Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome to "TOTW"

Welcome to "Tanda of the Week"!  A tanda of tango music will be uploaded on the blog once a week for your listening and dancing pleasure. This blog was created to educate dancers about tango and the orchestras of the golden era and beyond, as well as to share tandas and create discussion between dancers and dj's about good tango to dance to. This is a non-profit tango blog but if you wish you can support the blog by donations on Paypal.

Most of the tandas on the blog are by Dj Antti Suniala but tandas from guest dj's are welcome too! Below you will find a list of the most important orchestras featured on TOTW and a link to the tandas to listen to from each orchestra. For more information about the orchestras you can study the articles on the Todo Tango website. On you can find very useful listings of recordings from all the orchestras. Welcome and I hope you enjoy the blog!

Biagi, Rodolfo - TOTW - Todo Tango - - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Calo, Miguel - TOTW - Todo Tango - iTunes Store
Canaro, Francisco - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store
D'Agostino, Ángel - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
D'Arienzo, Juan - TOTW - Todo Tango - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
De Angelis, Alfredo - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store
Demare, Lucio - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
Di Sarli, Carlos - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
Donato, Edgardo - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
, Osvaldo - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
Laurenz, Pedro - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
Lomuto, Francisco - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
Orquesta Tipica Victor - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
Pugliese, Osvaldo - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
Rodriguez, Enrique - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
Tanturi, Ricardo - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Troilo, Anibal - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes - iTunes Store

Tandas by category:

Favorite tandas by Dj Antti Suniala - All the favorites on Spotify
Tandas by guest DJ's

Tango - Vals - Milonga tandas

1920's - 1930's - 1940's - 1950's tango music

Tandas with vocals
Instrumental tandas
Tandas with both instrumentals and vocal songs

Individual tandas available on Spotify are marked with the Spotify logo. Click here for the full playlist of all tandas on Spotify.

Tanda of the Week is now also available in The individual tandas available on Deezer are marked with the Deezer logo. Click here for the Tanda of the Week on Deezer profile.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tanda of the Week 43 / 2014 - Ariel Ardit

1. Ariel Ardit - "Buscándote" 2013
2. Ariel Ardit - "Rosa de tango" 2013
3. Ariel Ardit - "" 2013
4. Ariel Ardit - "Un tango y nada más" 2013 was wondering who were the best singers of today's tango music and for me one of them is definitely Ariel Ardit. These songs are from the Ariel Ardit y su Orquesta Típica album "Yo Lo Canto Hoy" which greatly pays homage to the tango music of the golden era. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tanda of the Week 42 / 2014 - Anibal Troilo - Valses - DJ Ana Belén

1. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz, Alberto Marino - "Palomita blanca" 1944 - TangoTunes
2. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz - "Llorarás, llorarás" 1945 - TangoTunes
3. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz - "Romance de barrio" 1947 - TangoTunes to all of my dear readers. I recently finished a five week tour of circus performances and DJ gigs from Italy all the way to Greenland, but now I'm back in Berlin and ready to devote time for updating the blog again!
My interview and Tanda of the Week was featured on the latest issue of the TangoDanza magazine and you can get your copy of it at least on the TangoDanza website. Check it out!

This weeks tanda comes from guest DJ Ana Belén, who lives in Aspen, Colorado but is originally from Spain. She noticed that TOTW had featured only one vals tanda by Anibal Troilo and decided to correct this injustice immediately. This is what she had to say about the tanda

"A beautiful vals tanda by the great Troilo. I must say that it would never cross my mind to play a tango tanda with Ruiz, simply because I couldn't choose him over Fiorentino or Marino. However, I love these valses. My heart skips a beat every time I listen to Romance de Barrio! For those of you that like to play a 4 song tanda of vals I would add Flor de lino and would move the less known but heart warming Llorarás, llorarás to third place.

I fell in love with tango music right away, the day I took my first class. Some of it was already familiar to me either from listening to Gardel, popular Spanish songs or Boleros. 

We are all blessed we found tango. We'll live forever happy"

Thank you Ana! And don't worry about playing also Troilo's tangos with Ruiz besides Fiorentino and Marino. You can never play too much Troilo in one night! Here's one tanda of tangos by Troilo and Ruiz featured earlier on the blog. And about these valses... what can I say? It just doesn't get better than this ladies and gentlemen. These valses have it all: Amazing orchestra with the best singers, perfect balance of melody and rhythm, clarity with endless details and also challenges to dance to. I can never get enough of these songs. Let's live forever happy.

