From a comment from [~wesmckinn] in ARROW-2714:
The Tensor classes are independent from the columnar data structures, though they reuse pieces of metadata, metadata serialization, memory management, and IPC.
The purpose of adding these to the library was to have in-memory data structures for handling Tensor/ndarray data and metadata that "plug in" to the rest of the Arrow C++ system (Plasma store, IO subsystem, memory pools, buffers, etc.).
Theoretically you could return a Tensor when creating a non-contiguous slice of an Array; in light of the above, I don't think that would be intuitive.
When we started the project, our focus was creating an open standard for in-memory columnar data, a hitherto unsolved problem. The project's scope has expanded into peripheral problems in the same domain in the meantime (with the mantra of creating interoperable components, a use-what-you-need development platform for system developers). I think this aspect of the project could be better documented / advertised, since the project's initial focus on the columnar standard has given some the mistaken impression that we are not interested in any work outside of that.