24 September 2007

Monday's mp3: Never Mind the Mambo

Mambo No. 5 may get all the press, but don't dismiss Tango No. 9 too quickly. The Bay Area quartet has just released their third CD, entitled Here Live No Fish.

They're billed as "cutting edge tango," but not in the way of Gotan Project and the like. No electronics here, just sharp edged pieces played on traditional instruments (well, mostly. Is trombone a traditional tango instrument?).

The band is:
Catharine Clune - violin
Isabel Douglass - accordion & bandoneon
Greg Stephens - trombone
Joshua Raoul Brody - piano

Best of all, this album marks a convergence with one of my favorite singer-songwriter crazies, Jonathan Richman. His sappy sincerity comes through beautifully on the 1954 song "Amor de Mis Amores," the only track on the album with vocals.

The album is a pleasing mix of covers (including Piazzolla's "Libertango" with trombone lead) and original songs, and reaches a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion with the 1916 tune "La Cumparsita." You can hear more from the album on the Tango No. 9 website.

[mp3] Tango No. 9: Amore de Mis Amores feat. Jonathan Richman
from Here Live No Fish

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