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The Tango Group: Amor por el Tango

Dan McClenaghan By

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The rhythm of the tango pulses, oozing forward on its collective ensemble momentum, carried by each instrument in the drummer-less music. Piano, bass, violin, bandoneon—it's a heady sound, full of emotion and spirit, evoking images of passionate dancers.

Pianist Roger Davidson is a musician/composer/arranger who spends time in the classical, Latin, jazz and world music arenas. His second recorded sojourn into Latin/tango sounds— Mango Tango from '98 was his first— Amor por el Tango jumps with both feet into authentic Argentine tango sounds while experimenting with some fresh tangents. Davidson teamed with bassist Pablo Aslan—director of Avantango, a tango/jazz ensemble—for this collection of songs from the standard repertoire, along with six very faithful to the genre Davidson originals and tango-tinged takes on three Cole Porter classics, "Night and Day," "Begin the Beguine" and "So in Love."

This music began in the Bueno Aires brothels and evolved from the streets to the classical auditoriums under bandoneon master Astor Piazzolla. The tango is passionate, beautiful stuff; there may be no sweeter noise than the bandoneon—an open reed squeeze box, similar in sound to the accordion. Mix it in with the violin and it seems pure magic. And this tango group goes after the sound with an authentic panache. The inclusion of the Cole Porter tunes, especially "Night and Day," is especially interesting, serving as an American Songbook touchstone for those unfamiliar with the exotic quality of the tango.

Another departure from tradition is the incorporation of oboe on three numbers, a nice added color to the fluid weave of sound.

Something old and something new for tango lovers, Amor por el Tango would also make a great introduction to the sound for those unfamiliar with it.


Track Listing: Alicia, Triunfal, Chique, Maquillaje, Rebecca, Griseta, La Cumparsita, Secretos, Night and Day, So in Love, Begin the Beguine, Tristeza, Perdida, Volver, Vals para mi Amor

Personnel: Roger Davidson--piano; Pedro Giraudo, Pablo Aslan--bass; Hector Del Curto, David Alsina--bandoneon; Nicolas Danileson--violin; Francisco Navarro--guitar; Susan de camp--oboe

Title: Amor por el Tango | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Soundbrush Records

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