CD Review

Mediterranean Accordion…Live

Marco Lo Russo
24 April 2009

We belatedly bring to your attention this splendid live recording by Marco Lo Russo, based on the interaction between his quartet (as well as Lo Russo on accordion we have Claudio Trotta on drums, Tiziano Zanotti on bass and Fabrizio Mocata on piano) and the string quartet Kuasar String Kuartet for a project influenced by Astor Piazzolla’s “Five Tango Sensations”, that the great argentinian recorded with the Kronos Quartet. Many similarities catch the eye: the names of the string quartets, the choice of album cover based on a contrast of red and black; and finally the feelings that tango give the listener.

However we don’t have the usual tango disc here, perhaps well played but without feeling. It seems that Marco Lo Russo is hiding in the great masters shadow only to then come out and play whilst putting his own talents on show. We have 15 tracks all written by Lo Russo ( some in collaboration with his band) some of which are certainly reminders of Piazolla, but more often others that explore the possibilities of jazz in tango ( with Mocata in evidence in “Obsession” o “Cin Cin”) or Zanotti hitting hard in “Shadow” o “Camel” – with great solos from the accordion – here the varied rhythmic aromas and melodies give something bewitching to the music.

“Tango Antiguo” and “The Light Reality”, both for string quartet only, show a truly original composer. Only a couple of tracks fail to convince: “Largo al Factotum” ( the only solo track by Lo Russo on the album and the bonus track “Red Tango” which seems a little superficial.

In conclusion though one can only repeat the initial comments that this is a splendid live recording.

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Reviewed by Renato Belardinelli

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