About “Never Too Tango”

Argentine soprano Lorena Guillén, composer/arranger/pianist Alejandro Rutty, and the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet present a beautiful and entertaining program of tangos, entitled “Never Too Tango,” including original material from the golden era in Argentina to more recent compositions by the likes of Astor Piazzolla, Thomas Oboe Lee, Alejandro Rutty and Paquito D’Rivera.

This concert offers an elegant blend of popular and "classical" styles, of traditional and new sounds. combining voice and instrumental forces in a variety of arrangements: from voice, sax quartet and piano, just sax quartet, sax quartet and piano, or the intimate piano and voice setting. In the tutti arrangements, Rutty treats the saxophones as a gigantic "bandoneón" that surrounds with its expansive colors the percussive piano and the lyrical vocal melodies of the tangos.

A comment from Lorena Guillén about tango: “The tango is the popular music style unequivocally associated with the city of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. The creational myth of the Argentine tango holds that it was born in the late nineteenth century as the music of the underclass, and that the tango gradually climbed the social ladder to be accepted as the dominant form of music, dance, and song by the late 1910s. After several peaks and declines, a tired and out-fashioned Tango lost ground against international music trends in the 1960s and 1970s. In the late 1980s, however, perhaps fueled by the international success of bandoneón virtuoso and composer Astor Piazzolla, a new generation of Argentine musicians, many coming from the classical music world, rushed to learn the fading tradition from older musicians of the ‘golden era’ of tango.”

Read fragments from this review:

Never Too Tango!
by Tom Moore
The Classical Voice of North Carolina, February 2010

…a concert which introduced listeners to such fine music in performances on the level of sheer perfection. Bravi tutti!

…"Café 1930" ( from Histoire du tango by Astor Piazzolla), slow and pathétique, achieved a transcendent Bachian perfection in the Quartet's rendition of the maggiore – a moment of sheer bliss and nostalgia.

…Lorena Guillén, a diminutive figure but a major presence on stage, with each word and syllable delivered with consummate grace and rhythm, inflected to the maximum, without a hint of overdone sentiment or kitsch, as dry as the driest martini, bringing out all the wit and feeling of the lyrics. The way she lingered on the second syllable of "Nostalgias" drew a hot tear from this world-weary reviewer's eye – like a knife to the heart.

…one might admire, unhindered, the expressive and virtuoso touch of Rutty as pianist, equal in merit to his spouse as interpreter, who translated at sight the lyrics for each tango before singing.

Listen to the Following Live Recordings:

Red Clay Saxophone Quartet and Lorena Guillén Tango Duo in concert at Music for a Great Space Concert Series 2010 (All arrangements by A. Rutty)

Tiempos viejos (F. Canaro - M. Romero)

La casita de mis viejos (J. Cobián-E. Cadícamo)

Hyperlink 4 (A. Rutty)

Aquel tapado de armiño (E. Delfino)