(Michael Gustorff, violin; Hans Sparla, accordion; Dick de Graaf, tenor sax; special guest: Sanda Coelers, voice)
This is not the first mixing of jazz and tango; Astor Piazzolla recorded with such leading jazzmen as Gerry Mulligan and Gary Burton, and there is already a strong flavor of jazz in much of Piazolla’s music. Also there are other bands blending the exciting sounds and rhythms of tango into modern jazz. But this is one of the most interesting new efforts in the crossover direction. Stands to reason it would come from the Netherlands, where all sorts of fascinating musical stews have been simmering for years. Violinist Gustorff himself has been involved in projects combining such disparate elements as Jim Hendrix, West African griots and Schubert’s chamber music.
The accordion replaces the tango-centric bandoneon in the trio, and there’s no string bass or piano. Yet the sharply rhythmic insistence of the typical tango sound is certainly here. There seems to be less of a jazz element present in the settings of the lyrics by Jorge Luis Borges and Horacio Ferrer which Piazzolla set to music and which have been rearranged by the trio here. Not being fluent in Spanish I would have probably preferred an all-instrumental album, but the four vocals sound thoroughly authentic tango-wise.
TrackList: Libertango, The Missing Link, Chiquillin de Bachin, Sleeping Giant, Milonga is Coming, Melodia de Arrabal, Summit, Balada para un loco, Esperanza, Milonga de Jacinto Chiclana, Oblivion
– John Henry