The Hugo Diaz Trio consisted of the late Hugo Diaz on bandoneon (kind of a big button-accordion), Miguel Angel Ledesma on piano, and Horacio Cabarcos on bass. This is a minimum ensemble, but their sound is full, largely due to the full and rich sound production of Diaz and the robust playing of Ledesma. Cabarcos has a nice tone, especially when he uses the bow, but he is best-heard on headphones. Most of the pieces are fairly short and never outstay their welcome. They are mostly from the 1920s-1940s, although every piece sounds up to date in Diaz's hands. (As a special treat is a jazzy version of "Por una Cabeza," the tango made famous in America by the movie Scent of a Woman.)
Many tunes on this album are dramatic, musically interesting, and just plain danceable fun. "A Orillas del Plata" betrays a deep jazz influence that is very pleasant to listen to. "La Racha" is a bit slower than most of the other numbers, but it swoops and pounces with the best of them. One slight caveat: The last three tracks on the disc are for solo bandoneon, and that will not charm everyone. Still, this album will appeal to lovers of traditional tango as well as followers of tango outcast Astor Piazzolla. Don't pass it by.