The end of the 40s saw great changes. Pugliese was at the height of his powers and several new orchestras were emerging, but others faded away. The public following for live music was in full retreat. Many orchestras didn’t survive, but others found a new direction and focus.
Biagi (Amor & Saavedra) 1945-48 (Milonga)
Biagi recorded comparatively few milongas, but the one we have are very good. The undoubted star of this tanda is Flor de Monserrat, sung by Alberto Amor (as was Con mi perro). Carlos Saavedra only recorded seven sides with the orchestra (between May 1946 and July 1948) and Por la güella was the last of them.
- Con mi perro (10-Jul-1946)
- Por la güella (22-Jul-1948)
- Flor de Monserrat (30-Nov-1945)
Caló (Arrieta) 1948
These recordings belong to the period after the departure of Raúl Iriarte, and the orchestra seems to have lost its spark. There were some wonderful recordings to come in the 60s, with several of the greatest singers of the 40s: Podestá, Berón, Rufino, Marino – even Arrieta, again – but Caló had temporarily lost his way, and these songs are almost never heard now.
- Corazón de papel (23-Sep-1948)
- Nunca más (23-Sep-1948)
- Carriego (05-Jan-1948)
- No te perdono más (27-Apr-1948)
Fresedo (Ray) 1948-50
The voice of Roberto Ray had been the mainstay of the Fresedo orchestra in the mid-30s. He returned to record four sides with the orchestra in 1948 and one more in 1950. Two of them, Potrero and Tras un sueño are only available in really terrible sound, but here are the other three. The musical style has changed from the 30s, of course, but these are lovely in their own way. Drums have made a very audible appearance and the arrangements are slightly over-the-top. There is a clearly discernable development of this style between the 1948 recordings and Tu piel de jazmín from 1950.
- Pampero (29-Sep-1948)
- Y la perdí (29-Sep-1948)
- Tu piel de jazmín (8-Dec-1950)
The best-selling Fresedo CD (BMG’s CD ‘Tangos de Salon’) featured mainly 30s material but had included the 1948 version of Pampero, rather than the original 1935 one. Most dancers will never have noticed the substitution, nor will they have heard the original. Here’s an extract (from the recent TangoTunes transfer), with some subsequent processing to reduce clicks and crackle:
Gobbi (Instrumental) 1947-48
Alfredo Gobbi is one of those relatively minor figures in the history of recorded tango music that made the whole thing hang together. A violinist, he had played in the orchestras of Maglio, Firpo, Buzón, Vardaro, Pugliese, Laurenz and Baliotti, before forming his own outfit in 1942. It recorded between 1947 and 1958, and La viruta was its debut recording. The instrumentals are good, and there are some really fine vocals with Jorge Maciel, who made his name with Gobbi before joining Pugliese.
- La viruta (16-May-1947)
- Jueves (30-Jul-1947)
- El incendio (31-Jan-1948)
- Independiente Club (8-Sep-1948)
The sound quality of the only version of Independiente Club on Spotify is dreadful. Indeed, the sound quality of much of the commercially available repertoire from this period is nowhere near as good as it could be. Little by little, improved transfers are being made, but for now, better sound quality can frequently be found in recordings made in the 20s. Here’s an extract from the TangoTunes transfer of Independiente Club with some subsequent processing to reduce clicks and crackle:
Pugliese (Instrumental) 1948-49
Pugliese was at his peak in the late 40s. His reputation (rather unfairly) rests on a handful of his own compositions (all instrumentals). We have already heard La yumba, and now, here are Negracha and Malandraca. Patético was newly-composed (by Jorge Caldara), but Canaro en París was from the guardia vieja, first recorded by Canaro in 1927 – but here given the full Pugliese treatment, including a highly unusual solo spot (c2:20) for double bass.
- Negracha (24-Jun-1948)
- Patético (6-Apr-1948)
- Canaro en París (28-Nov-1949)
- Malandraca (31-May-1949)
Sassone (Casal) 1949
Florindo Sassone, a violinist (like Gobbi) had also served his musical apprenticeship in several leading orchestras, including those of Firpo and Fresedo. His own orchestra dates from 1947, and he was one of the most recognisable musical voices among the ‘new’ orchestras of the late 40s and, particularly, the 1950s. His early years produced some fine dance music, but his later recordings verge on the comical.
- Rencor (25-Jan-1949)
- La última cita (21-Mar-1949)
- Y volvemos a querernos (25-Jan-1949)
- Mi noche triste (15-Feb-1949)
Click here for ‘Tango in 1947’.
Click here for ‘Tango in 1950-51’.
Barrio de tango is the tango blog and online home of tango DJ, Clive Harrison, based in the English Midlands. Now retired from teaching and hosting dance events, Clive remains available to DJ, playing exclusively traditional tango music from the great tango orchestras.