Mittwoch, 21. Januar 2015

Ezequiel Uhart Quinteto: “Tango Asesinos”

Ezequiel Uhart is one of those young musicians who have studied bandoneon and tango arrangements, and turns out to be an interesting composer of very vital contemporary tangos. The new album of the Ezequiel Uhart Quinteto “Tangos Asesinos” combines influences of traditional tangos and the nuevo style. The music is always `typical´ (in a good way), and thus invites the dancers with their specific expectations.

The transparent sound of the album is due to Ezequiel Uhart (bandoneón), Juan Ignacio Esteguy (piano), Pedro Sotelo (violin), Federico Ghazarossian (double-bass), and Pedro Cecchi (electric guitar) – and singer such as Ariel Brukman (in “Jugador”, “Luciernaga”, “Paquito y sus Manzanas”, “Pibito”, “Puente Pueyrredon”, and “Que si que no” ), Javier Cardenal Dominguez (in “Mal Dia”) and Anita Co (in the vals “Quien te dice”).

“Tango Asesinos” comes up with a bunch of 12 different songs (two instrumentals), ranging from vibrant milongas to beautiful slow tangos, all written by Ezequiel Uhart. “Milonga Para no Volver” for example is a Piazzollaesque atmospheric instrumental with beautiful melodies (inclusively jazzy guitar solo) and passionate peaks with the full “orchestra” - for me, one of the outstanding songs of this album. Providing some contrast, the syncopated “Paquito y sus Manzanas” offers ab intensive interpretation by vocalist Ariel Brukman, and dramatic rhythmic eruptions of the band.

What I like most is that these tangos have dynamic rhythmic arrangements with a clear pulse, and seductive melodies. The involvement of Ariel Brukman as a singer (reminds me somewhat of Daniel Melingo) is a piece of luck for the quintet, because he adds a very unique dimension which attracts the listener of great songs.     

When Ariel Uhart stated that “the Quintet´s idea is to compose new tangos that are danceable, without depriving the exclusively listening public from musical richness”, one has to admit that he is right. - These songs invite to dance, and are beautiful for the listeners too.  

A shorter version will appear in issue 1 of Modern Tango World

Dienstag, 13. Januar 2015

Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble: "Liberación"

Sometimes music projects turn out to be more than accidental collections of some songs. 
The review of composer-arranger-bandoneonista Carel Kraayenhof´s new project Liberación will be published first in one of the next issues of the German language Tangodanza.Later on, I will post the English langiage version here.  

Donnerstag, 8. Januar 2015

Ariel Hernandez: „Summer Tango“

So here is Ariel Hernandez´s new album „Summer tango“ (Random/Warner, 2014), a colorful mixture of contemporary tangos veering towards jazz with some rock flavors here and there. The 9 instrumentals (+ 1 additional track) are by no means `traditional´ - although they have their roots in the tango tradition; in fact, they expand the genre with interesting rhythmical pattern and progressions, and are thus very `modern´.
As a bandoneonista, Hernandez´s instrument is clearly in the forefront, accompanied by a versatil ensemble - that is Martín Robbio on piano, Juan Fracchi on double-bass, Demián González Premezzi on drums, Paloma Bica on violin, and further Ignacio Basile and Sebastián Barbui on guitars in some songs.
The album starts with the fulminant composition “Marchello” which prepares the listener to await a set of fascinating new pieces of music. This song has a catchy hook line, and a great pushing drum pattern. To surprise the listener, the second song (“El Lago”) is a fine atmospheric song with a simple but catchy melody played by piano and violin, accompanied by light bandoneon figures, and drum beats. One could feel a fresh breeze at a great wide lake with sailing ships. “Summer tango” comes along as a jazzy `lounge standard´ inclusively the sound of stirring jazz brushes on the snare drum. “RG” starts with rhythmic guitar pattern, and continues with a nice pop chorus carried on by the bandoneon, interesting atmospheric breaks, and thus eliciting feelings of bright easiness. “Canción De Julia” is an impressive song starting with the sound of playing children in the background and a slow bandoneon lines, turning to an intensive song with complex drum pattern, a good melodic progression, and solos of bass, piano, and violin– very intense! “Ituzaingó is a further composition of Hernandez which deserves attention, also “La Nave Cadmon, a slow great grooving song with a transparent arrangement.
When asked for his musical influences, the Buenos Aires composer Ariel Hernandez mentions NeoTango icon Astor Piazzolla and Classical Tango icon Anibal Troilo, but also Jazz musician Hermeto Pascoal, and Rock musician Sting. Yet, one has to admit, these influences are clearly in the backside of this album; Hernandez is a very authentic and discrete composer and musician.
Are these songs inspiring the dancers? I would argue that the music suits best in a lounge with a foot tapping audience and big smiles on their face. 

A shorter version will appear in issue 1 of Modern Tango World