Troilo, Anibal - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes
Ruiz, Floreal - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tanda of the Week 33 / 2014 - Ángel D'Agostino y Ángel Vargas

1. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Esta noche en Buenos Aires" 1944 - TangoTunes
2. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Mano blanca" 1944 - TangoTunes
3. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Mi viejo barrio" 1944 - TangoTunes
4. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Palais de glace" 1942 - TangoTunes
Here's this weeks tanda and the third on the series of the releases of digitized D'Agostino shellacs. I'm sorry for missing the last two weeks but I have been busy performing and DJ'ing at a few festivals.
It is also the 4th anniversary of Tanda of the Week! So I'd like to take the chance to thank all the fans of the blog, all the DJ's who have contributed,  everybody who has ever donated or shared the blog or tandas with their communities, all the organizers who have invited me for milongas, all the people who know how to dance in line, all the followers who embrace soft but with passion, all the DJ's that play more Troilo than Canaro, all.... well maybe that's enough for now.

The next time I play (and think of it as the unofficial anniversary milonga) will be 23rd of August at El Ocaso Tango Cafe in Berlin. I have an almost impossible task to match the superb selection of music from the super selector Alexandra Kotelnitskaya who was on the decks last night at the very same milonga. For more of my DJ gigs check out my tour dates here.

D'Agostino, Ángel - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes
Vargas, Ángel - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tanda of the Week 30 / 2014 - Ángel D'Agostino and Ángel Vargas - second release

1. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Pero yo sé" 1942 - TangoTunes
2. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Trasnochando" 1942 - TangoTunes
3. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Cantando olvidaré" 1943 - TangoTunes
4. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Ninguna" 1942 - TangoTunes continues with more great releases as they put out already the fourth (!!!) D'Agostino compilation bringing the total of released songs to 87! I think I was still so happy about the first one that I missed the second and third release. I will do some catching up and start introducing songs from the second compilation in this very tanda and go into the third and fourth in the following weeks. As I've mentioned before, a lot of the D'Agostino catalog has been difficult to get in even playable quality, and you can clearly hear the difference in quality comparing the tracks on Spotify/Deezer to the ones now available from When comparing the quality of releases - for starters you should look and listen at the lenght and speed/pitch of the song and how much filtering has been used. Also if you like your music even more hi-fi remember you can get the songs also in FLAC format. (For more on the quality topic look below for the comment section)

This tanda was affected a lot by what songs I could find on Spotify... so I'd like to point out other great songs from the second compilation also like: "Guitarra que llora", "Llora vida mía", "Todo terminó" and "Tomo y obligo"....

"Pero yo sé" was composed and written by Azucena Maizani in 1928. You can listen to her version of the song here - Spotify/Deezer.

"Trasnochando" is one of the big tango classics and the ultimate version is of course by Caló/Berón - Spotify/Deezer - but I like the D'Agostino version as well.

"Cantando olvidaré" is a less known but amazingly beautiful song that has an ending which I'd love to finish the tanda with... but I like to finish with something more well known, therefore...

"Ninguna" ends the tanda. I believe this is the best known version of the song and it seems like the song became a popular standard for singers a little bit later in the 50's and 60's. From the 40's I'd recommend the version of Ricardo Malerba also.

D'Agostino, Ángel - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes
Vargas, Ángel - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tanda of the Week 29 / 2014 - Francini-Pontier valses by DJ Peter Rücknagel

1. E. Francini, A. Pontier / R. Berón - "Con ella en el mar" 1946
2. E. Francini, A. Pontier / R. Berón, R. Rufino - "Primer beso" 1948
3. E. Francini, A. Pontier / A. Podestá - "El mismo dolor" 1946 weeks tanda comes from DJ Peter Rücknagel from Bremen Germany. Here's what he had to say about the tanda: "This is a tanda of deeply emotional valses telling storries about aspects of love. They are far away from the somehow Vienna style valses which are so popular in Europe. Francini and Pontier, who played in the famous formation of Miguel Calo together with other great musicians like Domingo Federico and Osmar Maderna, later formed their own orquesta which, due to its high quality, was very much appreciated. It is a pitty that their beautyful music is allmost neglected in nowadays Milongas. I made this Tanda to remind the audience of this outstanding orquesta that recorded with the most acknowledged singers of their time. Among others with Raul Beron, Roberto Rufino and Alberto Podesta who can be heard in this vals tanda."

Thank you Peter! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tanda of the Week 28 / 2014 - Anibal Troilo 100 Años!!!

