Quadro Nuevo Tango Bitter Sweet

The image of tango is often as regimented as the steps of the dance, but tango is a form that exists in many guises. Tango Bitter Sweet, the newest release by Germany-based Quadro Nuevo (guitarist Robert Wolf, saxophonist Mulo Francel, bassist D.D. Lowka and accordion player Andreas Hinterseher) takes on the Italian tango and lyrical Canzone, both street music of a long gone Italy. The tango shifts and paces similarly to the Argentinean version we’re more used to hearing but with a slightly greater spring in its step, rather than sinuous plodding. "Tango Jealouise” uses the contrabass clarinet to fill in for the deepening pulse of a string bass and pulls up into sudden accents like the swishing of a brightly coloured skirt. "Malafemmena” becomes a little more ethereal, taking its careful steps through a mist-filled garden. There are a number of tracks, perhaps a few too many, as the last few brief songs seem more of an afterthought to the rest of the album. There is a sense of spontaneity, of temporality in every track, reminiscent of the time these musicians spend performing on street corners and in dance halls, making music that disappears swiftly into the night air. (Justin Time)