Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tanda of the Week 27 / 2013 - Osvaldo Fresedo 1950's
Dj Goran


1. Osvaldo Fresedo / Héctor Pacheco - "Pero yo sé" 1952
2. Osvaldo Fresedo / Héctor Pacheco - "Patotero sentimental" 1952
3. Osvaldo Fresedo / Armando Garrido - "Déjame soñar" 1950
4. Osvaldo Fresedo / Armando Garrido - "Paisaje"1951

This tanda comes from Dj Goran from Zagreb, Croatia. Here's what he had to say about the tanda:

"Fresedo's music is my current tango love. The romantic sounds, an unusual orchestra for tango (harp, vibraphone, even percussion), the end-of-an-old-Hollywood-movie feeling... it's something special. Discovering a new song by Fresedo always makes me happy. I usually play Ray, Ruiz and Mayel, sometimes Serpa. But this tanda, which by some people may be very borderline tango, is very dear to me. Very dreamy and romantic, this is ideal for a dimly lit milonga, near the end of the evening. I don't perceive the "energy" of a milonga as only rhythm as you can often hear people say. For me this is an intense, energy-packed tanda that will keep the dancers' senses fully occupied and still have them cuddle to the very end of the tanda. 

I sometimes play other songs in combinations with these, such as "Vamos, vamos zaino viejo" or some with Carlos Barrios, but these are my favourites from Fresedo's 50s. Especially "Pero yo se" and "Paisaje". Since those songs are not often played, I usualy start with "Pero yo se". "Patotero sentimental" is a familiar piece to most dancers, but I think "Pero yo se" is very recognisable lately (e.g. Chicho performed to it many times). Paisaje is something really unexpected. Many dancers asked me if it is some Christmas song because of the bells. 

I live and work in Zagreb, Croatia. Although I am a physicist, my 10 years of piano school are much more useful in tango. I don't have any regular event unfortunately, since this is a very small community but I did manage to visit quite a few places in the past 1.5 year of serious DJing. My DJing page with more info is here:"

Thank you Goran! A bit more information for those who like the opening track: The beautiful "Pero yo se" was composed and written by Azucena Maizani. She also recorded the song in 1928 and 1931 (listen on Spotify). Also D'Agostino recorded the song with Vargas (listen on Spotify). 

"Patotero Sentimental" is probably best known as the versions from Di Sarli with Rufino (listen on Spotify) and also Di Sarli with Pomar (listen on Spotify).

Fresedo, Osvaldo - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store

19 kommenttia:

  1. Goran wrote: "Since those songs are not often played"

    I think there is a good reason for this: these songs are not traditionally considered to be fit for social dancing.

    "Pero yo se" is very recognisable lately (e.g. Chicho performed to it many times).

    Show dancing is something different.

  2. Of course. Which is why I play them for more demanding and advanced crowds when conditions are appropriate. This aims at the "traditionally considered".

    Also, I believe one of the most important roles of shows in tango is to inspire. Sometimes even to music outside the scope of the usual social-dancing music selections.

  3. Goran wrote: "I believe one of the most important roles of shows in tango is to inspire."

    The most important role of the shows of instructors like Chicho etc. is to inspire people to buy the instructors 's workshops. In those workshops, people copy that instructor's style of show dancing and then unfortunately many of them feel the need to show it off in the milonga - just like their instructors except having to share the floor with other dancers. The DJ who plays the instructor's choice of unfit music instead of traditional selections is simply encouraging such disruptors at the expense of regular social dancers.

  4. You are off-topic, but I'll give it one more shot before I stop feeding a troll:

    @classes: Of course, but it applies to all teachers - it makes their living. On their way, some are inspiring to me (one dancer), some are not. What's your point?

    @copying: Also, there will always be students who blindly copy, even in the best workshops, with best teachers. And they will show off with less than you can see from Chicho. All dancers go through such phases. Again, what's your point?

    @DJ: DJs play *their* choices for *their* reasons. Some DJs are good, some are bad - the ronda will decide. What you are focusing on in your rants seem to be only bad things. On the other hand, I can see that you also play Pacheco.

