ALBUM TITLE: Cáceres
PERFORMER: Juan Carlos Cáceres (vocals, piano); various musicians
CATALOGUE NO: MM425008
Though based in Paris, Juan Carlos Cáceres is a key figure in Argentina’s roots music renaissance. A renaissance man himself, this singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is also a hands-on musicologist who has sketched out the history and future of Argentinean music on a string of vibrant albums over the past decade. His work celebrates the black roots of tango and lesser-known styles such as the rolling milonga?> gaucho ballads and murga – the awkward, but oddly appealing carnival marching style, which makes up half of Utopia. It’s driven by clipping and chiming cymbals, a rattle of snare and booming bass drum, sometimes accompanied by choruses of singers. Variously backed by brass, percussion, and bandoneón, Cáceres plays piano and sings in a gruff but suave manner that suggests Tom Waits tackling chanson in Spanish, rather better than he might.