Tango in 1948-49

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)

Rodolfo Biagi
Rodolfo Biagi

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

Miguel Caló
Miguel Caló

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

Osvaldo Fresedo
Osvaldo Fresedo

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
Alfredo Gobbi

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

Osvaldo Pugliese
Osvaldo Pugliese

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
Florindo Sassone

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’.

DJ Clive Harrison
DJ Clive Harrison

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.

Tango in 1947

The later 40s was a period of change (or of steady decline, if you want to see it that way). Several leading orchestras lost their recording contracts, and the output of those that remained was frequently no longer focused exclusively on the requirements of dancers, as before. However, much of lasting value was yet to come, particularly from Di Sarli, Pugliese, and D’Arienzo.

De Angelis (Dante & Martel) 1946-47 (Vals)

Alfredo De Angelis with Carlos Dante and Julio Martel

The vocal duo of Carlos Dante and Julio Martel remains very popular today and was at its best in vals. The musical arrangements are simple but they are well-performed. The duets form only a very small part of De Angelis’ extensive recorded output and much of the rest has been quietly forgotten.

  • A Magaldi (21-Oct-1947)
  • Pobre flor (Primera ilusión) (7-Jan-1946)
  • Flores del alma (3-Jul-1947)

Di Sarli (Podestá) 1947

Carlos Di Sarli
Carlos Di Sarli

Alberto Podestá returned to perform and record with Di Sarli for the third (and last) time in 1947. Six sides emerged and here are the first four. Podestá is on fine form and these are wonderful examples of Di Sarli’s ‘middle period’; but just two further recordings were to appear in 1948 before Di Sarli withdrew from the public eye completely until 1952.

La canción más triste isn’t available on Spotify, so I have provided a listening link from YouTube. The only version of Por el camino is of very poor quality, so I’ve provided a YouTube link for that too.

Francini – Pontier (Berón) 1946-47

Enrique Francini & Armando Pontier

Violinist Enrique Francini and bandoneónist Armando Pontier (former principals in Miguel Caló’s orchestra) formed their own orchestra in 1945, recording for Victor from 1946. They immediately attracted some of the most popular singers of the day: Podestá, Berón and Rufino and offered music in a mainly undemanding and romantic style. It was music-making of its time (but no flash in the pan: the orchestra recorded until the end of the 50s) but a little goes a long way. After the good taste and refinement of Caló’s outfit, listening or dancing to Francini-Pontier is a little like eating too many cheap chocolates.

  • Remolino (17-May-1946)
  • Camouflage (13-Aug-1947)
  • Y dicen que no te quiero (2-Apr-1947)
  • La culpa es mía (11-Jun-1947)

Maderna (Dátila) 1946-47

Osmar Maderna

Pianist, Osmar Maderna had been the first artist to leave Caló’s orchestra in 1945 (initially taking singer, Iriarte, with him, but that didn’t last). His arrangements rather favoured his own piano-playing (listen, for example, to the first minute of Margarita Gauthier); and yet this is music-making with more gravitas than anything that came from new rivals, Francini-Pontier. Little-known singer, Pedro Dátila, does a good job and could almost be mistaken for Alberto Morán (compare his recording of Una vez with Pugliese).

  • Margarita Gauthier (20-Feb-1947)
  • Una vez (31-Oct-1946)
  • Tarde gris (23-Nov-1946)
  • Rebeldía (9-Jan-1947)

Pugliese (Instrumental) 1947

Osvaldo Pugliese
Osvaldo Pugliese

N… N… was one of the instrumentals of the mid-40s that defined Pugliese’s mature style, although he was not its composer. It was written by Pugliese’s principal bandoneónist, Osvaldo Ruggiero, one of the most brilliant virtuosos of that instrument. Pugliese is usually considered a ‘difficult’ or ‘challenging’ orchestra by dancers and this repertoire shows why. While there is clear continuity with the orchestra’s performance style from its early years, things have changed since La yumba.

  • N… N… (28-Apr-1947)
  • El buscapié (1-Dec-1947)
  • Jueves (19-Aug-1947)
  • Entrada prohibida (16-Dec-1947)

Tanturi (Ribó) 1946-47

Ricardo Tanturi
Ricardo Tanturi

Enrique Campós left Tanturi’s orchestra at the beginning of 1946. His replacements were Roberto Videla and Osvaldo Ribó, but both lacked the subtlety of their predecessor. The orchestra’s style continued to move away from its original rhythmic roots and by the time of Remembranza, it is hard to recognise that label, at all. However, the recording is probably the best version of this song. The orchestra was busy in the studio during 1946, less so in 1947 and then in 1948, there were just four sides. After a gap, two more came in 1950 and then the orchestra disbanded for several years. The position of the big orchestras, which had seemed so secure in the mid-40s, was changing.

