Reviewed by David Lynch, Fri., April 11, 2003
Glover GillSolo Tango Vol. 1 (Nois)
A former member of Austin's best gypsy swing band 8 1/2 Souvenirs and the prime mover of the much-feted Tosca Tango Orchestra, Glover Gill is justifiably one of the best-known pianists in town, gracefully melting jazz, Western, classical, ragtime, and tango. Converging his gifts and concentration into Argentina's most famous musical export -- a confluence of Italian, indigenous, klezmer, African, and Spanish streams -- Gill and Tosca have had many successes with tango, including the soundtrack for Richard Linklater's film Waking Life and 2001's impressive 2-CD set, La Cuidad del Tango. As both music and dance, tango wouldn't be around for over 100 years if it didn't tap into some lasting vein of human expression. A solo piano album of tango music from this ivory tickler, therefore, comes with great expectations. And Gill doesn't disappoint. The 13 tracks span the better part of last century, with "Ojos Negros" dating from 1910 and "Milonguita Irmita" written by Gill last year. As dance music, tango has a definitive meter, but there's also a joie de vivre playfulness. Atmospherewise, the hourlong disc possesses a graceful, in the parlor, recording imprint. And while Solo Tango Vol. 1 is as difficult to perform as any Bach counterpoint or Liszt romantic flourish, Gill creates a gossamer patina over its muscular skeleton. An exceptional tango primer as well as an example of what can be done with a piano, Solo Tango is as good as any tango and/or piano recording. Anywhere, anytime.