A delightful group from Canada consisting of violinist Stephane Allard, Denis Plante on bandoneon, pianist Richard Hunt, and bassist Rene Gosselin, Quartango performs colorful and adventurous versions of tangos. They play traditional melodies, more recent originals, and a couple offbeat pieces (including Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo à la Turk"). A few guests add rhythms connected to the Argentinian tango tradition but the ensembles are far from predictable. Bridging the worlds of tango and jazz, Quartango shows humor in spots (such as the group vocal on "Gigolo Jig in G") and utilizes advanced harmonies and dissonances to show that this is not museum music. Hints of classical, opera, Irish jigs, Brazilian and Cuban music, and particularly ragtime pop up constantly. Allard's violin is consistently beautiful while Plante's bandoneon is a major asset in the ensembles. Although not strictly a jazz date, this music should interest jazz fans who also enjoy tango rhythms.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow