Review: Martín Alvarado & Horacio Avilano - Guitar Tango: Más Allá
Guitar Tango: Más Allá
|Artist:||Martín Alvarado & Horacio Avilano|
|Album:||Guitar Tango: Más Allá|
|Date of Release:||2013/08/26|
|Label:||Riverboat Records/World Music Network|
|Country of Release:||UK|
|Genre/s:||World | South American|
|Sub-Genre/s:||Argentinean, Guitar Tango, Tango, Milonga, Vals, Canción|
|Date of Review:||2013/07/21|
Guitar Tango: Más Allá
Martín Alvarado & Horacio Avilano's Guitar Tango: Más Allá, a most welcome re-release of Martín Alvarado & Horacio Avilano Trio's 2010 Fonocal release Más Allá, with the addition of four live tracks and English language sleeve notes, will be released on Riverboat Records/World Music Network on 26th August.
Alvarado, the Argentinean premier voice of tango, the modern day Carlos Gardel (Argentina's greatest tango icon of the 1920s and 30s) but with a rich, expressive tenor instead of Gardel's baritone, is also a great innovator, taking tango to a whole new level, taking the art form forward while showing the greatest love and respect for the tradition. The cliches used to describe this extraordinary singer are getting as numerous as his performances, both in Argentina and internationally. (I have to confess to having contributed to these myself in previous reviews.) In many countries in addition to his native Argentina, Alvarado regularly performs to audiences of a thousand plus.
On Guitar Tango: Más Allá Alvarado is teamed up with highly regarded Argentinean guitarist Horacio Avilano and his trio of guitars and guitarrón (a slightly deep-bodied guitar-like instrument with a bass-baritone range - there are several instruments of this name across the Latin-American world, all different from each other). Together, Alvarado and Avilano make for a most excellent combination that is just electrifying.
As mentioned, Guitar Tango: Más Allá is a re-release, the original having been reviewed here already. However, this re-release is worthy of a new review, not only on account of the additional four superb live tracks but also in view of Alvarado's ever-increasing popularity in the UK. The latter, it is to be hoped, will see him perform in larger venues befitting his talent and international standing soon, such as London's Queen Elizabeth Hall or even Royal Festival Hall. As BBC radio presenter Max Reinhardt put it following a performance earlier this year where he had heard Alvarado for the first time, 'Everybody should hear this music!' Not the kind of comment elicited easily from the discerning, not easily moved Reinhardt.
Alvarado presents an exquisite selection of classic tangos, milongas, vals, cancións and other songs from Argentina on Guitar Tango: Más Allá. Often sad, these songs are filled with passion and romance. Deeply emotional, straight from - and to - the heart, this album has it all and presents a veritable microcosm of the songs of Argentina.
The rendering of these songs by Alvarado is never less than perfect, his voice beautifully expressing all the pathos, drama, passion and romance. Alvarado goes straight to anyone's heart and melts it, rips it out even, truly killing one softly with his songs. Without, of course, ever descending to melodrama, let alone schmaltz. Alvarado is pure class. His immense charm and charisma carry across well on the recording, and it is almost as if you had Alvarado singing privately just for you in your living room. Moreover, Alvarado makes the language barrier completely irrelevant with his exquisitely expressive voice - emotions have a universal language that, at the hands of such a masterful singer, transcends mere spoken language with ease.
The four added live tracks alone would make it more than worthwhile purchasing Guitar Tango: Más Allá even if you already owned the original release. They are as exquisite as the rest of the album and then some, with the added atmosphere that only a live recording gives. Two of these songs are already present on the studio recording, and they make for a fascinating comparison, being somehow much more intense.
In spite of the obvious differences between the studio and live recordings, Guitar Tango: Más Allá remains delightfully consistent. Alvarado and Guitar Tango: Más Allá are utterly irresistible. The sheer emotion so brilliantly conveyed by Alvarado, his charisma, and the songs themselves throw you under a magic spell that is inescapable. Once this album has finished playing, you will want to start all over again. The romance, the pathos of it all - it is almost impossible to stop. An album so exquisite and beautiful it could kill you.
Martín Alvarado & Horacio Avilano's Guitar Tango: Más Allá is an absolute must have for any music lover, let alone the tango connoisseur. The CD comes with English language sleeve notes, thus as ever preferable to digital download. Let yourself be utterly seduced by Alvarado, let him melt your heart...
N.B. - Guitar Tango: Más Allá will be launched at Rich Mix in London on 8th September as part of Martín Alvarado's latest UK tour. Make sure you don't miss as phenomenal a singer as this!
1. Más Allá (J. Mora / J.M. Contursi) (Tango) - 2:53
Martín Alvarado - vocals
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