Friday, November 16, 2007

Putumayo Presents: Tango Around the World

I recently had the privilege of watching a DVD set of all ten hours of a TV broadcast from Buenos Aires, Días Y Noches De Tango. I know that watching a TV show is a far cry from making one an expert on anything, but I do feel much more informed. I learned, not because they said it, but because I experienced it, that Tango goes far beyond music and dance. Music and dance is integral, of course, but the deepest magic of Tango is it’s poetry. As I watched the words in English flash along the bottom of the screen I grew to realize just how shallow most of the music I listen to is. Even in translation the words were bleeding emotions we seldom explore.

In one of the interview segments I learned from the Tango philosopher Mayoral that "A tango is a tuxedo that's been taken off and laid in the mud outside a brothel and maintains it's dignity when worn."

Jorge, a friend in Argentina who shared the DVD series with me also shared a place to read Tango lyrics translated by a poet instead of the very rough translations offered on the DVD set: Planet Tango. Well, life doesn’t live itself in a void, so the day after I finished watching the set, in popped this marvelous new Tango compilation from Putumayo. The flavors are modern versions of Tango from some of the best Tango conclaves around the world. Argentina may be the birthplace, but the Tango has continued to grow and survive in Africa, Greece, Norway, Finland, Brazil, and others all featured in this set.

The entire album made for a pleasant Tango evening here at the eartaste residence, with some drinking a sangria style wine and others drinking Heineken. The food was what we call Mexican pizza – tortillas with beans, cheese and salsa baked open-faced in the oven. Scrumptious flavors, tasty beverages and world dance music, a very pleasant evening indeed. Shoutouts go to M.A. Numminen & Sanna Pietiäinen from Finland for Kangastus, Florencia Bonadeo & Melingo of Argentina for Lionel the Ugly, and Ariel Prat & Juan Cáceres also from Argentina for the wonderful African flavored tune José Mármol y Tarija.

The point of all this is that Tango, a huge early 20th century art has gracefully entered the 21st century with flavors that transcend time and continue the growth of an art that is committed to sharing the spiritual depths of philosophy in a way that entertains and pleases. Tango Around The World