Donnerstag, 8. Dezember 2016

Juan José Mosalini, Jorge Rodriguez, Sandra Rumolino: Alma de Tango

For this album with a CD and a DVD (featuring the dancers Jorge Rodriguez and Maria Filali), I will focus on the music only. We hear an exquisite quartet consisting of Juan José Mosalini (bandoneon), Diego Aubia (piano), Sébastien Couranjou (violin) and Leonardo Teruggi (contrabass) – completed by exceptional singer, Sandra Rumolino. They pull all the stops to attract their audience, ranging from energetic verve and accentuated dynamic to cautious frailty. Their 15 interpretations of classical tangos and modern compositions all convince me. Several of these are quite familiar, i.e., Caldara´s Pasional, Mores´ Uno, Gardel´s Volver or Piazolla´s Oblivion and Balada para mi muerte. But they are presented here with such heart and passion, that there is no doubt these songs were orchestrated exclusively for this ensemble.

It is difficult to resist their vibrant version of Pugliese´s Bordeno y 900, or Sandra Rumolino´s touching interpretation of Gardel´s Volver. Mosalini´s own compositions (i.e., La Voz De La Libertad, Miloga para dos and Apretonados) can easily be compared with those of Astor Piazzolla.

For me, this album should be counted among the most relevant recordings within the past few years. Musical director Juan José Mosalini (*1943) is outstanding, of course, and the ensemble playing, taken together with Sandra Rumolino’s voice, sets this CD/DVD apart from the crowd.

Mittwoch, 16. November 2016

El Cachivache Quinteto: Tango Punk Vol. 1

The El Cachivache Quinteto, founded in 2008, steamroll us with 9 (historic) tango tracks full of overflowing vitality and temperament. Yet, you should avoid to look at their promotional photos or to take the album title 'tango punk' too literally. They play definitely danceable songs with a vital root in the tango tradition, and don´t vandalize the ‘heart of tango’ as one might otherwise expect. They love these old songs – and also have their own milonga where they often play as musicians or where they DJ.
Founders, musical directors and arrangers Vito Venturino (guitar and bass) and Pablo Montanelli (piano) invited Negro de La Fuente (bandoneon), Pacha Mendes (upright bass) and Nico Franco (violin) to join the team, and now their album “Tango Punk Vol. 1” is out - and it is definitely worth it. You seldom hear compositions from Rafael Iriarte, Carlos di Sarli, Edgardo Donato, Mario Canaro etc. with such a vivid enthusiasm. Maybe this is the ‘punk approach’ – don´t care about the expectations, have fun, enjoy the present moment, and wow the audience. The applause is on your side.     

San Telmo Lounge: Doble Imperfecto

San Telmo Lounge is one of the few contemporary tango ensembles that have found their unique trade mark sound. They clearly have established themselves among the ‘hot spots‘ of the creative modern tango scene. Composer and mastermind Martin Delgado brought in his music preferences ranging from Rock, Jazz-Rock, Tango and modern Classic composers. Thus it is quite clear that San Telmo Lounge has more to offer than several other, rather ‘tango conservative’ ensembles.
Starting once as a one-man project, they became a quartet, and they are today a septet with Martin Delgado (guitars), Ariel Aguilar (bandoneon), Lucas Polichiso (piano and keyboards), Maximiliano Natalutti  (violin), Tutu Rufus (bass guitar), Sebastian Mamet (drums) and Laura Cardini as their singer. Now their tonal scope is much richer than before, but not principally different. When you like the music of their 2010 album Al filo with its mild progressive jazz-rock influences, you will like the new one too.
The 2016 album Doble Imperfecto is meant as a double album with two different sites: 10 vocal tracks on the A site and 10 instrumental tracks on the B site. However, these two different facets of the ensemble are placed on one CD (disadvantage of modernity). With the engagement of Laura Cardini as their regular singer, San Telmo Lounge is able to follow their intention to combine a “piazzolaesc esthetic with influences of British pop and rock music”, as Martin Delgado explains. 
The arrangements are simple and straightforward, but nevertheless filigree and graceful. Cardini´s gentle and ‘airy‘ voice fits perfect to the likeable songs with their beautiful melodies (listen to Vida Partida). Since several years I salute Delgado´s abilities to write songs with intelligent melodies which find their way to the listener´s heart. However, I am unsure which site of the ensemble I like best – the A or B site? The good news is, you can have them both for one!