CACERES’s conception of art and music make him an extremely unconventional artist, one almost impossible to classify, even if there are many who regard him, not without reason, as South America’s answer to Paolo Conte. His attachment to his native Argentina is evinced by his great passion for tango music. But his many talents (CACERES is also an excellent painter whose work conjoins abstraction with an almost comic-strip like figuration) go further than merely reproducing the familiar rhythms and colours of the genre. CACERES’s music is shaped by two tendencies, the first, emerging after his relocation to Paris in 1968 is an estrangement from his material, a typical reflex of exiles thrust into a new environment that, though it may in one sense be welcoming (the Parisian ‘movida’) forces them to live life under the melancholy chill of leaden skies which the tango’s vibrations are not always able to warm or clear. The second has more to do with technique, and that is CACERES’s attempt to show how the tango far from being simply a sexier retread of European dance steps is profoundly influenced by African rhythms and traditions which found their way into South America through such forms as the milonga and candombe. In this sense CACERES’s new CD Tango Negro Trio is particularly revealing, a fine introduction to his poetics, beginning with its title and the track ‘Viva el candombe negro’, a clear homage to tango’s African roots. The poignancy of his rough-edged voice announces a musical quest for that blackness often ignored by historians of tango, and which here finds full expression. Yet there is still space for nostalgic memories of the old continent, as on ‘Que es lo que queda’ when CACERES’s wistful daydreams intertwine with those of Charles Trenet. Tango Negro Trio sees CACERES, as usual on vocals, trombone and piano, accompanied by Marcello Russillo on drums, Carlos “el tero” Buschini on double bass and special guest Daniel Binelli on bandoneon. The music flows along both mysterious and concrete, evocative yet earthy, fiery and glacial at the same time, in a perfect balancing act between tradition and innovation. Tango negro trio confirms CACERES as the leading exponent of art tango.
TANGO NEGRO TRIO (Juan Carlos Caceres / Carlos Buschini / Marcelo Russillo) from Felmay Shop