(Composed and arranged by Reynold D. Philipsek
2010 copyright Zino-Rephi Music BMI)
Guitars, vocals – reynold
Harmonica – Clint Hoover
Bass- Jeff Brueske
Percussion – Michael Bissonnette
There are three existing recorded versions of Astoria. The original on the “Anthology” album, a version on the East Side album of the same name, and this vocal version which is essentially a remixed version of the original with vocals added.
The song is in the Nuevo Tango style, which was popularized by the great Astor Piazzolla. The song is cast in the 3/3/2 Nuevo Tango rhythm (dotted quarter note, dotted quarter note, quarter note). The chordal rhythm is arpeggiated, which is something Piazzolla often did, and reflects his Bach influence.
I named the tune “Astoria” in honor of Piazzolla but when I created the lyrics for this song “Astoria” took on the meaning of some idyllic place, ergo the lyrics have that sort of colorful imagery.
Simplicity is the key ingredient though simplicity does not mean simple-minded. A piece of music can have a simple directness and still have an underlying subtle complexity. I am pleased with the tight concision of this record. It could almost be a “single” as prescribed during the heyday of the 45’.
BE Safe. Take Care.Reyn
Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) was an Argentinian composer and bandoneon player. He was the father of “Nuevo Tango” or new tango. To say I love his music is understatement. There is a great sense of drama in his many compositions. Though tango is basically “music of the street,” Piazzolla took tango to new heights and hardcore tango enthusiasts didn’t (and some still don’t) take to the sophistication of his approach. He studied composition with the famed Nadia Boulanger in Paris and in his hands tango became “classic” music or “serious music.” (Though I don’t really like that term.) At any rate, if anyone doesn’t yet know about Piazzolla they are in for a real treat.
One of my favorite recordings of his music is by the guitar duo of the Assad Brothers. Sergio and Odair Assad are two virtuoso Brazilians of roughly the same vintage as myself, and Piazzolla wrote the Tango Suite with them specifically in mind.
I have written, in my own humble way, three pieces that are an homage to Piazzolla and Nuevo Tango. Those three pieces are “Astoria,” “Tango Blue,” and “Reverie.” All of which can be found at iTunes, Amazon or on disc at cdbaby or by going to reynold.com and perusing my discography.