Leave it to Paula Mlyn’s A440 Arts (www.a440asrts.com) to share the good word about interesting new CD’s. At the top of 2021 Naxos on its Grand Piano label has released Tangorama [GP 856], the first of an upcoming series of tango albums lovingly selected and superbly played by the terrific Argentine-American pianist Mirian Conti.
This first in the series features over two dozen gems that trace the development of the Argentine tango from its humble origins rooted in Afro-Argentine and Cuban-influenced dance forms birthed in the bars an dives on the shores of the River Plate to the sophisticated compositions of mid-20th century composer-performers that inflected the form with European harmonies and counterpoint while retaining the syncopated underpinning of the original dance form.
In compositions such as the iconic La Cumparsita of Matos Gerardo Rodriguez and El Choclo of Angel Villoldo both of which have the ONE-two-three-four rhythmic DNA of all Tango to the fast-paced, cut-time, mid-century tango-milongas Milonga de mis Amores by Pedro Laurenz, Mi Regalo by Orlando Goñi, and Alfredo Aieta’s Corralera to the laid-back melancholy of Roberto Pansera’s Naturaleza Muerta, Enrique Francini’s Tema Otoñal and Julian Plaza’s Melancólico, Mirian Conti turns her piano into a Banda Porteña that takes the listener on a wonderful aural trip to the southernmost South American nation.
Rafael de Acha