1. Aníbal Troilo / Alberto Marino - "Uno" 1943
2. Aníbal Troilo / Francisco Fiorentino - "Corazón, no le hagas caso" 1943
3. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz - "Naranjo en flor" 1944
4. Aníbal Troilo / Raúl Berón - "Malena" 1952 is the 100th Anniversary of Aníbal Troilo, one of the most iconic musicians and orchestra leaders of tango. The Anniversary is celebrated through out the tango world in numerous events and milongas and also here on Tanda of the Week! Also there's been quite a buzz with everyone waiting for the release of Michael Lavocah's new book "Tango Masters: Anibal Troilo", which will, naturally, be published today.

This tanda showcases everything that was exceptional about Aníbal Troilo, the songs, arrangements, musicianship and he was joined by some of the greatest tango singers ever to walk this earth. This is music that really will live forever. I wanted to put the second version of "Malena" into the tanda to have the four of my favorite singers for Troilo in it... as well as show that yes Raúl Berón did sing for Troilo! Unfortunately the songs are only a few and very hard to find in decent quality.

I will be playing tonight in the La Yumba Milonga in Hamburg and you can expect even more than the usual amount of Aníbal Troilo tandas. Have a great celebration and weekend!

Troilo, Anibal - TOTW - Todo -

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tanda of the Week 27 / 2014 - Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas and

1. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Agua florida" 1941
2. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "No aflojés" 1940
3. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Un copetín" 1941
4. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Muchacho" 1940 news for DJ's and tango lovers worldwide! has released their first compilation of freshly squeezed (=digitized) D'Agostino shellacs! A lot of the D'Agostino discography has been almost impossible to find in good quality but look no further. The first 22 songs are released and more are to come.

Check out the Ángel 1 collection by Ángel D'Agostino and Ángel Vargas at!

Also check out the previous tandas by Ángel D'Agostino on TOTW.

D'Agostino, Ángel - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Vargas, Ángel - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tanda of the Week 26 / 2014 - Ricardo Tanturi valses with Enrique Campos, Osvaldo Ribó and Roberto Videla

1. Ricardo Tanturi - "Desde el alma" 1944
2. Ricardo Tanturi / Osvaldo Ribó, Roberto Videla - "Tu olvido" 1946
3. Ricardo TanturiRoberto Videla, Enrique Campos - "Tu vieja ventana" 1945

+ 4. Ricardo Tanturi / Osvaldo Ribó, Roberto Videla - "Dos que se aman" 1948 weeks tanda is valses from Ricardo Tanturi with the three singers not named Alberto Castillo. I have posted many vals tandas from Tanturi earlier so be sure to check them out too. This tanda has the excellent instrumental version of "Desde el alma" followed by two valses that are duets. All the songs have great melodies and danceability and I really like the style of the Tanturi orchestra in these songs.

If you want to add a fourth vals to your tanda I'd recommend "Dos que se aman" but only if you can find it in good quality. Unfortunately the three versions I was able to find online are all in rather bad quality and I would not play the song in a milonga.


Tanturi, Ricardo - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes - iTunes Store

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tanda of the Week 25 / 2014 - Miguel Caló and Alberto Podestá 1954-1969

DJ's Birger Haugdal, Jens-Ingo Brodesser, Antti Suniala, Andrés Molina & Michael Lavocah

1. Miguel Caló / Alberto Podestá - "Qué falta que me hacés!" 1963
2. Miguel Caló / Alberto Podestá - "Noche de locura" 1954
3. Miguel Caló / Alberto Podestá - "Un infierno" 1954
4. Miguel Caló - "En fa menor" 1969 Stefan Ok (who has contributed a few of his tandas to TOTW) shared Miguel Caló's "Un infierno" on the increasingly popular "The Tango Now Playing In My Head Is..." group on Facebook and suggested that I should do a tanda with the song. Challenge accepted!
"Un infierno" was recorded in 1954 with the singer Alberto Podestá and it is a bitter song of love that made a poor man's life hell. Like always, Miguel Caló's orchestra is on fire and the musicians get to show their talent; listen to the short violin solo by Enrique Francini (if I'm not wrong - I don't have my Encyclopedia of Tango with me right now) at 0:51-0:59 for an example.

