This new collection of songs from the Argentinian singer-actor could be the soundtrack to a shady underworld, conjuring up as it does a chiaroscuro labyrinth of mirrors where time stands still. Offbeat love songs, sparkling with glints of the blues and tangos of old, vagrants tales sprinkled with snatches of bossa nova and candombe, atmospheric melodies summoning up musical spirits, now of Duke, now of Zappa, all plunging us into Melingo s surreal universe. In the company of his band of itinerant musician-poets, he is a free-spirited, definition-defying artist at the very zenith of his powers. Part rocker, part flamboyant crooner, with a touch of the comedian, as well as a multi-instrumentalist and composer, he bewitches us with intoxicating dreams.
Daniel Melingo is one of the quirky celebrities of the Buenos Aires tango scene. He's a singer and actor with a gruff voice and a stage persona that veers between Charlie Chaplin and Tom Waits. But he's also an impressive multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, keyboards and clarinet, and has set out to provide new and often experimental settings for Argentina's most celebrated dance style. As ever, he sings about his city's lowlife, and uses the persona of a linyera (a vagabond) as the starting point for his unusual and sophisticated songs. The opener, La Cancion De Linyera, is a jaunty tango driven on by the bandoneon concertina, but elsewhere he adds bluesy guitar lines and jazzy trombone, and includes a charming, crooned treatment of a song by the great Chilean singer Violeta Parra, and his own setting of a Lorca poem. Sadly, no translation of the lyrics is provided. --Robin Denselow, The Guardian
It s a terrific album his strongest yet, I think with the kind of depths I ll be investigating for years to come. --Jazz Breakfast