Various Artists

National Geographic: Destination Buenos Aires

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From the collaboration between National Geographic and Sugo Music comes Destination Buenos Aires, focusing on the music of the Argentine capital city. Instead of the usual diversity of the series, with the majority of the sound environment represented, the works here are all tangos. Given, however, that this is Buenos Aires, it is a fair representation of the music of the region. The recordings of the classic performers (Carlos Gardel, Astor Piazzolla) are sadly missing, but their compositions have found their way into the album in large ways, performed by newer soloists and groups. The album opens with the standard work of the old tango, "Cumparsita." A piece by Gardel follows, as does the classic "Choclo." One of the pieces from the archives of the old master Anibal Troilo continues the chronological order, followed by a sharply accentuated version of Piazzolla's "Libertango." Another Gardel composition slips in, sounding suspiciously Gershwin-like, followed by a pair of works from Pedro Maffia. Guitarist Daniel Binelli contributes a number, as does the newer Julián Plaza group, and the album closes with Piazzolla's farewell number "Adios Nonino." There's a good deal of respect for the tango on the compilation, with the best of the composers represented. Of course, recordings from said greats would certainly make the pot even sweeter, but it's still a fine compilation regardless. For the basic overview of the history of the tango, this isn't a bad way to go, with the requirement that the listener delve deeper into the greats after using this as a starting point.

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