Evidence of Friday's mid-afternoon showers still gleamed here and there on the Cistern's folding chairs as we made our way into Aca Seca Trio's sound check. The Argentines did not appear to be suffering from any dampened spirits as their mics were being set in place and they ran through their checklists.
Pianist Andrés Beeuwsaert, in particular, seemed to be having a blast on the Steinway, limbering up with some very tidy jazz improvisations riffing on classical music themes. He was also the one bounding around later, snapping cellphone pictures of his bandmates on the Cistern stage.
We'd have to wait until the evening's performance to hear any of their songs and that turned out to be a treat worth waiting for.
The Trio's take on traditional folk music forms of their native Argentina, as well as Uruguay and Brazil brought us a whole new perspective on this music. Jazzy, yes, but on the light jazz side. Spiced with new-agey themes, too. Their music is a whole new category of traditional "folklore" (as Argentine folk music is called). In this country, We suppose the rough equivalent of what they're doing would be "Americana."So —Argentiniana? Naw. We'll leave the naming to someone else.
It's when their voices come together in harmony that the Trio lift themselves and their audience into sublimely emotional heights. Singing a cappella with Cantero's bombo drum and the boys pitching in simple rhythmic backing on hand instruments, Aca Seca's encore sealed the deal, making true believers out of more than a few grinning concert-goers.
There's one more chance to see them Saturday evening. And we really do hope this is only the first of their visits to the Holy City.