There is this tenderly, jazzy lounge saxophone playing this song we all know quite well, a piano caressing the beautiful melody, a bandoneon, a contrabass, and a grand concert harp... playing “Por una cabeza”. Maybe we would expect some more violins, and the voice of Carlos Gardel. But no, what Quadro Nuevo play is quite different from what we may expect. That´s what happens when musicians from Munich decide to give their music a try in Buenos Aires, and get this virulent infection with the tango virus: They may find their own way to interpret the tango.
Of course the Quadro Nuevo musicians already do have a story, they are no newcomers, they already have played tangos before . They described their early sound as rather European than Argentinian, i.e., a bit flamenco, a bit Italiana, a bit 60th jazz. Then in 2014 they made this trip to Buenos Aires, get in contact with the dancers, played with local musicians, talked all nights long, drank some red wine – and they were prepared for this album “inspired by Buenos Aires”.
We hear Mulo Francel (saxophone, clarinet, guitar), D.D. Lowka (contrabass, percussion), Andreas Hinterseher (bandoneon, accordion, vibrandoneon), Evelyn Huber (grand concert harp, salterio), and Chris Gall (Piano) playing songs ranging from classical tango evergreens such as “La Cumparsita”, “Por una cabeza”, “Volver” or “El Día Que Me Quieras” to new songs writtten by the ensemble´s musicians Mulo Francel, D.D. Lowka, Andreas Hinterseher and Chris Gall. Fifteen inspired tango and milonga interpretations with lot of playfulness on the one hand (i.e., Mariano Mores´s vibrant “Taquito Militar”), and with sensitive melancholia on the other hand (the beautiful “El Titiritero” by pianist Chris Gall).
On the first take it is strange to hear the sound of a jazzy saxophone as a lead instrument playing tango tunes, but then is turns to be one of the trademarks of this great ensemble adding a unique color which makes the difference.
A further plus: For those who like lovingly designed albums, the booklet has some great photographs of the ensemble playing in Buenos Aires, atmospheric views and curious situations, and informative explanations to their songs. Not surprisingly, their 2015 album received the German Jazz Award by the German Phono Society!