Carabelli was born in 1893 in San Fernando, Buenos Aires, and died there in 1947. He was a pianist and formed an orchestra in 1926 that recorded with Victor (1931-34). Working with many of the same musicians, he also directed Victor’s house orchestra (Orquesta Típica Victor) between 1932-35. One of his bandoneonists, Petrucelli had directed O.T.V. before him (1925-31), while another, Scorticati, succeeded him (1936-41).
His most notable singer was tenor, Alberto Gómez (1931-35).
The suggested Tango 250 collection includes two tango tandas, one vocal (with Gómez) and the other, instrumental.
Carabelli (Gómez) 1932
It is easy to dismiss the orchestras active in the late 20s and early 30s. Electrical recording had only been introduced in 1926-27, and the sound quality of many early recordings is very compromised. Mind you, newcomers to tango can be challenged by the sound quality of mid-40s recordings too; and there can be a collective sigh pass around the salón when the DJ plays too much early tango. But if the best music of the period is programmed with care (and not too often) it provides a welcome contrast to other styles. The musicians playing here were all of the first rank: virtuoso bandoneonists, and in Elvino Vardaro, one of the leading violinists of the day. The arrangements are varied and sophisticated, with lots of rhythmic interest, and generally wonderful for dancing.
El trece (27-Sep-32)
Carabelli & OTV (Instrumental) 1932-34
These songs have a clear, steady pulse, and are lovely for dancing. Much of the repertoire of the guardia vieja was taken up by later orchestras (particularly D’Arienzo) and it can be interesting to compare these versions with later ones.
Lomuto was born in Buenos Aires in 1893 and died there in 1950. He was a pianist and played in the orchestra of Francisco Canaro before forming his own orchestra in 1925. He recorded with Odeón (1926-31) and with Victor (1931-46 & 1949-50).
Lomuto worked with many singers over a long career, but the most notable were Charlo (mainly 20s, but little played now), Fernando Díaz (1931-43) and Jorge Omar (1935-42).
The suggested Tango 250 collection features tango from the late 30s, milonga from the early 40s and a recording of La cumparsita from 1936.
Lomuto (Omar) 1936-37
Lomuto was at his best in the late 1930s. The music is presented in straightforward arrangements that are both rhythmic and tender, at times. Marking the rhythm is shared between the violins and bandoneons, underpinned by a somewhat heavy pulse from the piano and bass. We also hear a clarinet (a short solo in Mano a mano from 2:27, for example) and Nostalgias opens with a busy violin theme with a descending counter-melody on clarinet. Jorge Omar provides a simple presentation of the lyrics with a clear baritone voice.
Mano a mano (3-Oct-1936)
Las cuarenta (30-Jul-1937)
Que nadie se entere (3-Dec-1936)
Lomuto (Instrumental) 1936
Lomuto’s orchestra was at its peak in the mid-30s. This is a wonderful arrangement: opening with pizzicato strings and followed by virtuoso playing from the bandoneons. A fitting end to any milonga.
La cumparsita (3-Oct-36)
Lomuto (Vocal) 1941-45 (Milonga)
The first song is a duet with Fernando Díaz & Jorge Omar, the second with Fernando Díaz and the last with Alberto Rivera. Lomuto continued to record throughout the 40s, but he was increasingly left behind by the innovations of a later generation of orchestra leaders, and his significance starts to wane.
Laurenz was born in Buenos Aires in 1902 and died there in 1972. He played bandoneon, including in the orchestras of Julio de Caro and Pedro Maffia, before forming his own orchestra in 1934. He recorded with Victor (1937-43), Odeón (1943-47) and Pathé (1952-53).
Although his recorded output was modest, he worked with many singers, the most notable of which was Alberto Podestá (1943-44).
The suggested Tango 250 collection features two tango tandas with Podestá.
Laurenz (Podestá) 1943
The young Podestá had previously been singing with Di Sarli’s orchestra, and his arrival in 1943 coincided with the absolute peak of the Golden Age (certainly in terms of the integration of the singer as an instrument of the orchestra, carrying the lyric) and also in the quality of his own singing. The arrangements are sophisticated and understated. The music is reflective, almost as though the musicians were playing for each other.
Yo quiero cantar un tango (16-Nov-43)
Que nunca me falte (22-Sep-43)
Laurenz (Podestá) 1943#2
This tanda opens with one of the highlights of the Laurenz/Podestá partnership: Alma de bohemio, with an amazing opening phrase from Podestá (which catches out inexperienced dancers regularly). The remaining songs are classic Laurenz: with a style that has a perfect blend of rhythmic and lyrical elements.
Fresedo was born in Buenos Aires in 1897 and died there in 1984. He was a bandoneonist, forming his orchestra in 1918. He recorded prolifically with Odeón (1926-28), for Brunswick (1931-32) and then with Victor (1933-48). He switched to Columbia (1950-52) before returning to Odeón (1952-57), and then Columbia again (1959-80), although those final years are of little interest to dancers.
Most of his early recordings were instrumental, but he recorded regularly with Ernesto Famá (1927-28), but his most notable singer was the tenor, Roberto Ray (1933-39 & 1948-50). Other singers included Ricardo Ruiz (1939-1941), Oscar Serpa (1942-1946) and Héctor Pacheco (1951-55).
The suggested Tango 250 collection features tango tandas from the 1930s: one instrumental and the other with Roberto Ray.
Fresedo (Ray) 1933-37
After Fresedo’s break with Odeón in 1928, his recorded output became almost exclusively vocal. The arrangements are elegant and refined, and the pace is usually quite slow. Ray’s voice suits the orchestral style perfectly.
Niebla del Riachuelo (17-Sep-37)
Vida mía (13-Sep-33)
Fresedo (Instrumental) 1933-39
The Fresedo instrumentals (and there are not many) generally have more rhythmic energy than the vocals, while retaining an unmistakable feeling of elegance and refinement.
Donato was born in Buenos Aires in 1897 and died there in 1963. He played the violin and formed his orchestra in 1927. He recorded with Brunswick (1929-32), Victor (1932-45 & 1961) and Pampa (1950-57).
His most notable singer was Horacio Lagos (1935-42) and he was one of the few orchestra leaders to record dance music with a female voice, Lita Morales (1939-41).
The suggested Tango 250 collection features instrumental and vocal tandas of tango, vals and milonga from the decade 1933-42.
Donato (Instrumental) 1933-36
These instrumentals are typical of the orchestra’s style in the mid-30s. They are mainly simple arrangements, full of energy, mostly upbeat and even playful.
El acomodo (11-Sep-33)
Chiqué (El elegante) (17-Jan-1936)
La tablada (6-Aug-36)
Donato (Lagos) 1936-38
Most Donato sounds quite cheerful and these songs are easy-going with simple and appealing rhythms.
Se va la vida (7-Oct-36)
Así es el tango (12-Feb-37)
El adiós (2-Apr-38)
Alas rotas (9-Dec-38)
Donato (Vocal) 1940-42 (Vals)
These valses opens with a trio from Horacio Lagos, Lita Morales & Romeo Gavioli, continues with a solo from Lagos and ends with a solo from Gavioli. Donato’s orchestra had an extra player: an accordionist (Osvaldo Bertone) who makes a distinctive contribution to Mendocina. However, after eight years with the orchestra, it was to be his last recording.
Estrellita mía (30-Sep-40)
Quién será (13-Oct-41)
Donato (Lagos) 1938-39 (Milonga)
These songs are classics of the milonga repertoire and always go down well. They employ mostly simple syncopations, based on the habanera rhythm, although Ella es assí is a little more complex than the others.