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«Sanguinetti plays Radiohead: Cómo desaparecer completamente»

The songs of the British band Radiohead have a unique appeal to many jazz musicians, mainly pianists, who keep offering their personal interpretations. Brad Mehldau covered «Exit Music (For A Film)» and «Knives Out», Yaron Herman offered his version to «No Surprises», Robert Glasper interpreted «Everything In Its Right Place» and the Bad Plus trio revisited «Karma Police». Danish pianist Jakob Anderskov released his own «Impressions of Radiohead» album (Ilk Music, 2014), explaining his choice: «I hear their compositional approaches as parallel to those of Wayne Shorter and Johannes Brahms, in the way the melodic and harmonic sensibilities are unified, the way harmonies are colors (not information), and in the way form emerges from needs as much as from architectural considerations».

Argentinian pianist Marco Sanguinetti suggests another approach of interpreting Radiohead songs, more expansive and ambitious one, sometimes even a radical one. Sanguinetti wants to offer more than an admirer tribute or another perspective of an improvising jazz pianist to these songs but to reimagine these songs as his own songs, to Argentinize these songs core identities. He already recorded some of these songs with his now-defunct jazz trio, focusing on Radiohead’s album «Kid A» (this trio also recorded Pink Floyd’s classic «Dark Side of the Moon»). But on his fifth solo album, «Cómo desaparecer completamente» (in Spanish: How to disappear completely, the name of Radiohead song from the album «Kid A»), he revisits 16 Radiohead songs, covering songs from all Radiohead albums with the same group of musicians who played with him on previous album, 8, his imaginary soundtrack of his home town, Buenos Aires (Acqua Records, 2014).

Sanguinetti strips these songs from the ethereal atmospherics that are an essential element of Radiohead sound and suggests tougher, earthier yet fiery-passionate versions, embraced by the swinging-Latin pulses of drummer Tomás Babjaczuk and imaginative samples of DJ Migma. When revisiting some of the most well-known hit songs like «Creep», Sanguinetti consciously avoids replicating the anthem-like narratives that aims to reach cathartic, emotional release and plays a much more complex and reserved game with the passionate drama, offering a more ambiguous thoughts, somehow even ironic ones about the ongoing drama. Only on the title-song, «How to disappear completely», he surrenders to Radiohead clear, dramatic course, still, letting the commanding delivery of Milena L’Argentiere take the leading role. Sanguinetti reimaginations of other Radiohead songs like «Black Star», «Paranoid android» and «Nude» do sound like elegant suites for the piano that enable him to abstract and expand the songs original, rich harmonic structures and adapt the solid rhythm to a more loose, propulsive pulse.

Warmly recommended.

Eyal Hareuveni

Marco Sanguinetti (p. harm), DJ Migma (turntable), Tomás Babjaczuk (dr), Pablo Butelman (g), Milena L’Argentiere (v)


  1. Nicolobo Ramos

    Great review. I had the chance to see Sanguinetti at the Bebop Club in Buenos Aires earlier this year. Wonderful experience. A great great pianist very well sided by the outstanding DJ Migma and the more than solid Babjaczuk. It seems to me that Butelman plays in the record more than I remember from the show (which is good!). L’Argentiere has a voice quite sympathetic with the Radiohead aura and the somewhat current trend in female vocalists. I agree with the warm recommendation!


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