Pablo Ablanedo Octet (o)
Creative Nation Music ***1/2

Think jazz with an Argentinian connection and perhaps a bandone√≥n springs to mind or reflect on the huge influence Astor Piazzolla has cast over jazz and improvised music. Buenos Aires-born pianist Ablanedo‚Äôs US-based octet is different. As exuberant and spirited as a Piazzolla or a Dino Saluzzi, but also reaching out far beyond their tango-derived sound into the maelstrom of pulsating contemporary jazz at the same time, ReContraDoble works at a very technical level even if it does not lose any impression of spontaneity. The Boston-based octet here (plus two guests, confusingly) follow certain fixed schemes with the title track and ‚ÄėAntiphona‚Äô based on an Argentine folk scale and two melody lines running in opposition to each other like a mirroring effect. But don‚Äôt let the analysis get in the way. Of the instrumentalists Phil Grenadier, Mehldau bassist Larry Grenadier‚Äôs brother, plays beautifully on ‚ÄėAntiphona‚Äô and ‚ÄėLas Buenas Nuevas‚Äô, and it‚Äôs a highly accomplished group performance that simmers so very satisfyingly throughout.