label website | artists website
"Quadro Nuevo formed in 1996. Four young men met for the first time on some grey January day of that year on a car park near Salzburg. They were the guitarist Robert Wolf, who until that time had been touring with the flamenco star Paco de Lucia; saxophonist Mulo Francel, who appeared in jazz clubs and worked with large orchestras; D.D. Lowka who as bassist had formed the basis for various latino combos; and Andreas Hinterseher who cultivated the folk accordion tradition of the Parisian valse musette. The four hardly knew each other previously and had been commissioned to produce film music for ORF [Austrian broadcasting and television station]. The film was never broadcast but one thing was clear on that day: A new quartet with an unmistakable sound had been born. From then on only one thing mattered - Quadro Nuevo, the love of nostalgic-acoustic music and travelling together evening for evening, from stage to stage. A dream became true, the ardor of joy is to be heard in every note."
I discovered this CD in the Dipole Studio exhibit at the HighEnd Munich 2008 show and chanced upon a sales copy across from the m.a. recordings stand. This proximity of the two software booths in the M.O.C. also parallels musical styles and recording quality. What the German GLM label has put into the grooves is reminiscent of Todd Garfinkle's best. As the liner notes put it here, "Quadro Nuevo carries you away with warm and stimulating melodies into a world of fluttering turbans, old taverns and the passionate tango - a world where the aromas of the Orient and Occident blend; music like a good cup of mocha coffee."
Another kindred formation that comes to mind is Bratsch, albeit without their lyrics. In short, Quadro Nuevo is excellent company for those who love Bratsch; Café Noir; the Musette romps of Angelo Debarre and Ludovic Beier or Pearl Django; Séra una Noche's nouveau tango; or Beyond the Pale without their core focus on the Roma or Kletzmer repertoires. Quadro Nuevo's instrumental reach includes the accordeon, autoharp, bandoneon, banjo, bass clarinet, bouzouki, cajon, cheng, clarinet, double bass, double-bass clarinet, glockenspiel, gong, guitar, Neapolitan mandolin, piano, psalterion, sansula, sheng, tabla, ukulele, the rare blown vibrandoneon, vibraphone and various saxophones from soprano to tenor.
With this rich palette of timbres, Mocca Flor serves up tunes from Buenos Aires to Naples, Vienna and various Mediterranean taverns, with the aromas of moussaka, ouzo, Turkish coffee and water pipes intermingling for a cozy yet heady mix of truly virtuoso playing. An extra audiophile bonus are the high production values and recording quality. Traipsing over to the artists' website and their discography, it's apparent that Mocca Flor is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg - though such an arctic image has nothing to do with Quadro Nuevo's saucy playing at all. Me thinks it's time for some on-line music shopping to build out my CD library again. Mocca Flor is so strong, I'll order one of everything this group has issued thus far and report back in due time...