Pasión Por La Vida

Pasión por la Vida is an album of original tangos composed by pianist Roger Davidson, performed in a duo with Soundbrush’s Latin Grammy Award-winning Raúl Jaurena on bandoneon. This is Davidson’s third album of tangos and his first with a program entirely of his own compositions. For lovers and romantics, this collection of tangos, produced by Pablo Aslan, is an elegant example of the genre in its most basic instrumentation. This is music to enjoy intimately as well as on the dance floor. An irrefutable case for the enduring passion of the form.

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Roger Davidson & Raul Jaurena - Pasión por la Vida 3/3
O's Notes: Roger and Raúl are masters of their instruments (piano and bandoneón). They come together to play eighteen compositions written by Davidson. It is Roger's third album of tangos but the first to be based solely on his own creations. The CD is appropriately titled Pasión por la Vida as each of the selections is full of life. Davidson did not overly arrange these charts allowing ample expression to surface during the recording session. The results are appreciable in yet another good addition to the collection of Davidson's work focused on Latin America.

D. Oscar Groomes

To the untrained ear, it sounds like an accordion. And to be fair, there are similarities. However, the bandoneon is its own instrument, and it is part of what makes Tango Duo's Pasion Por La Vida an interesting and unique album.

Pianist Roger Davidson and Latin Grammy Award-winner/bandoneonist Raul Jaurena come together for a solid collection of original tango music. Davidson has recorded two previous tango albums, but this is his first with all-new music. Jaurena has worked closely with Davidson for 15 years and is one of the world's most prolific bandoneon players.

“Fuerza Milonguera” sets the mood for dancing right off. Starting in a march, it quickly becomes more of a strut. Jaurena moves seamlessly from accompanist to half of a duet, shifting back and forth from sharing the lead to complementing the piano. Each takes turns as soloist while the other maintains the rhythm.

“Camino al Sol” begins with a leisurely piano introduction. Then Jaurena brings in a bouncy lead before fading into the background while Davidson comes to the fore. As with many of the songs, this selection plays as though the musicians were tangoing with each other while providing music for others to dance to. Near the end, the music calms and slows to a near stop before Jaurena brings back the melody, setting up a triumphant finish.

“Todo el Tiempo” begins in a melancholy mood but that changes quickly as the tempo picks up. At times, the melody is reminiscent of a love story theme. Davidson and Jaurena increase the passion as this song builds to its climax.

The tango is a couple's dance, so it's fitting that this 18-song set is performed by a duet. The piano and bandoneon dance with each other throughout, each taking turns as leads.

Woodrow Wilkins
All About Jazz


This expressive collaboration between the versatile pianist Roger Davidson and the bandoneón mater Raúl Jaurena exhibits the passionate essence of their dynamic interaction, thus justifying the chosen title. Although most of the repertoire is rooted on the Argentine tango genre, there are at least a couple of Cuban-derived compositions, plus two additional tunes inspired by the Brazilian chorinho and the Argentine milonga, respectively. The recording was produced by the renowned tango bassist Pablo Aslan whose acquaintance with the participants facilitates a spirits of creativity throughout this collection of eighteen Davidson originals.

Tango Reporter

Roger Davidson's passion for tango is evident in this, his third release dedicated to tango music, and in which far from interpreting well known tangos, he plays 18 of his own compositional harvest. Classically trained, a clear ability as an instrumentalist, and deep feeling, his tangos jump out from the disc with real tango taste. But Davidson is not alone: he is accompanied by Raul Jaurena's vibrant, nostalgic and sentimental bandoneon. Both musicians, in this most basic instrumentation, meld perfectly in rhythm and in melody. The songs are very danceable, and at the same time they are a pleasure to listen to, notably Fuerza Milongera, Camino al Sol, Vals Para Mañana, Volveré, Milonga del Norte, and Alma Apasionada.


La pasión por el tango que siente el pianista Roger Davidson se pone de manifesto en éste, su tercer album dedicado al tango, en el que lejos de interpretar los tangos conocidos, toca 18 de su propia cosecha. De entrenamiento clásico, clara ductilidad interpretativa y profundo sentimiento, sus tango se desgranan por los surcos con real gusto tanguero. Pero Davidson no esta solo, está acompañado por el vibrante, nostáligco y sentimental bandoneón de Raúl Jaurena. Ambos, en su basica instrumentacion, se compenetran perfectamente en ritmo y melodia. Luciendo bien bailables, a la par que son un gusto escucharlos, se destacan los temas Fuerza Milonguera, Camino al sol, Vals para Mañana, Volveré, Milonga del Norte, y Alma Asasionada.

Midwest Recorder

Pasión Por La Vida (Soundbrush) is music made by two gentlemen who show their friendship on the album cover by sitting down, having some wine and not caring about anything in the outside world.

