Luellen Abdoo: Luango
2013 Joe Gianono, Producer
Luellen Abdoo on Violin
Elaine Chelton on Piano
Oren Fader on Guitar
Danny Mallon on Percussion
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 7, 2013
This CD is a gorgeous 9-track selection of one Piazzolla tango, two original tango genre fusions, two Paganini violin sonatas, two original contemporary pieces, a Kurt Weill adaptation, and a Latin favorite. The exceptional ensemble includes one of the composers, and they take featured turns throughout this very engaging, sometimes danceable recording. Ms. Abdoo, an eclectic and enthused violinist, is spotlighted on each track.
#2 – Grand Central Tango – Composed by Elaine Chelton. Ms. Chelton, a solo pianist with New York City Ballet, has composed this work for piano and violin, with impassioned flair and authentic Argentine tango rhythm. Ms. Abdoo’s violin is inherently soulful, yearning, and mesmerizing.
#3 – Sonata #4, Op. 3 Andante – Composed by Nicolo Paganini. This classical track has Ms. Abdoo paired with Oren Fader on guitar. The string duo contrasts searing violin and rapturous guitar in an intensely melodic theme, with the violin carrying the sumptuous theme and the guitar enhancing it with resonant chords and contrasting tempos.
#5 – Luango – Composed by Joe Gianono. Piano and violin join again for this dramatic new tango, with percussive rhythms that beg for tangueros to embrace and seize the floor. Ms. Chelton keeps the chords prominent, while Ms. Abdoo adds flourish and poignancy to her violin momentum.
#9 – Yukali – Composed by Kurt Weil. Violin, piano, and guitar join here (percussion is beautifully featured on the Piazzolla track, not reviewed here for purposes of space), with orchestral effects. The finale is balletic, a tribute to Ms. Chelton’s ballet music repertoire, with Ms. Abdoo extending single string notes, while Ms. Chelton adds treble waterfalls and ornamentations. Mr. Fader includes chordal harmonies with alluring results.