Horacio Ravera

Tango Project, Vol. 1

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The tango is Argentina's gift to the world, a sublime, sensual idea of music and dance. What started in the bordellos of Buenos Aires, however, has become gentrified and accepted throughout the world (much like jazz, really). This set features some classic tangos (virtually everyone will recognize "La Cumparsita," by melody and rhythm, if not by name) performed by singer Horacio Ravera, backed, on most cuts, by Orquesta Color Tango. If you're hoping to make sense of the lyrics, they're printed in the booklet, although you'll need to speak Spanish. It's a light classical treatment, essentially, all dressed in its finery and taken uptown, which means that the sensual element is played down, although the melodies are highlighted. Really, it's trying to be a small compendium of tango, which works on the final three "bonus" cuts, which are videos to play on your computer and DVD player, illustrating the dance of tango -- which, after all, is one of its basic components. If you're hoping for something like Astor Piazzolla, then you're on the wrong track here; the presentation is much more formal and starchy, especially in Ravera's singing, which removes a lot of the music's elasticity. But it's still a good insight into how the Argentinians view their national sound

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