Pasion Por La Vida is an album of original tangos composed by pianist Roger Davidson and performed as a duo with award-winning Raul Jaurena on bandoneon. This is Davidson’s third album of tangos and his first with a program entirely consisting of his own compositions. Produced by Pablo Aslan, Pasion Por La Vida is exactly what it says that it is, songs with a passion for life and music loaded with endorphins.
"Fuerza Milonguera" has a traditional tango style with devastatingly passionate dips and spins and tantalizing extensions. "Su Pasion" has more subtle curves and shading, and "O, Te Quiero" roams with a casual saunter like dancers moving across a park lawn and laughing gleefully. The tunes have a romantic hue with a willowy flounce, while "Camino Al Sol" has a peppy tempo with a touch of Italian-laced pirouettes. "Tarde Soleada" is laid back and conjures up images of a moonlight evening and lovers enjoying the dulcet atmosphere. The interplay between the piano and the bandoneon has an infectious exuberance that carries the listener away in its calming surf. "Puente a la Esperanza" is slightly more melancholic like when someone yearns for their partner and spends the hours daydreaming about the precious moments they shared. "Optimista" and "Milonga Del Norte" skips jubilantly, while "Volvere" and "Alma Apasionada" have the elegance of a stately waltz.
There is a shyness in the coquettish dalliance which traverses through "Todo El Tiempo" like lovers approaching each other cautiously with such tender care and veiled affection but unwavering tenacity. The melodic patterns of "Orquesta de Pueblo" have intricate loops which are reminiscent of French-entangled knots, which then slip into the classic jazz stylizing of "Tango Ruso." Sloping lines are dramatized and sprout floral wraiths, which become sullen and moody through "Si Loin De Toi." The final track "Aventura" has a springy tempo and peaks that pump up the listener into a rush which segues into periods of warm afterglow.
Pasion Por La Vida has a world music flavoring that includes Italian, French and Latin splinters. The duo of Roger Davidson and Raul Jaurena is truly one of a kind. Their playing is delightful as they move freely and show such insight into making tangos that zing, it makes one want to learn this unchaste dance.