Hip and light, Last Tango in Rio
features Gabriela Anders' whispered vocals in a swinging, contemporary affair. She multi-tracks her vocal selections to achieve a plurality in the spotlight, as her ensemble provides smooth sounds that recall the shoreline of her native Argentina.
Drifting smooth jazz and oceanfront scenes go together like cookies and milk. Anders puts the two into her package smartly, with an appeal toward what makes us relax. Her session would mellow even the most tension-filled company boardroom meeting.
Singing with a coy, distant attitude and a comfortable ease, Anders interprets these lyrics casually. "God Bless the Child" gets the smooth treatment, too, with hip backbeats and mesmerizing chills. Her own background vocals float in eerie fashion behind the ensemble. Bandoneon and percussion scramble the passion out of this sensual ballad, turning it into an urban street scene. Similarly, "Body and Soul" moves swiftly and dryly through its paces, unlike any other arrangement of this standard. Her father, Jorge Anders, lends a sensual saxophone fill; however, the multi-tracked piece remains distant and remote. Far from convincing, the singer's interpretation of these treasured lyrics turns cold and routine. Hipness replaces soulfulness.
Musically accurate and surrounded by stellar instrumentalists, singer Gabriela Anders brings an entertaining set to the forum. Her interpretations, however, remove the essential feeling from the music and replace it with dry, lifeless hues.
Personnel: Gabriela Anders- vocals, keyboards; Tito Castro, Gabriel Rivano- bandoneon; Wayne Krantz, Rombero Lubambo- guitar; Jorge Anders- tenor saxophone; Olga Terlitsky- viola; Jorge Alfano- Andean flute, charango; H. Martignon- keyboards; John Benitez- bass; Donald Edwards- drums; Portinho- drums, percussion.