Tango Mediterraneo is a welcome addition to the options we have in New York to listen to live tango music. It has a distinctive sound, sharp and individualized in its instrumentation, and is fronted by Stratos Achlatis, the accordionist and singer, whose dulcet – I want to say honeyed – voice adds just the right touch of sweetness to the sound. The band’s repertory is traditional Argentine, ranging from Gardel to Piazzolla, but its members are from Greece, Turkey and Spain, hence the name.
At times in the concert I heard on Sunday night, the music took on a sort of Balkan character; there was something in the vocals and backing rhythms of the classic “A media luz” that called that milieu especially strongly to mind. It added a bracing and rather seductive dimension to a delicate and reflective song. In addition to Ahlatis, from Greece, the players are Alev Gokce Erem, a truly striking Turkish violinist, bassist Yiorgos (George) Kostopoulos – the other Greek, and the Spanish pianist Yago Vasquez. I did not hear Vasquez on Sunday as Emilio Solla, the excellent Argentine pianist, was filling in, with verve.
Tango Mediterraneo are appearing regularly on Sundays at Somethin’ Jazz Club, and I would hope to start seeing them around town in the near future, hopefully at a location where their music could be heard and also danced to.
Tango Mediterraneo celebrates its third anniversary on Dec. 2, 2015, in a holiday show at DROM. For tickets, click here.