Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Pushes tango into an exciting new direction.
Mark Hammond | Chambersburg, PA USA | 06/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have a certain bias in listening to tango. I approach it from the point of view of the dancer who loves the music of the "guardia vieja," and yet I want something different. This is probably the best tango disk I have encountered in 2001. I learned that "Tangos Bajos" first from Daniel Saindon of Tango Montréal. Further research indicated that it was disk of the year for 1998 in Clarín Digital's survey (December 27, 1998). It also had an excellent review by Chris Moss of Expatvillage.com (an Argentine website for English speakers.)
For many people, tango hits home in many different ways. For me, it is the music and the dance, and for others it is the social aspects of tango. There are elements of nostalgia for the age of Carlos Gardel and Juan D'Arienzo, yet there are also elements that tell us that it is contemporary. It is an eclectic experience appealing on different levels to different people. Daniel Melingo, who started his musical career as a rock musici!an, comes to us as a singer-songwriter who adds contemporary elements, yet stays true to the beat and tempo of the "guardia vieja." There are elements of his work that are reminiscent to the singing of the "payador" from the early days of tango. This is music that is going back to the roots of tango - it seeks to capture tango's essence in a contemporary manner. It is both "retro" and contemporary.
The style of singing is "raw," and my wife compared his singing voice to that of William Shatner in the Priceline.com commercials. Yes, Melingo has a narrow range in his singing voice. However, it does not detract from the total impact of the music. It has beautiful orchestration and tempo - just what the dancer demands. The lyrics have a certain poetry that touches the soul. This is the music of the barrios and arrabales, yet the appeal is more universal. You don't have to be a milonguero to love this music. For the dancer, we have regular tangos, together with music remini!scent of milonga and canyengue. The bandoneón leads the dancer. The combination of the old with a *modern* approach to tango is what is most compelling to me.
The quality of the sound system could have an impact on your appreciation of this disk. I had listened to it on both a "boom box" CD player and on the CD player in my car. About a month ago, I had my tango instructor play it on the sound system at the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park [Washington DC], and I was really pleased with the sound and the effect. There is no better way to test how a tango record is "danceable" than to have a positive response from an instructor.
My favorite piece on this album is «Ayer» -- the lyrics set the tone for the album:
"Del barrio me voy, del barrio me fuí
triste melodía que oigo al partir
voy dejando atrás todo el arrabal
en mi recuerdo
Rota la ilusión de mi esperanza
rota la razón de mi existir
y este corazón se quedó solo también
buscando su consuelo en el ayer."
If you like this music, as I am sure you will, you will eagerly anticipate listening to Melingo's newest recording "UFA!" -- available on the DBN label."