Tango Around the World
Although the roots and tradition of Tango hails from the streets and concert halls of Buenos Aires, its influence has been felt throughout the world thanks to the dedicated efforts of musicians like Astor Piazzola, who developed the genre and conquered audiences wherever he performed. On this newest Putumayo release, Tango Around the World you see the results of that from “Dimba,” the opening track from Senegal's Ousmane Touré, who sings the beautiful melody in his native Wolof. Electronic sounds and Portuguese instruments are the basis for Lisbon-based singer Liana on “Estrela da Tarde” (Afternoon Star). In addition to that, her dramatic vocal style gives added poignancy to the lyrics, which speak of a torrid afternoon affair that might have tragic consequences.
Fortuna's “Tango Idishe” is probably the strangest mix on this disc – it is sung in Yiddish with a klezmer-like feel, but the group surprisingly does not hail from Israel. Instead, they come from southern Brazil, where there is a strong Jewish and Eastern European presence. Traditionalists will appreciate “Pena,” sung by Argentina's Federico Aubele, and of course Hugo Díaz' beautiful rendition of “Mi Buenos Aires Querido (My Darling Buenos Aires), a favorite tune popularized by Carlos Gardel.
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Overall, this is an enjoyable disc proving that tango, though a property of Argentineans, can also be transformed and adapted wherever you go. --- Ernest Barteldes