Album Title: Reunión
Performer: Quinteto El Después
Label: Tipica 019-2
Running time: 54'01"
|The Quinteto El Después consists of Argentinean expats who met in Paris and decided to put their combined roots and love of this art form to good use. Hence the title Reunión and the formation's name - the Quintet of Afterwards for an approximated rendition. With guitar, bandoneon, violin, piano and bass, this group packs considerable dynamic range to explore post-Piazzolla tango that's not primarily meant to be danced to. Rather, it's an artificer's abstraction for the listening connoisseur of the genre.
|Envision the transformation of a Romani tune by a Bela Bartok or Zoltan Kodaly. That's the essence. Stylistic elements are channeled into|
|conservatory-honed virtuosity. In the process, their attributes grow more intense. What intersects in this pressure cooker are abrupt time changes, sweltering violin, jagged piano and saucy bandoneon. Bass rumbles, strings creak and buzz, piano clangs discordantly, electrified guitar rings hollow. It's all in the service of evoking high drama, extrovert machismo and stylized eroticism - but abstracted into something far more polished than raw bordello sweat and sawdust roots.
|Unlike the easy-going charm of Parisian musette, Reunión is far more serious and self-conscious. It takes street music into the concert hall. Rather than going for pretty, it pursues maximal emotional opposition, tension and angularity. The workout inherent in this proposition makes demands on system and listener alike.
Classy, on a higher plateau, for special occasions only when one's psyche is steeled for this type of emotional intensity - those would all be suitable qualifiers to describe the effect this album can have...