I spent Thursday night at Terraza 7 Train Café, where, as this vertiginous view suggests, Tangolandó sent me reeling. It was not just the boldness of the sound, which backs tango, sung in its own time by Sofía Tosello, with the Afro-Peruvian rhythm known as landó, arranged by the guitarist and impresario of the project Yuri Juárez. It was the singing itself, sweet, soulful, sardonic, bitter, reflective, expansive, intimate, all by turns, and the singer with her indefatigable charisma. She sang to all of us and at the same time to each of us; someone commented that she was doing more than sing, that she was also acting; call it what you will, she possesses a depth and intricacy of expression that is moving and profoundly communicative. It was the precision of the guitar in the duets (more straight tango than fusion) and the unity of an ensemble that included bass, accordion and cajón. It was the realization that “tangolandó” could be danced to as tango, as the couple in the photograph proved well enough, despite the innovation of the Peruvian counter rhythm. And it was the thought that perhaps in landó is an echo of the history of tango, whose compass includes African rhythms to which landó itself might be related. Two energetic sets were played, and two encores demanded. Still more were giddily desired, along with the CD that should be released in the U.S. in the fall.

For information about future shows at Terraza 7, click here.

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