I've Found a New Tango

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Why, one might ask, would a group of Finnish folk fiddlers want to record an album of tango music? The answer, it turns out, is that Finland is crazy about tango, has been for decades, and considers itself to be the biggest center for tango outside of Argentina. Readers will have to judge the credibility of that claim for themselves. In any case, this album consists of 13 tangos, waltzes, and polkas. Since traditional dances are the sort on which JPP routinely rings its wild changes, this is not as dull a prospect as it may sound. Some of the tracks are pretty good, in fact. "Noche de Estrellas" is dramatic and passionate and the harmonium (pump organ) pounds out the beat most convincingly. "Kalevalainen Polkka" is a fast, pulsing number brimming with the standard JPP idiosyncrasies. "Valvotun yön Vallsi" is a heart-rending, slow waltz, one of the most touching pieces JPP has ever done. Some numbers fall flat -- these guys aren't Astor Piazzollas after all -- but most of them succeed in the kind of quirky, virtuoso way that JPP usually works. The album is recommended for fans of the group.