This fine Astor Piazzolla album came on the heels of the tango innovator's universally praised Tango: Zero Hour from 1986. Back again for this outing are Quinteto Nueva Tango members like pianist Pablo Zinger and violinist Fernando Suarez Paz, with guest spots being filled by bassist Andy Gonzalez and Latin jazz alto sax star Paquito d'Rivera. Piazzolla, of course, is in top form throughout, tossing off a wealth of passionate and complex bandoneon solos. Producer Kip Hanrahan also returns from the Zero Hour sessions, providing another spacious-sounding backdrop for the proceedings. Unlike Zero Hour, though, Rough Dancer has more of whimsical feel, with the often perilous shifts in tempo and mood of the earlier record being handled in smoother fashion here. This is possibly due to the fact this piece was used for the musical production Tango Apasionado, which chronicles the history of the tango from its Buenos Aires roots to modern times. Along with Tango: Zero Hour, this Piazzolla release is a must for all his fans and tango lovers in general.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook