New Tango, Old Tango
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Michael Stone listens to some new tango, with a twist or two.

Trio Garufa
El Rumor De Tus Tangos
Garufa Records (www.triogarufa.com)

Adrian Jost (bandoneon, bayan­a chromatic button accordion), Guillermo García (guitar, bombo­a traditional Argentine drum carved from a hollowed tree trunk) and Sascha Jacobsen (string bass) confect the cosmopolitan acoustic sound of Trio Garufa. Theirs is an engaging regional cornucopia of tango, tango criollo, nuevo tango, milonga, vals, chacarera, gato and guarania, both traditional tunes and familiar classics by Agustín Bardi (“Gallo Ciego”), Lucio Demare (“Malena”), Ángel Villoldo (“El Torito”) and Astor Piazzolla (“Oblivion”). A guarania like Eduardo Falú’s “Canción del jangader” hints at the folkloric kinship with Paraguay, while Garufa’s rendition of Ariel Ramírez’s “Milonga uruguaya” gestures to another northern neighbor, but in an electronically dappled style they call “electro milonga.” In different ways, and hardly surprising, such tunes evince an affinity with the chamamé dance style of rural northeastern Argentina and southern Brazil. Four of the Trio’s own exquisitely rendered originals play with and confound traditional forms that express the vitality of tango’s promise for the future.

You can listen to music and buy the CD direct from the artists here.


Duo Mosalini-Fioramonti
Tra(d)icional
Frémeaux & Associés (www.fremeaux.com )

Tra(d)icional is a Spanish-language wordplay that melds “tradition” and “betrayal”­an apt characterization of guitarist Adrian Fioramonti and bandeonista Juanjo Mosalini’s licentious reinterpretation of roots tango, “a tradition which can’t turn a deaf ear to its time,” they contend. Consider “Parque Japonés,” a quirky nod to a Japan of the mind whose found street sounds, snappy percussion, fuzz-tone and rock guitar licks, and decidedly non-trad harmonies constitute a cool category stretch. Likewise “Esquirlas,” whose ambient intro morphs into a funky prancing blues essay, or “Juarez,” which genre mélange defies borders and other easy sonic demarcations. Fioramonti penned most of the material; brief notes in French, Spanish and English expound the artists’ impertinent musical mindset.

The artist's web site: www.mosalini.com


Juan Carlos Cáceres
Noche De Carnaval
Mañana Music ( www.mananamusic.com)

The veteran generation of tango interpreters has no more idiosyncratic an exponent than Juan Carlos Cáceres, the singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, painter, art teacher and lecturer on Argentine history whose dogged exploration of covert African elements in national music reveals its ecumenical improvisatory roots and kindred branches. Charleston, Dixieland, New Orleans brass, blues, swing, Paris café, candombe, murga, milonga, tango, it’s all here, backed by piano, banjo, cornet, trombone, saxes, clarinet, bass clarinet, cello, double bass, drums, cajón, bombo, percussion, tap dancing, crowd sounds and Cáceres’ world-weary vocal trademark. The sole non-Cáceres composition is “Pachamama,” a fetching milonga by Paris-based Argentine cellist-violinist-singer-composer Laura Caronni (who, with clarinetist twin sister Gianna, performs as Las Hermanas Caronni­a gifted duo to also get on the radar). Noche De Carnaval is also an especially attractive and cleverly packaged release, with colorful carnival revelers that pop up upon opening the booklet, with notes in Spanish, French and English by collaborating lyricist Sergio Makaroff, and lyric transcriptions in Spanish.

The artist's web site: www.juancarloscaceres.com

More tango music is available from cdRoots

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