Roger Davidson and Raúl Jaurena play with no one but each other, one (Davidson) plays the piano while the other (Jaurena) plays the bandoneón, which is in the accordion family. Together they play the kind of tango music that you might catch on a street corner years ago, or at a wedding reception where the dancing, talking, food, and fun doesn’t end even after everyone has cleaned up. The music is a bit different from what Davidson has released recently, but if you are a fan of his piano work you will enjoy hearing him in a completely different context. He and Jaurena play tracks like “Tango Ruso”, “Todo El Tiempo”, “Puente A LA Esperanza”, and “Aventura” where you may want to join in but prefer observing from afar, not wanting to destroy the chemistry these two have with one another. There’s a romantic feel to it, although maybe that comes from hearing the music in a nostalgic manner or perhaps as an outsider. That in itself may be the lure, the idea that we’re all outsiders but somehow we open ourselves to bring each other in. Welcome.

This CD is an exquisitely composed series of 18 Tangos and Milongas (fast tangos), some with searing, soulful qualities, some with buoyant liveliness, and some with pronounced, danceable melodies. In fact, Pasión Por La Vida would be the perfect accompaniment to the tango teacher, as Raúl Jaurena is so renowned and revered in the Tango community, often performing live at the “milongas” (dance socials). Davidson has captured the essence of the Tango, that sense of yearning, of memory, of the shared 3-4 minutes for the tango partners, as one leads and one follows, losing themselves to the music. Davidson creates the concept, and Jaurena makes it come alive. Together these performers are like tango partners, Davidson leading the theme and Jaurena enhancing and embellishing it.

Notable tracks:

#9 – Todo El Tiempo – With the purity of two instruments, uncluttered and uninterrupted, each artist provides nuanced interpretations. Davidson’s song inspires the imagination, and, while he provides the melody, Jaurena provides improvisational turns with elegant effect. #11 – Canción de la Montaña – This song resembles the Chacarera, an Argentine folk dance, often danced at the end of the social milonga, in the morning’s wee hours, with the entire remaining group of dancers facing each other in lines and crossing the dance floor, arms up-stretched. Jaurena is obviously versed in the genre and creates captivating chords with each pulse of Davidson’s piano.
#12 – Milonga del Norte – This vibrant Milonga, a joyful fast partner Tango, that switches the mood in social dance settings, has been composed with especially pronounced rhythms that drive the music. Jaurena slaps the side of his bandoneón for percussive pulse, and Davidson’s staccato melody enhances this recording with joyful vivacity.

#16 – Si Loin de Toi – In a Parisian mood, with a French title, this rapturous retro-styled Tango brings the listener back to the core of the genre. I found it evocative of the Pugliese Tango repertoire, soulful, searing, sensuous. This theme yearns for Tangueros in close embrace.

Over a long and illustrious career that has included everything from bebop to the classics (not that there aren't some bebop classics, but you know what I mean), respected pianist Roger Davidson has again and again returned to Latin music. That passion is reflected in the title of his newest album on the Soundbrush label, Pasión por la Vida, a collection of his own neuvo tango pieces as performed by Davidson and his pal, bandoneónist Raul Jaurena, calling themselves Tango Duo.

Jaurena, who was born in Uruguay, is considered by most to be the current grand master of the bandoneón, a squeeze-box instrument similar to the concertina. It's very popular in South America and was the instrument of the legendary Astor Piazzolla. In the hands of a skilled player like

Jaurena it takes on a life of its own, providing evidence that Davidson made the right choice for a partner on this album. To lend some added weight, he also enlisted veteran Argentinean bassist Pablo Aslan as producer.

Filling an album completely with his own compositions is something of a departure for Davidson, who has usually leaned toward interpreting established Latin standards. But there is a twist here that's worth mentioning. Davidson has eliminated the highly arranged charts that he's used before, in favor of a more open, improvisational style.

The combination of piano and bandoneón proves to be an appealing sound, and there's a lot to like on this album. Whether your intent is to hit the dance floor and try your luck with a tango or just sit back and enjoy the music, you'll be well served. Practically every track is a good listen, but among my favorites I'd count "Su Pasion," which does indeed show a little passion, as does "O, Te Quiero." My top choice here was probably "Milonga Del Norte," which has a festive air reminiscent of moonlit nights and flamenco dancers. A close second was "Orquesta De Pueblo," a piece that gives Jaurena's sqeeze-box the upper hand.

Overall, an outstanding collection of improvisational tango pieces, well-performed by a duo of veteran instrumentalists. Recommended for any Latin jazz -- or tango -- fan.


Below you can Play samples from the CD.

Todo el Tiempo

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Fuerza Milonguera

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