1. La Juan D'Arienzo - "Este es el Rey"
2. La Juan D'Arienzo - "Felicia"
3. La Juan D'Arienzo - "Gallo ciego"
4. La Juan D'Arienzo - "La cumparsita"
I finally had the chance to hear La Juan D'Arienzo live at the World of Tango Festival in Finland and I'm not sure if I can find enough superlatives to describe this experience. My jaw literally dropped to the floor at the soundcheck from the very first notes of "Este es el Rey" and the hottest orchestra of today proved to be worthy of all the hype behind them and exceeded all my expectations. You could see such joy and euphoria on the faces of the dancers as they joined in the hurricane of rhythm as if the king of the compas - Juan D'Arienzo - himself had been there in flesh.
And this was really as good, and as close to the real thing, as it gets. The La Juan D'Arienzo is obviously a tribute orchestra that executes flawlessly the style of Juan D'Arienzo's 1950's to 1970's rhythmical "overdrive tango". I can appreciate Sans Souci's repertoire of Miguel Caló and I have heard Color Tango live with their repertoire of Pugliese and others, as well as Misteriosa Buenos Aires and their powerful and beautiful Di Sarliesque set, but I dare to say that no other orchestra has accomplished capturing the style of their idols so perfectly as La Juan D'Arienzo. Well let's not forget Los Reys del Tango, which I have also heard live but with a smaller line up. And of course there's no denying that Solo Tango is amazing and they perform a lot of D'Arienzo - but there's only so much you can accomplish with a cuartet. It is a unique occasion to hear a full "orquesta típica" of such musicians in Europe and the difference in sound and quality is huge.
If there's one thing more I could've asked for, then yes, I would've loved to hear something from the earlier D'Arienzo repertoire, with the perhaps more subtle and sophisticated overdrive of the earlier years... but the orchestra had us mesmerized completely with their two sets, that came up to a massive total of 24 songs, and there was no fatique in neither the orchestra or the dancers. The orchestra members also proved to be not only great musicians, but also great entertainers, as they kept a very high energy stage-presence throughout the concert.
Unfortunately there is no way that their recordings could come even close to the energy of their live sets, but still you can hear the talent and passion that has been put into their music. The orchestra is currently on their first European tour and I sincerely hope all the success in the world for them and that I will have plenty of chances to hear them live again. Check their tour photo below and if you have a chance to go see them live then that should be your top priority in life from now on.
For the most update information on the orchestra and their tour I recommend checking out the Facebook page of La Juan D'Arienzo. Their album "Cortando clavos" is available on Spotify, Deezer and is sold at least in the iTunes Store.
- DJ Antti Suniala, www.tandaoftheweek.net