For their first album “Pertenencia,” the Orquesta Típica Andariega erred on the side of caution, relying on the attraction of classical tangos. Now for their new album “Andiamo,” all 12 songs were written and arranged by Luigi Coviello (double-bass player and musical director); and yes, they can stand their ground.
This Buenos Aires ensemble emphasizes playing music in the classical tradition rather than featuring weird music, which pleases the dancers instead of the nerds. Consequently, the ensemble’s format follows a traditional tango orchestra arrangement with 3 bandoneons, 3 violins, piano, and double bass. They are joined by tenor Fabián Villalón. As one may expect, songs and arrangements focus on a good pulse with syncopated accents, a fine melodic (counterpoint) development, and a pleasant atmosphere which invites the dancers. In line with this nostalgic approach, attentive listeners may recognize the beautiful stylistic device to start and end the album — the ‘crackling sound’ of old vinyl records.
On this record, we hear beautiful, elegiac melodies of the violins and bandoneons contrasting with accentuated grooves of the rhythm section. Listen to vibrant tracks such as “Andiamo.” A very syncopated melody starts in the ensemble. The solo violin picks it up, passes it to the bandoneon, then to the piano, and finally back to the orchestra — all with underlying heavy ‘offs beat’ (bass) accents played with the left hand of the pianist. Or listen to “Retumbo,” a track with a stirring arrangement, full of tension and dynamic power. One of my highlights is the milonga “Balliamo” with its effervescent (“samba”) groove, and a catchy chorus melody played by the bandoneons — difficult not to join in the groove.
Andiamo! Join their show — don’t be so silly as to miss them (as I did during their tour in Europe)!