Torben Westergaard, Tangofied III album cover - third album in the Tangofied trilogy (2017)

Tangofied III

Torben Westergaard‘s charismatic concoction of Nordic jazz and Argentinean tango just keeps getting stronger and more refined.

At rejse ud for at vende hjem

Kreative processer aflæses ofte først baglæns, dvs. når de har fundet sted. Først da kan man se årsagsrækken, der førte til slutresultatet. Jeg havde således på ingen måde planlagt at Tangofied udgivelserne skulle være til en trilogi. Det var noget, det blev til; den første cd tog de andre med sig.

Tangofied (2012), blev indspillet i Buenos Aires med argentinske musikere under ledelse af pianist og arrangør Diego Schissi. Den var stærkt inspireret af lyden af Astor Piazzollas sidste udgivelser og deres dramatiske og kammermusikalske udtryk med det arketypiske argentinske instrument bandoneónen. Tangofied II var inspireret af argentinsk folkemusik og blev indspillet delvist i Buenos Aires med Ernesto Snajer og Tiki Cantera og halvt i Danmark med mit danske orkester.

Nærværende udgivelse, Tangofied III, er kommet hjem på alle måder. Den er indspillet udelukkende med mit fremragende danske orkester, The Tangofied Ensemble, med indbudte gæster: Peter Rosendal (klaver), Anders Singh Vesterdahl (accordion), Andrea Pellegrini (vokal) og Benedikte Artved (bratch).

Overordnet kunne man stille spørgsmålet, hvor musikken i Tangofied trilogien kommer fra. Det er ikke let at give et kortfattet, endsige meningsfyldt, svar på dette spørgsmål. Derfor skal det blot anføres, at jeg fornemmer et slægtskab mellem melankolien i den nordiske jazz og den vemodige nostalgi i tangomusikken. Der er noget dér, som rækker ud efter mig – og jeg fulgte bare efter uden den store om- eller bagtanke. Spørgsmålet blev for mig: kan jeg skabe noget tredje, en hybrid midt mellem de to genrer?

Om det lykkes vil jeg lade være op til dig at afgøre. For mig er Tangofied trilogien, som en japansk anmelder skrev om Tangofied II, ”not a mere research project into the nature of Argentine tango. Rather, it is Torben’s search for himself, through ten compositional jewels that invite the listener into a new world(The Walker’s, Japan, 2014).

Selected Reviews

“The great success of the three-volume “Tangofied” series is something to be proud of”.

The Walker’s, Japan

“Torben Westergaard‘s charismatic concoction of Nordic jazz and Argentinean tango just keeps getting stronger and more refined. He brings a melancholy tone to the dance and incites excitable motion out of introspective thoughts. His last installment in his Tangofied series got a strong recommendation on this site (go check it out), and his album III is a step up even from that plateau. This is delightful music, especially when it sinks deep into a state of contemplation”. (USA)

“The release is a sparkling gem from a splendid Danish music maker and his tight ensemble. Highly recommended”.

Jazzspecial, DK

“The CD presents eight satisfying miniatures, each a neatly structured gem”, “The musicianship is world class”, ” There is absolutely no self-indulgence, and the whole album is a pared-down delight”.

London Jazz News

“Tangofied III is an atmospheric, almost cinematic album, that works well as both a soundtrack for everyday life and for a while in quiet contemplation”.

“It’s like watching a bunch of snowdrops and suddenly noticing the green calligraphy on the inner petals; alongside jazz you find the wistful nostalgia of the tango, with both a subdued thoughtfulness and a more intense glow. It is in this breakpoint that Torben Westergaard’s music exists”.

Tidningen, Kulturen, Sweden

★★★★ […] “the subdued melancholia allows the group to draw out beautiful shades both sinuous and sensuous”., USA

“Even if you’re not a tango fan, who spends time, money and energy on tango courses, ending every night with a round of tango on the living room floor, this is music that you do like. Westergaard writes fine compositions, which more than likely could be written by a native”.

Salt peanuts, Norway

[…] “thus he goes out of the [Tangofied] trilogy in a blaze of glory”.

Ivan Rod (blog), Denmark

[…] “the encounter between jazz, tango and Scandinavian melancholy  […] Quite a lot of fun, actually, I thought that was rather nice”.

UK Jazz (radioshow)

“Aware of the nostalgia common to the melancholic element of northern European jazz and the sadness of tango, Westergaard’s attempt to fuse the two produces a comfortable hybrid sound”

Jazz Japan

Arriving at oneself through traveling

The creative process leading to a particular product often first reveals itself afterward, i.e. when it has occurred. From the outcome, it all of a sudden becomes clearer in which way causalities led to the result. I had in no way planned that the Tangofied releases should end up as a trilogy. It just happened that way; the first CD brought about the other two.

Tangofied (2012), was recorded in Buenos Aires with Argentine musicians in collaboration with pianist and arranger Diego Schissi. It is heavily inspired by the sounds of Astor Piazzolla’s last releases, and it’s dramatic chamber musical expressiveness featuring the archetypical Argentine instrument the bandoneón. Tangofied II was more inspired by Argentinean folk music and was partly recorded in Buenos Aires in collaboration with Ernesto Snajer and Mariano ‘Tiki’ Cantero, partly in Denmark with my usual band. Both releases were nominated for Danish Music Award — Jazz in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

The current release, Tangofied III, has finally returned at home in every way. It is recorded only using my Danish band The Tangofied Ensemble plus added collaborations with different musical friends: Peter Rosendal (piano), Anders Singh Vester Dahl (accordion), Andrea Pellegrini (vocals) and Benedikte Artved (viola).

Overall, one could ask, from where the music in the Tangofied trilogy springs. It is not easy to give a brief, let alone meaningful answer to this question. Therefore, let it just be noted that I sense a kinship between the melancholia in Nordic jazz and the elegiac nostalgia of Argentinian tango music. There is something in that crossfield which reaches out to me – and I just followed this hunch without too much-organized reflection or ulterior motive. The focal point was: can I  create a meaningful hybrid halfway between the two genres?

If the project succeeds, I will leave up to you to decide. For myself, the Tangofeid trilogy — using a Japanese reviewer words about Tangofied II, — is “not a mere research project into the nature of Argentine tango. Rather, it is Torben’s search for himself, through ten Compositional jewels that invite the listener into a new world “(The Walker’s, Japan, 2014).