Tango Siempre ‘Only Human’ (Galileo) 4/5

With a fabulous live act comprising tango dancers and band, Tango Siempre have released a trio of acclaimed albums of which the latest is not only among their finest, but arguably also their most diverse thus far. The group has undergone a change in line up with long-time bandoneonist Pete Rosser replaced by Italian Paolo Russo. From gorgeous laid-back milonga with a Cuban feel such as ‘Milonga poliritmica’ to subtle beat-laden tango electronica on ‘Only human’, expressing the inner angst of the genre, Tango Siempre provide ample evidence of the sense of humanity that has always permeated their recordings. It is, perhaps, the left-field ‘Belo Horizonte’ that has the best chance of securing late night listening with its prominent use of double bass and expressive bandoneon playing. Added in to the bargain is a piece inspired by the marching funeral bands of southern Italy and the austere sounding ‘Dance of Death’. This is an album that will appeal to a wide and eclectic audience, with jazzy improvisations, refined western classicism and rootsy grooves that take the innovations of maestro Astor Piazzolla as their starting point. The philosophy of the group is amply typified by ‘A matter of life and death’ on which their passion for the genre and care to reflect the sheer diversity of tango speaks volumes. If the latest endeavours from Gotan Project make you want to explore the rootsier side of tango, then this CD could just be for you. An emotionally charged recording to simply wash away those financial blues.

Tim Stenhouse