Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tanda of the Week 14 / 2011 -
Hector Varela

1. Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma - "Fueron tres años" 1956 - TangoTunes
Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma - "Qué tarde que has venido" 1956 - TangoTunes
3. Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma - "Y no te voy a llorar" 1953
4. Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma - "Fumando espero" 1955 - TangoTunes

What can I say? Varela and Ledesma is a match made in heaven.... To make this tanda even more massive you can replace one of the songs with "Muchacha".

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

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tanda of the Week 13 / 2011 -
Edgardo Donato


1. Edgardo Donato - "El Acomodo" 1933
2. Edgardo Donato / Horacio Lagos - "Hay que acomodarse" 1935
3. Edgardo Donato / Felix Gutierrez - "Qué hacés, qué hacés!" 1933
4. Edgardo Donato / Felix Gutierrez - "El huracan" 1932

This tanda is inspired by a true story! After reading one book about tango (I will add it here once I remember the name of it) that talked a lot about different expectations we have for our dance partners and the role they play in your perfect milonga, me and my dance partner have been joking about how "a true milonga man" takes care of business. He has the right persona and character, knows the songs by heart, has a perfect embrace, will not let any boleos hit his partner, captures the moment and makes it perfect and memorable, jumps off a cliff and fights a dozen ninjas to have that dance with you and so on and so on. Almost a mythological creature he is.

Anyway... I'm in St. Petersburg dancing to a Donato tanda with a beautiful partner and the last song is "El huracan" (The hurricane) which I love. It was quite hot at the milonga and I had personally turned on the fan in the corner earlier. And when we dance and end up in that corner close to the end of the song I stay there and start doing giros to have her long dark hair blow on my face repeatedly as the hurricane sounds hit in the song. I love the moment and laugh and explain to her the name of the song after we let go of the embrace. She laughs and smiles to the milonga man. I'm on fire. Bring on the ninjas, I got this.

Donato and the hurricane. Enjoy!

Ps. For the Spotify tanda I had to change the first song "El acomodo" to "La tablada" since the correct version wasn't available. The tanda works well this way too.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tanda of the Week 12 / 2011 -
Juan D'Arienzo (vals)

Download or listen Tanda of the Week 12/2011 - D'Arienzo

1. Juan D'Arienzo - "Pasion" 1937
2. Juan D'Arienzo - "Valsecito criollo" 1937
3. Juan D'Arienzo - "Alma dolorida" 1937

Great instrumental valses from D'Arienzo. Enjoy!

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

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tanda of the Week 11 / 2011 -
Osvaldo Pugliese

Download or listen Tanda of the Week 11/2011 - Pugliese

1. Osvaldo Pugliese "Recuerdo" 1944
2. Osvaldo Pugliese "Derecho viejo" 1945
3. Osvaldo Pugliese "Malandraca" 1949
4. Osvaldo Pugliese "De floreo" 1950

Playing a tanda by the great Osvaldo Pugliese can be a suprisingly difficult task. There are such different expectations about what songs you should play especially since there's usually only one Pugliese tanda per a milonga. First of all I personally like to make sure that the songs are relatively easy to dance to for Pugliese. I mean an easier Pugliese tanda will still give enough challenge for everybody in my honest opinion. Second, I like to play my Pugliese tanda earlier than within the last 3-4 tandas so I don't have to pack so much punch into it and a little bit less drama will do. Third, I like to have a bit of variety within the tanda... usually more than in this tanda of the week. Meaning maybe mixing instrumental and vocal songs or use some variety in the time periods.

This tanda however is fairly traditional and sort of a play-it-safe tanda (which is a good approach to any style you're are not super comfortable with personally). To exaggerate a little "Recuerdo" is definitely one of these songs that nobody plays because everybody plays it so nobody plays it. Well atleast I hardly ever hear it played but like I say classics are classics for a good reason so I will gladly have it in my repertoire. Second song is "Derecho viejo", a great version of the classic. As the tanda is really about easy to recognise songs and melodies, the third song is where we take a side trail. I have the song "Malandraca" tagged with "great after a weak beginning" and this is true. But once you get past the first 15 seconds it's all good and after the first minute I think the song is just pure gold and has a very strong rhythm that might work well in a "La yumba" tanda as well. And the fourth song "De floreo" starts off nicely from where the previous song finished bringing the tanda to a comfortable but dramatic ending.

Pugliese, Osvaldo - TOTW - Todo

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tanda of the Week 10 / 2011 -
Francisco Lomuto

Francisco Lomuto y su Orquesta

1. Francisco Lomuto - "Cicatrices" 1927
2. Francisco Lomuto - "Sin clemencia" 1930
3. Francisco Lomuto - "Fumando espero" 1927

4. Francisco Lomuto - "Lagrimitas" 1927 very melancholic instrumental tanda from the late 20's with a slightly more positive ending. Enjoy!

Lomuto, Francisco - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store

Tanda of the Week 09 / 2011 -
Pedro Laurenz (milonga)

Download or listen Tanda of the Week 09/2011 - Laurenz

1. Pedro Laurenz / Martin Podesta - "La vida es milonga" 1941
2. Pedro Laurenz - "Milonga de mis amores" 1944
3. Pedro Laurenz / Alberto Podesta - "Maldonado" 1943

Here in Finland we're still recovering from the amazing Frostbite tango festival. We had great four days of milongas and workshops and ofcourse the shows by the maestros and everybody left the festival tired but happy. This one is for you all! "La vida es milonga!"