  • Una lágrima (27-Aug-1946)
  • Sombras (27-Aug-1946)
  • Alma de bohemio (2-Apr-1947)
  • Remembranza (9-May-1947)

Troilo (Ruíz) 1945-47 (Vals)

Aníbal Troilo
Aníbal Troilo

Floreal Ruíz was a fine singer but is almost unheard in milongas today apart from these deservedly popular valses. He left Troilo’s orchestra in early 1948, with the orchestra’s recording numbers telling their own story about changing times: with 21, 14 and then just 8 sides in the years ’46, ’47 and ’48 respectively. Troilo’s time with Victor was coming to an end too. At the end of 1949, he fell out with Victor altogether (leaving several new recordings unreleased), before returning to the studio in 1950 with a new record company, TK, and having taken the orchestra in a new direction, less favoured by dancers.

  • Romance de barrio (19-Aug-1947)
  • Llorarás, llorarás (10-Aug-1945)
  • Flor de lino (29-Apr-1947)

Click here for ‘Tango in 1946’.

Click here for ‘Tango in 1948-49’.

DJ Clive Harrison
DJ Clive Harrison

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.

Tango in 1946

The mid-40s frequently provides music of great depth, and finds many orchestras at their musical peak, even if there were increasing signs that tango’s popular appeal was beginning to decline in the dance halls of Buenos Aires.

Biagi (Amor) 1946

Rodolfo Biagi
Rodolfo Biagi

When Jorge Ortiz left Biagi’s orchestra at the beginning of 1943 (to sing with Caló), his replacement was Alberto Amor. The general slowing down of tango music suited Amor’s voice and while few would describe Biagi’s orchestra as lyrical, the music is certainly far less hard-driven than before. Amor stayed until the very end of 1947.

  • Lucienne (10-Jul-1946)
  • Pudo ser una vida (18-Jan-1946)
  • Adiós, pampa mía (31-Jan-1946)
  • Camino del Tucumán (23-May-1946)

Caló (Arrieta) 1946

Miguel Caló
Miguel Caló

Roberto Arrieta sang with Caló between August 1945 and September 1948 (alongside Raul Iriarte, at least, until June 1947). These songs are typical of his style: he sings with a somewhat plummy tone and with a wider vibrato than is favoured today. These are recordings that are easy to overlook, and yet well-performed.

In an event of typical duration (four to five hours), a tango DJ is frequently faced with the dilemma of balancing well-known recordings by the leading orchestras and singers along with lesser-known fare. Dancers can tire of ‘greatest hits’ – there’s a limit to how often you can play any song – and yet if there is time for just one Caló tanda, it’s easy for Arrieta to be passed over again and again. Of course, a DJ could deliberately choose to ‘champion’ lesser-known repertoire, but it is hard to find just the right balance, and easy to get it wrong.

  • Qué cosas tiene la vida (4-Apr-1946)
  • Pudo ser una vida (27-Dec-1945)
  • Inútil (3-Dec-1946)
  • Qué me van a hablar de amor (8-Mar-1946)

De Angelis (Martel) 1945-46

Alfredo De Angelis
Alfredo De Angelis

Alfredo De Angelis had formed his orchestra in 1941 and it began to record two years later. It was very successful, producing nearly five hundred recordings, right up to the late 70s, and yet is little played today. Best-known are the duets between Julio Martel and Carlos Dante (particularly the valses). The music is mostly quite simple and romantic but easily dismissed as lightweight.

Both Dante and Martel recorded separately, with the duets forming only a small part of their repertoire. These songs are typical of their time but the style never changed much. The arrangements are string-led and uncomplicated and they can be just what a milonga needs at a particular moment. Do compare this version of Rosicler with Troilo’s (below).

