Once upon a time, when Astor Piazzolla came up with his compositions, several tangueros were quite dismissive: "This is not what we would like to dance to, this is jazz." Today, he is recognized as one of the innovators of the Tango Nuevo genre.
When I first heard Anibal Berraute´s CD “As Tangoes By”, I was quite impressed: Fresh and resolute compositions (seven from Berraute himself), presented with some jazzy flavors – but definitely contemporary tangos which hold all the tasty ingredients we would like to hear. The ensemble consisting of Anibal Berraute (piano), Walter Rios / Yukie Kawanami (bandoneon), Federico Britos (Violin), Renyel Rivero (Bass), and Tony Trapanoto (Percussion / Drums) definitely knows how to attract the audience.
If you intend to start listening, you may try “As Tangoes by” (with kind regards from Casablanca) which is a good example for Berraute´s compositions with their different facets. The melodic pattern develops with bass and piano, and attracts with its simple falling cadences played by the bandoneon in the chorus, changes the atmosphere, just to come back to the main motive and the beautiful chorus.
One of my highlights is the contemplative “Romanza”. It pleases with a very slow pas, and a beautiful melodic pattern played by bandoneon and piano, carressed by the violin. For me, it catches the mood of the last hours of a long day, until we close our eyes to find some rest.
“Tango en Siete” is different, energetic but discreet, creating a good atmosphere which invites to dance (although dancers may have a problem with the change of binary and ternary beat). “Eelna” is a beautiful vals which catches us with a fine piano melody (chopinesce, as Berraute suggested), further developed by bandoneon and violin, passed back to the piano, and so forth. The nostalgic “Milonga En Otoño” has the quality of a Piazzolla song, both by composition and arrangement – really moving. You surely have no heart when you are not touched by this piece of music
Oh yes, it is true, some songs are in fact somewhat jazzy, for example Bronisław Kaper´s “On Green Dolphin Strest”. Listen to Keith Jarret´s or Bill Evan´s version and you may appreciate the tango conversion of this old jazz standard. Definitely, Berraute´s ensemble plays it like a typical jazz standard, but you may dance it as a tango, too.
Not too surprisingly, it was the aim of the Argeninia piano player, composer, arranger and producer Anibal Berraute to combine Piazzolla´s tango brand with jazz and other flavors of music.
From my side, this “Tango Fusion” deserves much more attention!
EPSA Music (2014)
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