To call Fernando Otero a tango artist might be accurate, but conveys none of the aggressiveness and freneticism at the heart of his new album, Pagina de Buenos Aires. The opening track, “Chirimbolos,” is a typical study in tension. Otero and his accompanists-violinist Nick Danielson and cellist Inbal Segev-attack the melody with uncommon zeal. The tune proceeds less like dance music than one of Carl Stalling’s Warner Bros. cartoon scores being played several beats-per-minute too fast. In that sense, “Chirimbolos” and much of what follows is more avant-garde than anything else. Even when the composer slows down and mellows out, as he does on “La Vista Gorda” and “Lejana,” there is still a melodramatic edge to the music that keeps it in the foreground at all times.
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