    Let's focus on the nice things, such as dancing to these and other wonderful tandas from this blog with great and musical partners in order to enjoy the music and the embrace. And keep learning. From Chicho, among others. I assure you, there's a lot to be learned from him as well, without blindly copying.

  5. As this is the first time I have commented here, I would like to commend AS on his excellent idea for a blog. While the ever-expanding number of tango schools and tango teachers continue to focus primary attention on elaborate choreographic elements, it is refreshing to come across the quote:

    “Nothing improves your dancing more than knowing the music you dance to.”

    As regards the TOTW proposed by Goran, I feel bound to say that I would have reservations similar to those expressed earlier by Chris. Indeed, for those who might use this page as a useful source in choosing music for their dance events, I think it is crucially important to understand the difference between concert music meant for listening pleasure and social music suitable for moving people round the ronda. While there is no denying the beauty of some 50s recordings of tango music, it is at least questionable whether it is always best fit for purpose in the context of a crowded milonga. The suggestion that this music is somehow more appropriate for more “demanding and advanced dancers” is both unfortunate and ill-founded. Experienced and knowledgeable social dancers can tell the difference.

    Also, if one aims to choose music suitable for social dancing, one needs to be particularly wary of that chosen by performers for their performances. Its purpose is not, after all, to move dancers in harmony round a crowded dance floor; it is to allow them (performers) time and space to show off their choreography.

    I am sorry if this sounds too negative. However, I am assuming that TOTW was set up as a resource for social dancers, organisers, DJs and that any comment that ultimately seeks to promote the best musical environment for social dancing events (rather than performances) will be accepted in the spirit of “constructive criticism”. This is surely as far away from “trolling” as one can possibly get.

    1. Hi Paul!

      I am all for constructive criticism and discussions. But the first replies were off-topic and continuously kept addressing unimportant aspects instead of sticking to the tanda itself. You continue a long similar lines. I am genuinely interested in why you, and, for that matter, Chris think this tanda or particular songs are not suitable for *crowded* dance floors (assuming that you both listened to it).

      If the topic was very aggressive music or even electrotango, I'd completely agree. But this is cuddly and gentle music. I chose Chicho's performance(s) to "Pero yo se" because they are not typical flashy performances and would be nice to see (I assume you did take the time). But let's put performances aside as they are a distraction here. If anything, I find this music exactly suitable for very crowded dance floors - it's calming and relaxing, while still keeping all the dancers' musicality and senses occupied (This is a proven fact. I did find many places where a tanda similar to this one was very warmly accepted - by close-embrace and very musical and knowledgeable social dancers).

      "Demanding and advanced" dancers might be unfortunate expression, but definitely not ill-founded as those very things come out of experience - as you progress, you want more tango and better tango (in all possible meanings). There are communities and milongas (sometimes even bigger events) where dancers prefer to dance to very simple music and *visibly* don't know what to do with melodic pieces far simpler than the songs above. The causes might be interesting, but I'd prefer not to discuss them now.

      Bottom line - in such places, I won't play music like this because those dancers won't be sensitive to the all the layers and subtlety. I am not talking about *bad* dancers in the sense that they do gymnastics, have bad floorcraft etc., just inexperienced - they'll rather go for the same kind of rhythm the whole evening, or, in some cases, completely ignore the changes of music from one tanda to the next. But I always watch the dance floor, and if i see that dancers are able to express a lot, I'll give them a wide variety of rhythms, melodies and emotions to dance to. A bigger playground, if you wish. Without sticking to only this kind of music for hours, as some DJs do in an attempt to forcefully "educate" dancers and show-off their collection.

      Therefore, I stick by the fact that this tanda is beautiful and danceable although not all dancers will fully benefit from it. I am taking myself as an example: a few years back I didn't know how to simply and nicely express even less subtle details in tango music. Now I know - I progressed technically, I got to know (and love) this music better, AND found inspiration in the way other dancers move.



    2. Goran wrote: "I am genuinely interested in why you, and, for that matter, Chris think this tanda or particular songs are not suitable for *crowded* dance floors"

      If that is true, then you'll find my reasons above - in what you dismissed as the unimportant off-topic comments of a troll.

