Samstag, 16. Dezember 2017

Sverre Indris Joner: Con Cierto Toque de Tango

The Norwegian composer Sverre Indris Joner is recognized by most tangophiliacs as musical director-composer-arranger-pianist of the electrotango formation Electrocutango. However, he has sides to discover, and mostly all have to do with his faible for Latin America´s music. With this new recording we find a richness of his creative ‘classical’ output: new tango compositions played with his old formation Tango for 3 (Sverre Indris Joner – piano; Per Arne Glorvigen – bandoneón; Odd Hannisdal – violin; Steinar Haggerud – double bass), a violin concerto (with three movements: milonga, zamba and tango) played by solo violinist Henning Kraggerud and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and a concert in three movements played by Tango for 3 and string orchestra.
The violin concert and also the ‘Concerto grosso’ are typical ‘art’ compositions for a concert hall audience, but they have all the ingredients of contemporary tango: the dynamic contrasts, syncopated accents, soulful passion and cold distance. Joner avoids the tango clichés and has written ‘true’ contemporary tango music. The other seven compositions on this album, played by orchestra and the quartet, could be played also in ‘open-minded’ dance halls. The dynamic milonga “Retrolonga” from Electrotango´s album Felino works great as an orchestra piece of music.
My favorite songs are the sugar-sweet string serenade “Mil vias”, melodically rather simple but highly devotional (written for his wife), the soulful “Mi Viejo dolor” (written for his mother) with beautiful bandoneon and violin lines, and the reluctant “Victorioso” (written for his daughter) which attracts with its beautiful contemplative mood. - Great! These songs are worth it.

Artist´s website:

Graciano 4 Cuarteto: Alquimia

The quartet consists of Julián Graciano (7-string guitar), Amijai Shalev (Bandoneón), Manuel Masetti (Classical Guitar) and Pablo Andrés Giordano (Double bass), and they are playing instrumental tangos written by Julián Graciano. Two guitars are not a usual cast in tango ensembles, and thus the listeners should expect a different set of music. Some of ten songs the quartet present are aiming at the jazz scene. I prefer the more atmospheric songs such as “Infancia” or Un tal Bach” (with the full resonance of the 7-string guitar), while “Punk Tango” or “Buenos Aires Negra” are too stressful for me. Also the slow “Medianoche la ciudad” has its beauty; the harmonic progressions are rather timid and groping, quite untypically for a busy city at night. This song is consequently followed by “Amanece la ciudad”; the hectic city is awakening and this is the music, too.
The musicians are virtuous, by no means. The songs have strong roots in the vamping jazz tradition, but they cannot ignore their familiar affairs with the tango tradition. If you like excellent guitar music with some bandoneón flavor, you will be perfect here.