  • Rosicler (7-Nov-1946)
  • Melodía gris (11-Jul-1946)
  • Acordes porteños (4-May-1945)
  • Yo también carrero fui (13-Dec-1946)

Pugliese (Instrumental) 1946

  • La yumba (21-Aug-1946)

Osvaldo Pugliese
Osvaldo Pugliese

No consideration of Pugliese’s 1946 recordings could exclude La yumba for it almost defines the orchestra’s style. It is as though almost everything that came before was leading up to it, and everything afterwards was built on its foundation. Pugliese likened the main motif to the sound of heavy machinery; but the overwhelming and emphatic pulse several times melts almost completely (greatly to the consternation of novice dancers, or at least, those of them who have noticed).

Pugliese (Chanel) 1945-46

Pugliese’s music is so powerful and challenging that it always calls for particularly careful presentation at any milonga. But power doesn’t have to be represented by loudness: Sin lágrimas perfectly illustrates how Pugliese fuses the instruments and a voice to convey the emotion of a song and to deliver a lyric, but on a modest scale and with a focus that turns inwards.  It’s like looking at a miniature painted by one of the great masters – a distillation of genius. Pugliese’s only serious rival in using voice and orchestra in this way was Troilo – but he tended to paint larger musical canvasses, which have a different dynamic and produce a quite different effect.

  • Sin lágrimas (27-May-1946)
  • Galleguita (6-Nov-1945)
  • Consejo de oro (27-Feb-1946)
  • La mascota del barrio (8-Nov-1946)

Troilo (Marino) 1943-46 (Milonga)

Aníbal Troilo
Aníbal Troilo

Troilo didn’t record many milongas, so this selection is drawn from quite a wide time period, but there is little variation in style, making a cohesive and satisfying group. The habanera rhythm, which is fundamental to milonga music, is rarely stated, directly, but is still never far away. The subtlety of the music lends itself to a variety in interpretation by dancers: some will choose to dance mainly in the milonga lisa (simple style), while others will relish the challenges of dancing milonga con traspié (with double-time steps and weight changes).

  • El barrio del tambor (5-Nov-1943)
  • Con permiso! (27-Sep1944)
  • Con mi perro (14-May-1946)

Troilo (Marino) 1946

Alberto Marino
Alberto Marino

Marino’s time with Troilo came to end in 1946 and these were his last four tango recordings with the orchestra. It’s fascinating to compare this version of Rosicler with the recording made by De Angelis with Martel (above). Marino, a tenor, sings at the lower end of his vocal range, producing a rich tone and with a wide range of dynamics, using his powerful voice to produce many colours. The orchestral sound is typical of Troilo: he conjures a complex and big sound from his players. The De Angelis recording has Martel, a baritone, singing in a higher register, and everything about the performance is lighter in weight.

Mi tango triste brought to an end a wonderful musical partnership. Troilo’s other singer, Floreal Ruiz, continued recording with the orchestra until July 1948, but times were changing, and while there were wonderful recordings to come – including those from Marino’s replacement, Edmundo Rivero – this later repertoire is little played for dancing.

  • Sin palabras (22-Oct-1946)
  • Rosicler (11-Sep-1946)
  • Así es Ninón (25-Sep-1946)
  • Mi tango triste (28-Nov-1946)

Click here for ‘Tango in 1945’.

Click here for ‘Tango in 1947’.

DJ Clive Harrison
DJ Clive Harrison

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.

Tango in 1945

More than a decade has passed since D’Arienzo’s popular success in 1935 did so much to revive or reinvigorate tango for dancing. There are signs that by 1945 the peak of popularity may have passed, but individually, the best orchestras are busy and new orchestras are still appearing regularly. In truth, the greater part of the recorded repertoire we still value today has already appeared. By the end of the 40s many first-rate tango musicians were struggling to find work and yet there was plenty of fine music still to come.

Caló (Iriarte) 1945-46 (Vals)

Miguel Caló
Miguel Caló

Caló’s orchestra was full of great musicians, many of whom were to leave to form orchestras of their own. Bandoneonist, Domingo Federico (see below), was the first to go in 1943 and he began to record in 1944. Bigger changes came in 1945, when the orchestra broke up, with pianist, Osmar Maderna, leaving first and taking singer, Raúl Iriarte, with him. That partnership didn’t work out and Iriarte was soon back with Caló, but not before the departures of violinist, Enrique Francini, and bandoneonist, Armando Pontier.

These valses belong to the months following the break up. Caló was able to reform his orchestra with new players, but the new orchestra was no match for the old. Ironically, nearly all of them came back together in the early 60s, but the dance era was over by then, and their late recordings are of little interest to dancers.