      Better still, visit some trad. milongas in BA. Observe the kinds of music popular with Argentines who've been going to milongas for decades; the kinds played by DJs who've filtered all that's available to arrive at the music that gives the most enjoyment to the most dancers. And if you find a lack of agreement with your concept of what music is fit for social dancing, perhaps reflect on the true basis of your ill-founded concept of "more demanding and advanced" dancers.

      Good luck.

    3. These songs are less dangerous for the crowded social dance floor than many by Pugliese, Gobbi, even D'Arienzo (seen it, again, so it's not my opinion, it's my observation).

      Just repeating, and I quote you, "these songs are not traditionally considered to be fit for social dancing" doesn't make that statement true. All that you wrote besides that statement focuses on teachers and performance. I see no relevance of your previous posts to my question: what makes this tanda non-danceable *for you*.

      I would like to hear your words, not clichéd, overused statments of what "traditional" means, esp. because the "traditional" changes over time, by definition.

      Even leaving this particular tanda aside, many DJs from BA that I know, admit that the selection of music played in BA is very narrow, omitting many great orchestras and songs. The main reason for that is habit: a wider range of music is *now* *widely* available, as opposed to what happened during the re-vitalisation of tango after the nuevo-explosion. Also, in BA, most milongas have an-almost fixed playlist. People like Terpsichoral, who have been living in BA for years may share some fresh, relevant info on that. I'd love to hear if it changed since I visited roughly 2 years ago.

    4. Besides, I know what music is generally loved by dancers and is therefore considered danceable. My selections follow that all the time, only sometimes adding some rarely played gems if I think the situation is right. The ronda gives the verdict, not us, based on on-line comments. All the dancers who are on the floor at that moment decide, not individual feedback. And definitely not "tradition" and similar words.

    5. Goran wrote: "many DJs from BA that I know, admit that the selection of music played in BA is very narrow,"

      Indeed. Choosing the best music for a trad. milonga results in a narrow selection.

      "omitting many great orchestras and songs."

      Indeed. Choosing the best music for a trad. milonga omits the many orchestras and songs that are great only for listening.

      "The main reason for that is habit"

      No. The main reason for that is merit.

    6. I accept what you say about narrowing, but what about re-discovering what was buried in the past? Tango Djs in BA came about when digitally-available tango music was virtually non-existent, unlike the European DJs. And they still avoid digging through what was and still may be unknown and danceable music at the same time.

      Still no answer to a direct question about why you find this tanda non-dnaceable, though. Try it, it might be a nice educational effort for you.

      See, I am trying to help you here: if you can't find words to answer about this tanda and support your claim, you seem to be in no position to judge about tango music in general, including danceability and merit. I want the readers of these comments to at least have a small hint that you are capable of having your own opinion and debating with arguments.

  6. Paul, milongas aren't always crowded. Even Canning, which can get so crazily packed that you would think even Brownian motion would be impossible, is only a quarter full in the doldrums of off season and the floor is often thinly populated in the first hour and after 4am. And I'm talking about a potentially VERY crowded milonga. Milongas are only crowded, well, at the times they are crowded. (This should be common sense). It depends on the season and time of night. Even assuming that these songs aren't suitable for a crowded floor (though I personally can't see why), Goran did specify that he thought it was ideal for near the end of the evening.

  7. PS This is off topic, but "the ever-expanding number of tango schools and tango teachers continue to focus primary attention on elaborate choreographic elements". I think you should explore some of the classes out there. There are lot which don't focus on elaborate sequences or fancy moves, including many excellent courses on the music (I recommend Theresa Faus, Murat & Michelle Erdemsel, Victor Simon, Ramiro Gigliotti, Joaquin Amenabar and many others). Enjoy!

  8. Thank you all for the discussion. I'd like to point out that the blog is not only about my or others views of what is the best tango music for an ideal traditional milonga setting. We're not trying to define the tandas that work 100% in all situations. Therefore I welcome tandas like this that are aimed for a more limited situation and time in a milonga, even for a more limited crowd like a very open minded marathon dancer. I've said before also that all the tandas here are taken out of their context, which is the milonga. Some tandas are great on paper but what matters is how they work in the given situation when they are played in the milonga.

