Ástor Piazzolla was seen as „a nutter with strange ideas and pointless modernisms“ at the beginning of his career in his home country Argentina, hated by traditionalists and purists, who saw the universe of tango on a slippery slope by the manner in which he combined elements and ways of performing techniques used by jazz and modernists, fusing musical directions that appeared from the outside to be opposite, and by doing so creating a new style of Tango, not really meant to dance along with, but designed for a carefully listening audience. Piazzolla’s Tango Nuevo however never looses the romantic side, nor the passion, drama, eroticism and intensity of the traditional tango.
Three years after his birth in 1921 in the city of Mar del Plata, Argentina, Ástor Piazzolla moved with his Italian parents to New York. His father opened a barber shop in Greenwich Village and fought against his homesickness by listening to tango recordings, day and night. Ástor’s musical talent was recognized and he received piano lessons and in the same time bandonéon lessons, more for his father than himself: Ástor’s passion at the time was really jazz – and Johann Sebastian Bach, not tango. „My father listens to tango all the time and is thinking back to Buenos Aires, his family, his friends – his melancholy, his upset is Tango, always Tango“.