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