    Also the 50's is dividing opinions a lot but the fact is a lot of people love to dance to the Di Sarli's and Pugliese's and even Varela's from the 50's. It is different and maybe more challenging but they want to dance to it therefore it is danceable. And with only one or two of these tandas played in a night I can't see anything wrong with it. When the time is right I will play them... when it's wrong I don't.

    The problem I have more with this tanda is that I really don't like Fresedo from the 50's. The smooth sound has taken a major step towards Disney soundtracks and both the first two songs have been recorded in so much better versions. I like some of the early Fresedo and like the smooth romantic style but I don't need it magnified way out of proportion and beyond good taste. But this is my personal opinion which I do not give much on this blog. I want to remain neutral and will keep welcoming every tanda. It doesn't matter if I like it. The purpose of the blog is to showcase the great variety of tango music. But at the same time I also welcome all discussion, feedback and critique because that way we share opinions and shape the views of what music actually is more suitable for playing in Milongas. Just keep it civil. Like you mostly have.

  9. Antti wrote: "The purpose of the blog is to showcase the great variety of tango music."

    I'm surprised to hear that, since the blog's Welcome paragraph represents the weekly tandas as traditional tango. Traditional, note.

    That paragraph also says the blog primary objective is to educate. I applaud that objective, but am sad when this blog miseducates readers into the belief that tango not played in typical BsAs milongas is in any way 'traditional'.

    1. It maybe that I am using the term traditional too loosely. But I see for example Fresedo as a traditional orchestra and even in the 50's they were far from the orchestras clearly going for the concert style like Salgan, Francini-Pontier, Piazzolla, Pugliese or Gobbi. Fresedo still played in a more or less traditional style. The music of 50's Fresedo is not played in traditional milongas true but I'm not sure if it makes the music not traditional. Most of Rodriguez or Lomuto is not played in Buenos Aires. And I have also featured music from the 20's on the blog to show how the music has developed. Where I really have drawn the line is not posting alternative tango tandas or electro tango. But even this I'm willing to reconcider since it's a part of some scenes and dj's work although I hate electro tango from the bottom of my heart. But we don't need to like all the music on this blog.

      I definitely would post a tanda from let's say Sexteto Milonguero, Solo Tango or Misteriosa Buenos Aires to showcase that there are new orchestras that are more or less traditional and inspire people to dance in the milongas they play. This is what I mean with the variety. I want to show what all is available and possible and let the readers decide what they like. I don't need or want to force my view on them. They will hopefully see what I personally like in looking for my "favorite" tandas in the post labels or listen to the playlists of my dj sets.

      So... maybe I will re-write the Welcome paragraph... maybe I won't. But hopefully you understand my intentions better.

    2. Antti wrote: "The music of 50's Fresedo is not played in traditional milongas true but I'm not sure if it makes the music not traditional."

      When it comes to tango dancing, is there really any meaning of 'traditional' other than 'played in traditional milongas'?

      "I definitely would post a tanda from let's say Sexteto Milonguero, Solo Tango or Misteriosa Buenos Aires to showcase that there are new orchestras that are more or less traditional ... "

      I must say think that would miseducate learners, given that the blog's description says "This blog was created to educate dancers about tango music and the orchestras of the golden era...".

  10. PS Antti, may I make a suggestion for improvement to this generally excellent blog? Disallow adverts for dance classes, such as that above from Iona Italia a.k.a. Terpsichoral Tangoaddict. Becausee so many tango blogs have disallowed this kind of spam, the spammers are desperate for an outlet, so any tango blog that does not disallow such spam soon becomes inundated.

    Thanks for listening, and do keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you for your suggestion. However I don't see the example as spam or a problem. Terpsi just gave her view on the matter expressed and mentioned names of teachers who do actively teach a more music based approach to dancing tango. Both sides are surely right as I'm sure that while "the ever-expanding number of tango schools and tango teachers continue to focus primary attention on elaborate choreographic elements", there is also a growing number of schools and teachers who do the opposite.