Leon Palad
& Kilo Munoz,
Essential Tango
(self-produced, 2004)

"The tango is like a lullaby that gets in your ear and never goes away."

- Carlos Gardel

Two tenors from the San Francisco Bay area, Leon Palad and Kilo Munoz, have been working hard to popularize the tango in North America with an act that presents some of the finer moments of that South American art form.

The tango, which is music, dance and a way of life, comes from the bordellos and drawing rooms of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay. It has probably never caught the popular imagination in North America in the same way that it did, not only in the Rio de la Plata, but also in much of the world.

Palad and Munoz give us a varied selection of duets as well as solos by each singer, beginning with the duet on "Mi Buenos Aires Querido," one of the most memorable tango songs, a love song to the city that is the home of the tango.

The music is performed with a quintet of which Norberto Vogel, a Porteno (Buenos Aires native) himself, distinguishes himself on bandoneon and piano, and provides musical direction. (The traditional quintet consists of violin piano, guitar, bass and bandoneon). Other musicians are Rachel Durling (violin), Michel Taddei (bass) and Will Bernard (guitar).

The 15 tunes include the music of Carlos Gardel (1890-1935), the most famous tango singer, and deal with such issues as relationships, lost loves, nostalgia and even cynicism. Lyrics and translations for all songs are provided in the booklet.

There is not a discordant note in this passionate, clear music, which invokes the darkened drawing rooms of a time gone by and introduces the tango to new audiences.

- Rambles
written by David Cox
published 13 November 2004

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