Friday, May 30, 2014

Tanda of the Week 22 / 2014 - D'Arienzo with Mauré "Uno"

1. Juan D'Arienzo / Héctor Mauré - "Uno" 1943
2. Juan D'Arienzo / Héctor Mauré - "Cicatrices" 1942
3. Juan D'Arienzo / Héctor Mauré - "Si la llegaran a ver" 1943
4. Juan D'Arienzo / Héctor Mauré - "Lilián" 1944 weeks tanda features more of the recordings from D'Arienzo with Mauré. Earlier their works were featured on the TOTW49/2011.

The tanda starts with an excellent version of the classic "Uno" which has been recorded by numerous orchestras like Troilo, Canaro and Biagi but I think D'Arienzo and Troilo have the best versions. "Cicatrices" is another classic recorded by many like Biagi (TOTW13/2013) for example. Granted it is no "Dime mi amor" or "Nunca mas" but still, I'm not sure if I've ever heard anyone (other than me) play this fine version by D'Arienzo. Maybe there's a secret memo somewhere or an unwritten rule that I've missed. The tanda finishes with the amazing "Lilián", which in my opinion is a perfect example of how a song doesn't need to be very uptempo in order to have a lot of energy.

I would like to use this chance to promote a new website for translated tango lyrics - Tango Translation Database. The database has already hundreds of tangos and links to many translations. Check out the translations for the songs of this tanda Uno and Lilián.

D'Arienzo, Juan - TOTW - Todo Tango - iTunes Store
Mauré, Héctor - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Tanda of the Week 21 / 2014 - Carlos Di Sarli and the Encyclopedia of Tango

1. Carlos Di Sarli - "Bahía Blanca" 1958-11-14
2. Carlos Di Sarli - "Una fija" 1958-11-12
3. Carlos Di Sarli - "Indio manso" 1958-11-13
4. Carlos Di Sarli - "El abrojo" 1958-11-13 recently released "Encyclopedia of Tango" by Gabriel Valiente is a huge book. Not only in size but in importance to many tango DJ's and collectors. The 800 page book compiles discographies of 148 orchestras with the essential information about singers and recording dates but also, which I find very interesting, who were the members of the orchestra for each time period and which companies the orchestra recorded for. The discographies have been compiled from various sources - rare unreleased or limited release discographies, different collections and publications as well as numerous online resources.

After studying the book I made a playlist of 1950's Instrumental Tango from 48 different orchestras, of which some I had never heard of before. I tried to put together songs from the playlist for this weeks tanda but I wasn't happy with the results. A lot of the orchestras had similar styles but, with the very limited selection of songs available on Spotify, what I could put together felt too much like a compromise at it's best. Especially when the tanda would be up against the most important orchestras of the 1950's like D'Arienzo, Di Sarli and Pugliese. Sure I could make a four song compilation of interesting music but I didn't feel I could make the case for a tanda of the more unknown orchestras that would make you want to dance all the way through. So I figured it's just best to listen to the full playlist. For danceable more unknown orchestras from the playlist I would recommend looking more into at least Alfredo Attadía, maybe Carlos Demaria, definitely Ricardo Pedevilla (who was featured on TOTW earlier in two tandas) and also definitely Juan Polito.

So for the tanda I decided to go with Di Sarli to show how high the standards were set for 1950's tango music. Di Sarli recorded 84 songs for Music Hall in 1951-1953, 79 for Victor in 1954-1958 and the songs for the tanda are from the last 14 of Di Sarli's recordings for the Philips label in 1958.

Many people don't know that Di Sarli recorded "Bahia blanca" twice and although the 1958 version is almost identical to the more famous 1957 version - the slight change in the sound of it can be refreshing to many. Mostly it will probably be unnoticed except for the two DJ's in your milonga and the other will love it while the other curses you for overplaying Di Sarli instead of overplaying Canaro. This is a joke.

The second song "Una fija" is featured on the 50's playlist as a version from Miguel Calo. However I feel that both Di Sarli's 1958 and the 1953 versions are better. On a sidenote - DJ's who want to find less played Di Sarli but want to have the powerful 50's style I recommend digging deep into the recordings from 1951-1953.

