Bassist Pablo Aslan is the leading exponent of the vibrant New York tango-jazz scene. With Avantango, the native of Argentina and prodigious talent features his ensemble -- Avantango -- on an assortment of original compositions and exceptional covers that heighten his diverse musical repertoire with fresh interpretations. Aslan offers his listeners several excellent renditions of Astor Piazzolla's most revered compositions including "Deus Xango," "Vuelvo Al Sur," "Escualo," "Verano Porteno," and "La Calle 92." On "Deus Xango," he leaves the arrangement in the original key and adds a brilliant tenor saxophone solo by Oscar Feldman. Vocalist Roxana Fontan is superior on the bluesy "Vuelvo Al Sur," and gives a memorable performance on the duet with Aslan on "Malena," that should remind listeners of duets heard from bassist Avishai Cohen and Chilean vocalist Claudia Acuna when they performed together on a regular basis. With "Escualo," which Piazzolla wrote for his favorite violinist Fernando Suarez Paz, Aslan gives listeners the opportunity to catapult their imaginations and re-live Suarez Paz's infamous violin virtuosity by receiving the gifts through Fernando's son, Leonardo Suarez Paz. Leonardo plays with the same intense passion and clarity heard a generation ago on his father's recordings. Pablo Aslan's note-for-note jazz bass artistry is on display throughout the CD, but on "Verano Porteno," Aslan's theme is pure milonga. This arrangement is an adaptation of Piazzolla's classic quintet version. Aslan's bass work also stands out on "La Calle 92," and Dario Eskenazi gives a brilliant piano performance. The balance of the CD features original compositions written by Aslan that were inspired by memories of Argentina or his current environments in New York, alongside covers of revitalized classics that the ensemble plays with verve and enthusiasm. Avantango gives listeners 12 great reasons to add this to their tango-jazz collections.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein