Importango: Tango for Import


Importango’s debut release, Tango for Import, is also the first release on Panoramic Recordings, a new division of New Focus Recordings dedicated to a wide continuum of stylistic diversity. The New York based trio, comprising guitarist Adam Tully, violinist Machiko Ozawa, and pianist Octavio Brunetti, has been a fixture in the city’s vibrant, close knit tango community for several years.


# Audio Title/Composer(s) Time
Total Time 45:24
01Comme Il Faut
Comme Il Faut
02El Diecinueve
El Diecinueve
03Flor de Lino
Flor de Lino
05La Cachila
La Cachila
06Milonga De Mis Amores
Milonga De Mis Amores
07Tierra Querida
Tierra Querida
08Vals Mío
Vals Mío
09Milongueando En El 40
Milongueando En El 40
10Quejas De Bandoneón
Quejas De Bandoneón
13Mi Amigo Cholo
Mi Amigo Cholo

From the beginning Importango was an unusual group. Our instrumentation—violin, piano, and guitar—was atypical for the tango genre. Our three members came from three different countries – Japan, the United States, and Argentina. We were an unlikely trio, but it was clear from our first night on stage that we had chemistry.

One passion united Importango: our quest to discover, cultivate, and transmit the ‘real’ tango, the authentic tango, the most genuine elements of this incredibly rich music. We wanted to tap into the sources, handle the prime materials, then deliver them to our fans.

‘Tango For Export’ was the unimaginative term created by record company executives in Argentina the 1980s. The idea was to identify music that would be more accessible to consumers outside of Argentina. The idea at its core is crass and cynical, vastly underestimating the cultural interest of audiences and encouraging artists to create for the lowest common denominator. This is always a dangerous prospect.

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Tango for Import is therefore the philosophy that guides us: we believe that audiences crave the best music possible. We believe that when a person is exposed to a new culture, and to that culture’s most authentic artistic expressions, that the experience is enriching and even life-changing. Audiences deserve the real thing, not a watered-down version.Importango always existed for that purpose – to ‘import’ the language of tango from Buenos Aires to New York City and beyond.

Machiko Ozawa is a brilliant and passionate violinist who after being exposed to tango—real, essential tango—made it her mission to study and perform the music in New York, her chosen home, in Japan, her native land, and in the world beyond.

I fell into tango in college, while studying in Buenos Aires, and then again years later in New York, where I slowly but surely became a part of the tight-knit, quirky, and wonderful world of tango music and tango social dance.

Octavio Brunetti was our guru. Thoroughly steeped in tango and Argentine folk music, with experience in tango performance far beyond his years, Octavio was also nothing short of a brilliant musician, the type that comes along once in a generation. Octavio lived in New York for nine years, and because of his presence every tango musician here became better. Because Octavio was a beautiful, generous person, we became better players, better practicers, better students, and better people. He once said to me, “The kind of musician you are is the same as the kind of person you are.” He was speaking in general terms, but I hear those words today and realize how perfectly Octavio embodied them.

Octavio died August 29, 2014, shortly after ‘Tango For Import’ was mixed. He arranged most of the music on the album and participated in every aspect of its creation, most of all in five years of weekly performances at Importango’s residency, ‘Tango Thursdays’ at Pane e Vino in Brooklyn. With eternal love and gratitude we dedicate this album to his memory.

Adam Tully
New York, September 2014

Machiko Ozawa, violin
Octavio Brunetti, piano
Adam Tully, guitar; electric guitar on 4,7, and 9

All arrangements by Octavio Brunetti except 8, by Adam Tully

Executive Producers

  • Engin Yenidunya
  • Tamostu & Michiko Ozawa
  • David Armillei

Thanks to those who funded this project, especially:

  • Ruiko Kato
  • Lucia Snowhill
  • William Sullivan
  • William & Jane Tully

Special Additional Thanks To:

  • La Familia Brunetti
  • Padre Fabian Arias
  • Guillermo Vaisman & Ianina Wentinck
  • Andrew Burgie
  • Eduardo Parra

Comme Il Faut (Eduardo Arolas/Gabriel Clausi) Melos Ediciones Musicales c/o Universal Music MGB Songs (ASCAP)
El Diecinueve (Adam Tully) ASCAP
Flor de Lino (Héctor Stamponi/Homero Expósito) SADAIC Latin Copyrights
Boedo (Julio De Caro) SADAIC Latin Copyrights/Universal MGB Songs (ASCAP) obo Ricordi America S.A.
La Cachila  (Eduardo Arolas) Southern Music Pub Co (ASCAP)
Milonga De Mis Amores (Pedro Laurenz) SADAIC Latin Copyrights
Tierra Querida (Julio De Caro) SADAIC Latin Copyrights
Vals Mío (Adam Tully) ASCAP
Milongueando En El 40 (Armando Pontier) SADAIC Latin Copyrights
Quejas De Bandoneón (Juan de Dios Filiberto) SADAIC Latin Copyrights
Payadora (Julián Plaza) Warner Tamerlane (BMI)/ SADAIC Latin Copyrights
Emocionado (Omar Torres) SADAIC
Mi Amigo Cholo (Atilio Stampone) SADAIC Latin Copyrights



TANGO FOR IMPORT is, as a tango album, remarkably literate. The liner notes by Adam Tully are, to begin with, unusually astute, capturing the arterial flow of a long tradition. The CD ranges from early 20thcentury tangos to two of his own compositions, which could, on a casual listen, have been composed decades ago. There is a good deal to be learned from his notes, including where the phrase “Tango for Import” comes from: it is a play on “Tango for Export,” an industry term for tangos thought to be viable outside of Argentina. The album’s name, as well as that of Importango, the trio whose music it presents, is a not-so-subtle challenge to the assumptions of the “Tango for Export” concept.

It struck me on Saturday at the CD release concert in Manhattan that the musicians on the album –Machiko Ozawa (violin), Octavio Brunetti (piano), and Tully (guitar) – have, when you hear them together, an almost classical seriousness. If there is such a thing as chamber tango, TANGO FOR IMPORT, with its Baroque precision of craft and the Rococo featheriness of its melodies, is surely what it sounds like. The tragic drama of the beat, so reflexively expected of tango, is distinctly muted. The melodrama of loss and desperation, pressed by an intricacy that is both musical and emotional, gives way to the spry, the sweet, and the wistful.

There are thirteen tracks on TANGO FOR IMPORT, of which I will describe only a couple, and it is consistent with Importango’s sensibility that the selections tend toward the buoyant, light, and lively. The repertory is subtly rethought, even as fidelity is paid to its essence. This is partly a matter of instrumentation, especially when the numbers are well-known in orchestral versions or as canciones for singers. Most of the arrangements are by Brunetti, whose delicacy on the piano has a lot to do with the album’s tone and character; his liking for film scores can be heard in opening phrases that could easily accompany the title sequences of this or that movie.

Sometimes the arrangements reveal if not restore something essential to the original compositions. It would be easy to assume that “Quejas de bandoneón,” written by Juan de Dios Filiberto in 1918, would miss something without recourse to the instrument named in the title. In fact, however, it was composed for piano. Importango’s version is revelatory: the instrument is heard despite its absence, in the piano the compression of the keys, in the violin the swell of the bellows, in the pluck of the guitar the tap of fingers and knuckles on its armature.

Quejas de bandoneón” is one of the more dramatic tracks on the album and in that sense complementary to the rest of it. “Flor de lino,” a tango vals that softens its sorrow with a touch of sentiment, is more typical. It was a staple of the trio’s five years at Brooklyn’s Pane e Vino, which has live tango every Thursday. Importango’s version makes audible the wandering mind of the dreamer, its detours into memory, its backward meander from the reluctant course of a life. It conveys the romantic longing of the song’s lyrics with pure instrumental affect. For those who know the lyrics, which of course we don’t hear, it is a double memory, of the song and the tale that it tells.

TANGO FOR IMPORT lives and works, for all of its sweetness and bouyancy, in the full surround of the human condition. In fact it is all about loss, a document, as tango so often is, of the left behind and remembered. Octavio Brunetti, originally from Rosario, Argentina, died in New York City on August 29, 2014. He is remembered on this album, which was, thankfully, fully recorded. That, and the concert at St.Peter’s Church at which Ozawa and Tully were joined by friends of the band to recap its repertory, makes his loss no more bearable but, in letting us hear his work anew, a little more calculable. - John Osburn, June 7, 2015


Ha llegado a mis manos a través de Adam Tully este disco grabado en Nueva York y no editado en Buenos Aires que aparece como una suerte de homenaje a Octavio Brunetti, un pianista y arreglador argentino fallecido inesperada y prematuramente en esa ciudad. Brunetti fue un instrumentista que vivió muchos años en N.Y y en nuestro medio se lo recuerda por ejemplo, por ser el pianista y arreglador de Marioneta, el excelente segundo disco de la cantante Noelia Moncada. En este disco, del que también es responsable de los arreglos (salvo en un tema) está acompañado por el guitarrista norteamericano Adrian Tully y la violinista japonesa Machiko Ozawa, constituyendo un trío de formación poco frecuente. El grupo aborda aquí mayoritariamente un repertorio integrado por clásicos de nuestra música ciudadana a los que se agregan un par de temas de Tully. En varios momentos del atractivo disco se perciben ecos de dos formaciones del gran pianista Horacio Salgán: su dúo con el guitarrista Ubaldo De Lío y el Quinteto Real, aunque siempre se percibe en el grupo la búsqueda de un sonido original, respetando las esencias más profundas del tango. Dentro del muy parejo nivel del CD son muy destacables las aproximaciones del trío a la obra de Eduardo Arolas (Comme il faut y La Cachila) y Julio De Caro (Boedo y Tierra querida), las versiones de Emocionado, del rosarino Omar Torres, de El diecinueve, de Tully y su elaborada interpretación de Mi amigo Cholo, de Atilio Stampone. Un disco que sin renunciar a las raíces del tango propone arreglos frescos y creativos. (Eventuales interesados del disco lo pueden solicitar a - 4.16

Adam Tully brought me an album recorded in New York and not released in Buenos Aires [in physical format], that is a sort of homage to Octavio Brunetti, an Argentine pianist and arranger who died suddenly and prematurely in that city. Brunetti was a performer who lived in New York for many years and is remembered in our circles, for example, as the pianist and arranger of Marioneta, the excellent second album of the singer Noelia Moncada. On this record where he is also responsible for the arrangements (except for one), he’s accompanied by the North American guitarist Adam Tully and the Japanese violinist Machiko Ozawa, making up a trio of unusual instrumentation. The group takes on a repertoire mostly of classic tangos, along with two originals by Tully. Several times on this attractive album one can hear echos of two of the great pianist Horacio Salgán’s groups: his duo with the guitarist Ubaldo De Lío, and the Quinteto Real. At the same time one constantly hears that this group is in search of an original sound, respecting the deepest essence of tango. Within this very consistent set are a few interpretations especially worthy of note: two pieces by Eduardo Arolas (Comme il faut and La Cachila), two by Julio De Caro (Boedo and Tierra querida), Emocionado, by Omar Torres (composer from Rosario), El diecinueve by Tully and their elaborate version of Mi amigo Cholo by Atilio Stampone. It’s an album that proposes fresh, creative arrangements without renouncing the roots of tango. - 4.16

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