The process of creating this tanda around the song went a little something like this - First I naturally want to look for songs by Podestá and Caló from the same time period. They recorded six tangos in 1954 of which the most famous one is probably "La cantina" and others include "El Bazar de los Juguetes" and "Oracion Rante". I found that "Noche de Locura" fit the love theme better though with an invitation to the night of madness: 
¡No, no bebas! ¡Ven y bésame! ¿Que esperas...?
Emborráchate de amor igual que yo.
While I like all of these songs I'm left with a feeling that making a tanda of only the songs from 1954 would not satisfy me as a dancer. Another thing to take into consideration is that depending on the amount of 1950's (or beyond) tandas you want to play in the milonga - this tanda has to compete with the kings of 1950's tango Di Sarli, Pugliese and D'Arienzo... so you have to make it a good one. The songs have a fairly good structure and clarity for dancing with a balanced amount of orchestral parts and vocal parts but still... I'm assuming these are all compositions from the 50's and already that makes a big difference in comparing to early 40's compositions.  To understand better what I'm getting at listen to the radio recording from 1960's of Caló and Podestá performing "Mañana Ire Temprano", which was composed by Enrique Francini and recorded by Caló with Raúl Iriarte in 1943. The arrangement for the 60's version is very true to the original recording and you can hear how the early 40's compositions were just perfect for dancing. Unfortunately Podestá never recorded the song with Miguel Caló.

So I have to look a bit further to spice up the tanda and I think there's no better option than to open with the amazing "Que falta que me haces" from 1963. Fortunately the 1954 recordings are in excellent quality (a part for some small issues of low digital quality in the high end sounds) and they follow the opening song perfectly and the the almost 10 year gap is not noticeable.

Sometimes with vocal tango tandas that are a bit of a challenge for the dancers I like to try to make the tanda a little easier mixing one instrumental song in there. And especially in this case I like to also showcase the great quality of the orchestra itself. The last track of the tanda "En Fa Menor" is an instrumental from 1969 was also recorded by Caló in 1954 and although I like that version a lot I find that with the passing years the arrangement for 1969 was simplified a little and it is better for dancing and the sound of the orchestra and recording go well with the opening track and the rest of the tanda. You have to be aware that the 1969 version is in stereo and there's quite a lot of panning of the instruments going on, so when playing such songs I recommend either editing a mono version of the song or making sure your mixer is on a mono output setting to get a more balanced playback for your milonga. For the curios ones - there's also a version of "En Fa Menor" by Roberto Calo, the brother of Miguel Caló.

Thank you Stefan for your suggestion! I think the more I listen to this tanda the more I like it and I will definitely play it sometimes in the future milongas. Enjoy!

PS. I'm in Finland now after the TangoSauna Marathon (look picture above) and playing finnish tango and other old old dance music in the great We Love Helsinki Mid Summer's Ball for these two nights... therefore I'd like to leave you with a cortina you might recognize.

Calo, Miguel - TOTW - Todo Tango - iTunes Store
Podestá, Alberto - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tanda of the Week 24 / 2014 - Rodolfo Biagi (instrumentals) DJ Antti Suniala

1. Rodolfo Biagi - "Racing Club" 1950
2. Rodolfo Biagi - "La huella" 1946
3. Rodolfo Biagi - "La viruta" 1950
4. Rodolfo Biagi - "El internado" 1953 from the amazing Tangosauna - Ultimate Finnish Marathon. I'm here sitting next to DJ's Michael Lavocah, Jaana Hänninen and Jenni Vallinen (who is also one of the main organizers) - trying to publish a tanda before the for me most anticipated set from Andrés Molina. I'm not kidding when I say it's been wonderful and a great start for the first ever tango marathon in Finland. The dancers love the settings and atmosphere and the food and the saunas and swimming in the lake and the white nights. It was pleasure to play my set as the opening DJ of the marathon and this is a tanda from my set. I wanted to capture the strong 50ish sound of Biagi in instrumentals but I was saving "El Recodo" for a Di Sarli tanda later on...

 I'll get ready for more dancing. Enjoy and keep this marathon in mind for next year. If you don't know, now you know!

Biagi, Rodolfo - TOTW - Todo Tango - - TangoTunes - iTunes Store

Friday, June 6, 2014

Tanda of the Week 23 / 2014 - Francisco Canaro and Roberto Maida 1935

1. Francisco Canaro / Roberto Maida - "Poema" 1935
2. Francisco Canaro / Roberto Maida - "Soledad" 1935
3. Francisco Canaro / Roberto Maida - "Ciego" 1935
4. Francisco Canaro / Roberto Maida - "Alma del bandoneón" 1935 the most popular of Francisco Canaro´s recordings is the beautiful "Poema" although it seems to have vanished from the playlists of most DJ's. This is due to the song being "overplayed" for a long time and also the fact that a lot more of Canaro´s and Maida´s recordings have become available in the recent years, so there's a lot more songs to choose from as well. I'm not personally the greatest Canaro fan (to put it mildly) but I do feel like I'd rather sometimes hear "Poema" in the milongas than a lot of the other songs that get more play at the moment.

