Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tango Gift Ideas, direct from Austin, Texas
[Glover Gill by Laura Burlton, Houston Photographer]
We're extremely lucky to have our very own Tango composer and performer (piano, accordion) here in Austin (and Houston). Not to mention the other artists who complete the Tosca Tango Orchestra - Tosca String Quartet. They have been called "an exquisite ensemble of estrogen-driven musicality".
I love the challenge of dancing to them live. There's something about dancing to a live orchestra that tests, piques, energizes, electrifies, a leader's listening/musicality/interpretation/improvisation on the fly and to the hilt. Something wonderful. Truly an example of letting it go in your ears, filter through you heart and soul, and manifest itself in those four feet on the pista.
I've posted this video before, an "invitation" to the first annual Houston Tango Festival, produced by the local dancers of the Houston Tango community. HouTango is a great bunch of folks who I almost never see, nor dance with nearly enough. The song is "Mi Otra Mitad de Naranja" from the soundtrack for the film "Waking Life":
I just did a one-click download of it on Amazon.com. Or you can "Gift" it to someone. Click here. I'm not sure if the actual CD is still available. It looks like some used ones might be available.
My other recommendation is Glover's "Solo Tango". The entire CD is great, but I would recommend that you buy it solely for the "Malena" track. For me, it rivals - no it bests - by a great margin, Lucio Demare's Malena piano solo. Evidence: I'm clicking through my various versions of Malena, trying to find the one other piano solo in my collection. I find Demare's, listen a bit, and then click on Glover's in passing before I come back here. The hairs on the back of my neck immediately stand up. Good enough indicator for me.
And, it's extremely danceable.
You can buy Solo Tango through PayPal directly on Glover's website - and there are several other CD's there as well. Also note that there is sheet music for sale as well.
My only connection to Glover is that I know him, not well, but well enough to know he's a "good guy" and a very talented artist. Extremely talented, and he shares that talent with the local tango community with great humility - and shares it frequently. He is the tango dancer's composer/performer, and we're unbelievably blessed to have him in our lives.
That, and apparently his mom and my mom knew each other - growing up in the same San Antonio neighborhood back in the day.
Small world. I'll bet those teenage girls woulda never guessed their future sons would be connected out there in the great wide infinite - some 65 years later - connected by El Tango.
Small world indeed.