Mecha Anzoátegui: A Fresh Voice for Traditional Tangos

Not an easy feat, but she has accomplished it successfully! Mecha Anzoátegui presents traditional and well-known Tangos on this CD, giving these frequently interpreted songs a fresh and personal patina with her Alto voice. With her fourth album Cuerpo y Alma, the singer has given us twelve Tangos and Milongas, accompanied by only two instruments played by the guitarrist César Angeleri and the bandoneon player Pablo Mainetti. Her full and resonant voice brings out the inherent melancholic character of melodies such as those of "Fuimos" and "Nieblas del Riachuelo". All twelve pieces are wonderful to listen to, especially now during the fall season.

Mecha Anzoátegui, Cuerpo y Alma
The tastefully styled cover, held entirely in red and brown tones, is my eyes' first choice, on this early autumn afternoon. Looking at the cover, I am imagining a voice that carries the colours of autumn. As her first words reach my ear everything around me is melting into chocolate brown and red colours. The day is already coming to a close - some daylight is still reaching me through the clouds or is it fog? While I am pouring myself a glass of well-decanted Malbec from Mendoza and nibbling a few manís – peanuts – I am looking through my French windows watching the auburn autumn leaves float towards the ground against the backdrop of the clouded Lake Starnberg, with the first snow already covering the nearby peaks of the Alps. Or could it be river Riachuelo that features in so many Tangos and that Mecha Anzoátegui also sings about, the river Riachuelo in Buenos Aires, meandering slowly through the early morning wafts of mist, down there?

And when Mecha Anzoátegui is singing about a sentimental, coquettish French girl, as she does in "Griseta", she is daring to follow in Carlos Gardel's footsteps, just like so many other singers have tried before her. Gardel's rendering of Griseta is unique - no doubt about it - but when a woman sings about another woman, especially in this resonant Ato, then it allows for a whole set of additional associations to come forward "Griseta" – or "grisette" in French - was what in 19 century Paris seamstresses and female workers were called because they were wearing materials in a particular shade of grey. However, this label was also used for ladies of the bourgeoisie that consented all to willingly to being coquetted. This version is - at least for now - one of the few female interpretations of "Griseta".

My other personal favourite songs on this album are "Fuimos", "La pulpera de Santa Lucia", "Niebla del Riachuelo", and "Nada". These are all songs that have been recorded by a many great singers but Mecha Anzoátegui's voice gives these well-known lyrics a warm, autumn-like and colourful patina. And last but not least, these four pieces are just great to dance to and together they would make up a perfect melancholic tanda. So far, this singer has given live performances mostly in Buenos Aires. With this CD she may acquire a good reputation abroad, also. I would like her to achieve just that!

You can listen to "Cuerpo y Alma" following this link!

Susanne Mühlhaus

38 new tango classics!
Tango vacation in Italy in 2013


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Thursday, 29 February 2024