Canaro has always been more popular in milongas in Europe than in Buenos Aires and in an interesting article about "Poema" in the Poemas del Río Wang blog it was noted that the song never was as popular in Buenos Aires and no other orchestra in Argentina recorded it. Still, I'd like to think that it is the one vocal tango recording from Canaro that gets played in Buenos Aires (at least on my previous visits) while mostly everything else than the milonga recordings leave the Buenos Aires audiences unimpressed. The above mentioned article describes the song as follows:

"Most of of the practicing and aspiring Argentine tango DJs must have noticed that Francisco Canaro’s superb (and much overplayed) 1935 “Poema” doesn’t quite fit seamlessly into tandas  “Poema” is quite singular in its gently melancholic, softly nostalgic flow, while other Canaro’s hits of the period tend to be more insistent and dramatic in quality, energetically driving rather than softly soothing. [...] “Poema” is undoubtedly the best composition of Eduardo Bianco, an Argentine who lived in Europe for nearly 20 years, and who mastered the art of making the tango of Argentina sound the Parisian way."
I feel that the last sentence applies to a lot of Canaro's music as well as I'd describe his style pretty much making the tango of Argentina sound the European way almost as if it was in it's own genre of tango. Maybe this is one of the reasons why his recordings appeal so much to many dancers in Europe and also creates a strong dislike for many as well. What do you think my readers? I'd like to hear your thoughts on the popularity of Canaro in Europe and outside Buenos Aires. I've used especially "Poema" often as an example when I discuss and wonder about why and how some songs gain and lose popularity.

Back to the tanda at hand. While especially "Ciego" is more "energetically driving than softly soothing" the tanda stays in the melancholic mood and has beautiful melodies and also more rhythmical parts to all the songs. "Soledad" was recorded by Carlos Gardel and "Alma de Bandoneon" is another of the great classics of tango music and Canaro does a fine version of it with Roberto Maida.

For lyrics and translations I recommend checking out the new Tango Translations Database and the translations for Poema - Soledad - Ciego and Alma de Bandoneon.

I chose songs from the Francisco Canaro album Poema, but the title song itself had a glitch in the end of the song so I used the song from the Cuartito Azul album for the tanda playlist. If you do purchase the Poema album you will have to edit out the glitch in the end of the song before playing it in milongas.

Enjoy and have a nice weekend all. I know I'll see some of you in the Embrace Berlin Tango Festival the coming days where I will be also playing on monday at the La Berlinesa milonga.

Canaro, Francisco - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tanda of the Week 17 / 2014 - Ricardo Malerba - DJ Antti Suniala

1. Ricardo Malerba - "Sollozos" 1944
2. Ricardo Malerba / Orlando Medina - "Tres amigos" 1944
3. Ricardo Malerba / Orlando Medina - "Mi taza de café" 1943
4. Ricardo Malerba / Orlando Medina - "Embrujamiento" 1943"[Ricardo Malerba] signed a contract to play on Radio Belgrano, on condition of playing a rhythmical tango in a D'Arienzo-like style. He debuted with his own orchestra on March 1, 1938 and stayed at that radio station for over twenty years.Gradually he was gaining the people's recognition, slower than Juan D'Arienzo's, much liked by dancers and easy listening." 

- Néstor Pinsón -

The very first tanda I posted on Tanda of the Week was from Ricardo Malerba and it featured the classic songs "Gitana rusa", "Ninguna", "La piba de los jazmines" and "Remembranza". Ricardo Malerba recorded 30 songs for Odeon between 1941-1945 and eight more songs in 1956-1957 and out of this small catalogue only a few are available on Spotify.

This tanda tries to make the best of the songs available and starts with one of the few instrumental recordings from Malerba "Sollozos". This song was recorded as a vocal version previously by Osvaldo Fresedo with Roberto Ray. Other instrumentals from Malerba include "Guardia vieja", "Charamusca" as well as the excellent version of the vals "Corazón de artista".

"Tres amigos" starts a bit slow but ends up growing into a good version of the classic better known from Anibal Troilo with Alberto Marino. Most people might also favor the Orquesta Tipica Victor version of "Mi taza de café". The tanda finishes with "Embrujamiento" (sometimes misspelled as "Enbrujamiento"), which is Malerbas own handwriting and has been recorded also by Juan D'Arienzo with Juan Carlos Lamas five months earlier than Malerba.

For more songs from Malerba you can get the "Encuentro con Ricardo Malerba" album from The album has among others a great quality version of the vals "Cuando florezcan las rosas".

The song you really want to look for from Malerba however is the tango "Violín".

Malerba, Ricardo - TOTW - Todo Tango - - TangoTunes