Wolfgang Haffner has now arrived at tango. The drummer and composer and his "trusted" collaborators Lars Danielsson (bass and cello) from Sweden and Christopher Dell (vibraphone) from Darmstadt, but also other musicians like Simon Oslender (piano) and Ulf Wakenius (guitar) have written 8 new pieces, which are somehow some “kind of tango". They play with the basic elements and create something new - interpreted as jazz pieces whose melodic, harmonic and rhythmic structures leave plenty of room for wonderful improvisational excursions. Rodríguez's classic "La Cumparsita" is not recognizable at first glance, and Piazzolla's "Libertango" is also different than expected (it turned out to be too "loungy" for me). Two other pieces by Piazzolla ("Close your Eyes and Listen" and "Chiquilín de Bachín") fit well into the musicians' excursions, because 70 years ago Piazzolla dared to go in the opposite direction into jazz.
Is that jazz or is it a bit of tango? - Hard to say. The boundaries are clearly blurred. Both are there and intertwined. It is a pleasure to accompany the voyage of discovery. There are wonderful new pieces one can enjoy listening spellbound as the musicians interpret the motifs further. Great guest musicians such as Bill Evans (no, not the jazz veteran, but the saxophonist), Vincent Peirani (accordion), Lars Nilsson (flugelhorn) and Sebastian Studnitzly (trumpet) calmly set their outstanding accents, so that there is no tonal boredom (as one may feeling while listening to some other tango ensembles). It can be assumed that the musicians really don't care whether the 'locos del tango' let themselves be lured onto the dance floor or whether they stand on the edge with their arms crossed. It would be quite sad for the dancers to remain stubborn, as they would miss wonderful songs like "Respiro", "Tango Magnifique", "Tres Hermanos" and "Recuerdos" (featuring Peirani's accordion and Danielsson's double bass solo) or the deeply sad but wonderful " Chiquilin de Bachín”. – Jazz can be exciting too!
Artist´s website: https://wolfganghaffner.de/