Rosemarie Lindau and Tiina Kiik. Tango Naturno, 2006, 40:49
Chanteuse Rosemarie Lindau and accordionist extraordinaire Tiina Kiik have been popular performers on the local Toronto Estonian music scene ever since Roosi heard Tiina play accordion in a church basement at a fundraiser. Their musical partnership and zest for performance left no doubt that sooner or later a recording would reach their fans. With the recent release of their Tango Naturno CD the wait is over.
The disc reflects a side of Rosemarie and Tiina that is freewheeling and fun-loving. Not at all what someone who only perhaps knows of Rosemarie Lindau as a splendid choir conductor or of Tiina Kiik as a superb CD reviewer who writes gems month after month for WholeNote might have expected. (Would it, that others could only write with Tiina's clarity, brevity, and most of all, focus...)
The duo have a fondness for French cabaret music - Piaf and Brel - as well as for Estonian estrade music, best exemplified by composers such as Uno Naissoo and Arne Oit. The above are represented on the disc as well as the work of Georges Moustaki and Charles Dumont's classic "No, je ne regrette rien", popularized by Piaf. This is the kind of music that has many layers of emotion and is often best interpreted by a small ensemble. The pairing of voice and accordion allows for these depths and levels of interpretation, their very simplicity begets an alluring complexity.
While the Tango Naturno act needs truly to be heard - and seen - live, as they were at "Just a Night Out", last January's Canadian-Estonian musical showcase at Alice Fazooli's! nightclub, this recording captures with fine discernment their élan, esprit and joie de vivre which translates into the pure pleasure of making exuberant music with refinement and precision. They bring a welcome freshness to cabaret classics that makes the songs their own. All arrangements are their work, as is the production. The engineering and mixing of Rob Vessmann and Don Patterson of Thirsty Ears Studio is sensitive to the material, keeping the immediacy of the live feel present in a studio recording.
The joys of performance are evident on every selection. The ultimate is the personal touch on the title track, "Tango Naturno", where the sultry siren call to Lover Boy— sung in Estonian no less — is sure to hold every hot-blooded male in thrall. The sense of humour throughout is made all the more evident with the hidden track "Hey, big spender" tucked in 45 seconds after "Tango Naturno" has seemingly played out. Rosemarie's call to spend a little time with her and Tiina on this recording needed no repeating for these thirsty ears. Wonderful and original renditions of classics that, while perhaps best enjoyed with a late evening glass of vintage port, are fresh at all times of the day.
(Tango Naturno is available at the estore in the Toronto Estonian House, or through the artists, )
A delightfully refined exuberance