel Minter, Sonic Reducer
The music then thrives in richness of texture and in its myriad timbres in the joy and sorrow; gravity or flippancy of a passage through a land teeming with the simple, beautiful life. In fact Giraudo need do no more than cast a proverbial mirror on this land he so loves and transcribe the images that he sees there onto the landscape of music. This he does with the mastery of a painter daubing his canvas with a palette of sound.” —Raul Da Gama, Latin Jazz Network
Pedro Giraudo’s Orchestra is the hottest, swingingest and most exciting Latin jazz outfit to come along in years.This is the best, and most exciting, Latin jazz I’ve ever heard.” —Ric Bang, Jazz Scan
 * * * ” – “Award-winning Argentinian bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo’s latest album offers some gems that include a three-part “Pueblo (Village),” “Sol Naciente (Sun Rising)” and “Latente (Dormant).” —Jean-Keith Fagon, Capital Community News
The music, bright, emotionally satisfying and mature, is filled with exciting solos, thoughtful melodies and fine harmonies.  2011 is proving to be another banner year for large ensemble recordings and Pedro Giraudo’s CD is among the best.” —Richard B. Kamins, Step Tempest
Totally excellent Latin jazz on parade here.  All the players are inspired and the originals are worth getting invested.  This bass player is a consummate pro that knows how to make a set that just hits you between the eyes.  Played right, played tight, this is must hearing for any Latin jazz fan that fully appreciates the real deal. —Chris Spector, Midwest Record
 * * * * ” – “This album is a wonderful mix of contrasts from the beautiful horn and woodwind sections to the bass and piano. The percussion from the Cajon and drums helps to keep the beat well throughout the album. This sounds like another wonderful potential award winner for Pedro. —Mark Johnson, Sea of Tranquility

 ‘El Viaje’ CD Reviews

‘El Viaje’ sweeps top honors in Latin Jazz Corner’s “Best Of 2009 Awards”:
  • Best Latin Jazz Album (“El Viaje”)
  • Best Latin Jazz Large Ensemble Album (“El Viaje”)
  • Best Latin Jazz Composition (“El Bajonazo”)
  • Best Latin Jazz Trumpet Player (Jonathan Powell)
  • Best Latin Jazz Trombone (Ryan Keberle)
 an opulent listening experience of modern, orchestral jazz, brimming with passionate improvisations, deliberate contrapuntal melodies and plush harmonies.” — John Murph, Downbeat Magazine
With Carla Bley and Duke Ellington as root influences, Argentinean bassist-composer Pedro Giraudo’s music combines high-concept swing with subtly akimbo Latin American rhythms, witty call-and-and-response conversations, and emotional sustenance aplenty. On his recent big-band album, El Viaje, this means everything from the expansive title suite to a meditative ballad about Hiroshima.” — Richard Gehr, The Village Voice
In the Sunday Arts section of the Miami Herald, Fernando Gonzalez picks “El Viaje” among his short list of releases of contemporary Latin jazz:
Exceptional large ensemble mixing jazz, classical music and Argentine tango and folk music.”
Arrangements that are harmonically rich, rhythmically challenging and charged with emotion. The group is full of compelling soloists. If Mingus were still around, he’d love this group.” — Paul Blair, Hot House
“Giraudo’s new album, El Viaje, is a stunning example of large ensemble orchestration, proving that in a remarkably short time, the Argentine has absorbed the wisdom of such hallowed arrangers as Ellington, Gil Evans and Carla Bley and has staked out his own distinctive identity. The performances of his 12-member group are an uncommon mixture of orchestral bravado and chamber music-like structure and finesse.” — Mark Holston, LatinoMagazine.com
We are thrilled to have a review AND a track on the CD sampler that comes with the Fall 2009 issue of JAZZIZ Magazine . For an online look: Click here and in the white box at the bottom of the page, enter page 20.
Another masterwork from Giraudo, an Argentinean bassist living in New York and running one of the most impressive orchestras around here. The writing, supple and sophisticated, is an example of how a composer, especially one gleefully between traditions, can draw on an immense amount of music. It’s often brilliant, and it’s always careful. Highly recommended.” — Peter Watrous, Descarga.com
His latest, “El Viaje,” showcases his superb command of a large ensemble, as well as his broad emotional palette. Sometimes tender, sometimes brash and always arranged for maximum emotional punch.” — Hank Shteamer, Time Out New York
Giraudo’s impressions make a solid statement about living and about creative jazz. . .  this series of compositions gives jazz fans the world over a chance to celebrate.” — Jim Santella, AllAboutJazz.com
His intense, dynamic yet complex sound took the audience on a journey through nostalgic episodes and brought them back with the force of a tailwind that stirred their hearts beating and compelled them forward.  Pedro’s compositions are quite complex, but his band members have been playing with him since the orchestra’s formation, and perform as an ensemble with dazzling and exquisite harmony.” — Motoko Hasegawa, Swing Journal (Japan)
[Pedro Giraudo] created a world of sounds that went far beyond ordinary Jazz and Latin music.  Moreover, the ever-changing harmony of the ensemble, as well as the virtuoso improvisations, achieved an extraordinary organic blend.” — Takehiko Tokiwa, Jazz Life (Japan)