Star-studded supergroup of Finnish tango
There’s something dark and secretive about Finnish tango; that is its great attraction. Listen to archive recordings from the 40s and it’s clearly a musical world unlike any other. Tango is certainly alive and well in Finland today, which hosts an annual tango festival in Seinäjoki attracting over 100,000 visitors every year.
Tango-Orkesteri Unto are named after legendary Finnish tango composer Unto Mononen and in Dark Wings of the Night they’ve released their best album to date. The members of the orchestra are all prominent performers of the Finnish music scene: the great pianist and composer Timo Alakotila, accordion superstar Johanna Juhola, Mauno Järvelä from JPP and bassist Hannu Rantanen. There’s exquisite guitar playing from Petri Hakala and warm vocals from Pirjo Aittomäki. As well as some cornerstones of the tango repertoire, there are new compositions too, such as Juhola’s restless account of argument and reconciliation in ‘Huudetaan’ or Timo Alakotila’s 7/8 tango ‘Humalapuu’ – which is, just for once, happy tango music.