Tango Amoratado – Jürgen Karthe, bandoneon & Fabian Klentzke, piano [TrackList below] – Auris Subtilis 5005-3000m 49:45 [Distr. by Allegro] ****:
Mambo Tango – Carlos Franzetti, piano solo [TrackList below] – Sunnyside Communications SSC 1230, 45:32 ****:
Certainly the big flashy orchestral arrangements of tangos can be fun, as well as the standard tango quintet popularized by Astor Piazzolla. But for quieter moods there are tango trios, duos and even solo piano. Here are two enjoyable CDs in this area.
Tango Amoratado is the second CD from this simple tango duo, who are also part of a tango quartet called Cuarteto Bando. As you can see, even Germany has not been uninfected by tango fever. In fact, the notes for this album are entirely in German, and since I don’t read it I can’t tell you much about the duo except that they sound great, have a sizable repertory, and clearly honor the style and form of Argentina’s musical contribution to the world.
There’s no notes at all with Franzetti’s CD, so turning to Wikipedia: He’s from Buenos Aires, went to Juilliard, has composed many major classical works as well as writing for big bands. In 2003 he received a Grammy for Best Classical Crossover Album, and he has composed many film scores, including The Mambo Kings. Therefore the title for his CD appears entirely appropriate. He also conducted and orchestrated a 2004 album – Promises Kept – with a string orchestra backing pianist Steve Kuhn.
Only a few of the ten tracks on his solo album are tangos but there is a bit of a bow toward either mambo or tango on many of the tunes. Three of the tunes are Franzetti’s originals, and others from Gary McFarland, Clare Fischer, John Williams, Bill Evans and Ellington prove Franzetti has the best of taste in selecting repertory. The piano sound is excellent.
TrackList, Tango Amoratado: 1 Milonga 900 2 El Marne 3 Loca De Amor 4 Silbando 5 Maipo 6 Garua 7 Jacinto Chiclana 8 Silueta Portena 9 Tiempos Viejos 10 La Cumparsita 11 Pa’ Que Bailen los Muchachos 12 Naranjo En Flor 13 Un Placer 14Ventarron 15 Sur 16 Nocturna 17 Oblivion
TrackList, Mambo Tango: Have You Met Miss Jones, Fantasia, Look at that Face, Gary’s Waltz, Carnival, Jazz Autographs, Mambo Tango, Milonga del Adios, Waltz for Debbie, I Got It Bad
— John Henry