  • No te olvides de mí corazón… (5-Jul-1945)
  • El mismo dolor (19-Dec-1945)
  • Flor de lino (3-Dec-1946)

D’Agostino (Vargas) 1945

Ángel D'Agostino
Ángel D’Agostino

The successful duo of D’Agostino and Vargas continued to produce a steady stream of recordings of remarkable consistency and quality. A very high proportion of their output is still played, regularly, today.

  • Shusheta (El aristócrata) (5-Apr-1945)
  • Rondando tu esquina (2-Nov-1945)
  • Hotel Victoria (21-May-1945)
  • Ave de paso (2-Nov-1945)

Di Sarli (Durán) 1945

Carlos Di Sarli
Carlos Di Sarli

Jorge Durán joined Di Sarli (in place of Alberto Podestá) in January 1945, staying for just over two years. His voice had a rather darker tone, well-suited to this repertoire.

  • Solamente ella (8-Mar-1945)
  • Tu íntimo secreto (30-Oct-1945)
  • Que no sepan las estrellas (3-Jan-1945)
  • Tus labios me dirán (8-Mar-1945)

Federico (Vidal) 1944-45

Domingo Federico
Domingo Federico

Domingo Federico is badly represented on Spotify and most of the transfers are rather poor; however, the orchestra was very fine and after its debut in 1944 it recorded regularly throughout the remainder of the decade, and less regularly for many years after that. Yuyo verde was composed by Federico and it was to be recorded the following year by Biagi, Pugliese & Troilo (and you can compare the Pugliese recording below). Singer, Carlos Vidal, was almost unknown but Yuyo verde was a hit that helped to secure the early popularity of the new orchestra. Not heard much, today, the orchestra is rather underrated.

  • Yuyo verde (12-Sep-1944)
  • Tu melodía (27-Dec-1944)
  • Para qué te quiero tanto (19-Jul-1945)
  • Senda florida (22-Feb-1945)

Pugliese (Morán) 1945

Osvaldo Pugliese
Osvaldo Pugliese

Alberto Morán sang alongside Roberto Chanel from the beginning of 1945, until Chanel’s departure at the end of 1947. A high proportion of the orchestra’s recordings in this period were vocal, being more-or-less evenly split between the two singers, each bringing distinctly different qualities to their repertoire.

  • Yuyo verde (25-Jan-1945)
  • Maleza (28-May-1945)
  • Mentira (24-Sep-1945)
  • El abrojito (24-Jul-1945)

Tanturi (Campos) 1944-45

Ricardo Tanturi
Ricardo Tanturi

In many ways, the mid-40s belonged to the leading singers. One after another, they decided that they were too important to be employed by even the best orchestras, and biting the hand that had fed them, left to seek fame as solo artists. Many were commercially successful, but hindsight has been less kind to the recordings they left behind, and we hear little of them now. Campos, however, stuck with Tanturi, and they continued to produce a steady stream of  recordings that maintained a proper balance between the orchestra and the singer. Their recordings are straightforward, with fine playing, and notable for clear textures and simple but attractive rhythms. Campos is revealed as a singer of great subtlety and expression, and entirely without affectation.

  • Prisionero (14-Nov-1944)
  • La abandoné y no sabía (27-Apr-1944)
  • Ivón (5-Sep-1945)
  • Esta noche al pasar (22-Jan-1945)

Troilo (Ruíz) 1945

Aníbal Troilo
Aníbal Troilo

Fiorentino left Troilo’s orchestra in early 1944, leaving Marino as the orchestra’s only singer. Fiorentino was a hard act to follow and Troilo took six months to appoint his successor, Floreal Ruíz. As usual, Troilo’s judgement was sound: Marino and Ruíz complemented each other very well, but Ruíz is little heard by dancers today. Even at the time, he was viewed mainly as Fiorentino’s replacement, rather than as a fine singer in his own right; but now, it is to our shame that we neglect this music. The high energy of the 1941 hits has been replaced by a subtlety and refinement which makes for wonderful dancing.

  • Amor y tango (9-Oct-1945)
  • La embriaguez del tango (27-Mar-1945)
  • La noche que te fuiste (5-Jun-1945)
  • Equipaje (27-Mar-1945)

Click here for ‘Tango in 1944’.

Click here for ‘Tango in 1946’.

DJ Clive Harrison
DJ Clive Harrison

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.