The orchestra of Di Sarli from 1956 to 1958 was José Libertella, Julían Plaza, Alfredo Marcucci and Domingo Sánchez on bandoneons, the maestro himself on piano, Szymsia Bajour, Elvino Vardaro, Elías Slón, Alfredo Rouco and Antonio Rossí on violins and Alfredo Sciarreta on double bass.


Di Sarli, Carlos - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes - iTunes Store

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tanda of the Week 20 / 2014 - Rodolfo Biagi con Carlos Saavedra y Alberto Amor

1. Rodolfo Biagi / Carlos Saavedra - "Sin palabras" 1946 - TangoTunes
2. Rodolfo Biagi / Alberto Amor - "Marol" 1946 - TangoTunes
3. Rodolfo Biagi / Carlos Saavedra - "Gracias" 1946 - TangoTunes
4. Rodolfo Biagi / Alberto Amor - "Y dicen que no te quiero" 1947's this weeks tanda from 1946-1947 from Biagi with singers Carlos Saavedra and Alberto Amor. Enjoy! In a few moments I will have the honor of playing in the grand opening of the El Ocaso Tango Café, which will be the latest addition to the many great
milongas in Berlin. Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tanda of the Week 19 / 2014 - Argentino Ledesma milongas DJ Antti Suniala

1. Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma - "Silueta porteña" 1956
2. Jorge Dragone / Argentino Ledesma - "Baldosa floja" 1957
3. Jorge Dragone / Argentino Ledesma - "Florcita porteña" 1959 are three milongas with the singer Argentino Ledesma from the later 50's. While there are not necessarily many songs I would play from Ledesma in a milonga, he still is one of my favorite singers and I listen to a lot of his recordings. There have been two tandas of Argentino Ledesma with Hector Varela on the blog before.

In general most of the milongas played for dancers are from 1935-1945. From around the mid 40's there
was a lot of structural chance in the compositions and arrangement of tango music and it's especially difficult to find milongas after 1945 that are suitable (or considered great) for dancing. I personally do not crave for but still welcome some extra challenge even for milongas once the main course of milonga standards have been served. I believe that if you like the style of these songs you can find them very enjoyable to dance to. The arrangements and style of the Varela and Dragone orchestras are fairly clear and Ledesma sings mostly on the beat. I'm not sure how to label these songs though. Milonga in the style of the 1950's?

Mostly for listening or dancing with your friends. This tanda is not standard material but might work as the spicy exception when the time is right. You have been warned. Proceed with caution. But as too often music recorded in the 50's gets automatically thrown in the concert music category, I'd like to leave this quote here from Ricardo García Blaya from

Luis Adolfo Sierra tells us in his book Historia de la orquesta típica: «Héctor Varela, lead bandoneon and arranger of the Juan D'Arienzo Orchestra, for ten years, identified himself with the trends of a genuine traditional origin, and his orchestra boasted, as major attraction, the precision of a difficult technical performance, in the middle of a very personal hasty rhythmic beat». And Jorge Palacio (Faruk) added: «And that is, exactly, what Varela strove for during his tango career: to play with his orchestra for dancers».

Have a look at the other milonga tandas on Tanda of the Week.

Varela, Héctor - TOTW - Todo Tango - - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Ledesma, Argentino - TOTW - Todo Tango - - TangoTunes - iTunes Store 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tanda of the Week 18 / 2014 - Anibal Troilo y Francisco Fiorentino (valses)

1. Aníbal Troilo / Francisco Fiorentino - "Tu diagnóstico" 1941 - TangoTunes
2. Aníbal Troilo / Francisco Fiorentino - "Temblando" 1944 - TangoTunes
3. Aníbal Troilo / Francisco Fiorentino - "Valsecito amigo" 1943 - TangoTunes's a tanda of great valses from Troilo and Fiorentino that I played last night at Milonga di Voglia di Tango in Parma, Italy. Since I'm on the road I will just let the music speak for itself. All the songs are available on Enjoy!

Ps. I played a few cortinas of Finnish versions of some Italian music. "Hopeinen kuu" is Olavi Virta's version of "Guarda che luna".

Happy 1st of May! 

Troilo, Anibal - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes
Fiorentino, Francisco - TOTW - Todo Tango - - TangoTunes