Full Price (55 mins)

Originally published in Songlines.

Zingaros are an Argentine trio specialising in local interpretations of Gypsy and East European classics. Musicians in Eastern Europe themselves have had a long-standing love affair with tango, so it is fitting that these tango virtuosos have decided to repay the compliment.

Led ably by guitarist Alejandro Montero alongside David Macchione on violin and Alexander Garate on accordion, this album at its instrumental best is a stylish affair: Piazzolla meets Taraf de Haidouks, all fiery, feisty playing with a possessed swagger. In vocal moments, despite their evident musicianship, they struggle to stand out from the crowd: their version of the rousing Russian song ‘Tsigani Lyubyat’, is not a patch on the version made famous by the fabulous, underrated French ensemble Bratsch; ‘Na Mi Naz Oumi’, an Armenian love ballad has more colour, mainly thanks to guest vocalist Evangelina Yigerimian; Gypsy standard ‘Opa Cupa’ is a case in point, displaying all the flourishes of rumba guitars we would expect without doing anything exceptional with them.

Overall, a high quality standards album by great musicians who haven’t yet found a way to really own their material.

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