Tosca Amado

Texas Platters

Record Reviews

Tosca

Amado

Hats off to Glover Gill. Not only is he one of the more technically and emotionally mature keyboardists in Austin, now Amado clearly confirms he's a damn fine writer as well, penning eight of 10 gorgeous tracks on Tosca's second release. The two remaining tunes are worthy as well; "Tango para una Francesa," the sole vocal track, was written and sung a Français by the honey tenor of Robert Ashker Kraft. The other, "Primavera Porteña," was crafted by none other than the luminary Tango master Astor Piazzolla. The classically trained Tosca ensemble -- violinists Leigh Mahoney and Lara Hicks, violist Ames Asbell, cellist Sara Nelson, bassist Erik Grostic, pianist Jeanine Attaway, and Gill on accordion -- seamlessly mixes European chamber music with the lovely cadence of South American tango. Amado opens with two short works, the delightfully accelerated ostinato of "El Cholulo," and the piano/bass spun "Otoño." Guest clarinetist Ben Saffer adds a moving appearance on the seven-minute joyride "Ballade Three: E B G," where the entire group plays together as gracefully as a symphony of floating autumn leaves. Better still, the subtle nature of the compositions breathe and live within the one-mike-in-the-room intimate recording aesthetic. Chapeau à eux!

****

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