|De Angelis, Rotundo, Varela and D'Arienzo|
1. Alfredo De Angelis / Oscar Larroca - "Volvamos a empezar" 1953
2. Francisco Rotundo / Floreal Ruíz - "Resignate hermano" 1952
3. Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma - "Un remordimiento" 1955
4. Juan D'Arienzo / Jorge Valdez - "Destino de flor" 1957
This weeks tanda is an experiment into the dark arts and black magic of mixing songs from different orchestras into one tango tanda. Mixing orchestras in a tanda is not common practise and is generally frowned upon especially when not done well. Most common and more accepted examples of it are the milonga and even vals tandas with songs from many orchestras, often partly due to a lot more limited amount of recordings in both styles. I am not quite sure if the term "Ronda de ases" is used only for a tanda consisting of the greatest hits of tango from several orchestras put into one tanda - like a super romantic tanda from Canaro's "Poema" and Fresedo's "Buscandote" etc. - or if can be used in general for a tango tanda of mixed orchestras even if the songs are not such standard super hits? Here I experiment with the latter option.
The journey to the dark side began when I came across Rotundo's "Resignate hermano" and thought it sounded suprisingly a lot like a mix of early 50's De Angelis, Varela and D'Arienzo. So to pass time on my bus tour* I tried to find songs that'd go well with it. I was juggling many songs from all the other three orchestras and the tanda turned out like this... for now.
I personally don't look for DJ's to mix orchestras in tango tandas, although I might tolerate/approve/appreciate one mixed tanda in a set, but rather have the difference between tandas provide enough variation and inspiration for the dancers. I think mixing orchestras is more acceptable when the songs or orchestras are not super well-known. I know many DJ's do it with some early 30's music. I've done it on the blog earlier in similar style with an instrumental tanda of Orquesta Tipica Victor, Provincianos and Donato. One of the fundamental ideas for a tanda is to have a consistent style and mood throughout the tanda, a task which can be possible even with the mixing of the orchestras. Sometimes you might find a great song but the same orchestra doesn't have enough songs for a great tanda and you want to look a bit further into similar songs from other sources. However, when it comes to true classics, I really would not want anyone mixing for example Troilo/Fiorentino and Di Sarli/Rufino even if the DJ in their mind could come up with some kind of consistency and similarity.
-- EDIT: another example of a mixed tanda on TOTW is this tanda of the singer Carlos LaFuente with orchestras Tipica Victor, Marcucci, Provincianos and Carabelli. So the tanda has different although very similar orchestras and the same singer in every song. I dare to say that this tanda is a fairly perfect example of how mixing of orchestras is done well.
Of course it could be argued that the orchestras and songs of this tanda of mine are fairly well-known (or could it?) but for example I chose to go with D'Arienzo/Valdez because the song and style is not the most common to D'Arienzo... I tried some songs from the earlier 50's with Laborde and Echague but found that Jorge Valdez as a singer also matched the other singers (Larroca, Ruiz and Ledesma) better. From Varela I was thinking of going with "Moneda de cobre" but thought of "El remordimiento" as a slightly softer choise for this rather massive and strong tanda. Maybe I could've also looked into the Varela recordings with Rodolfo Lesica.
I found out that by pure luck, or guidance from the tango devils, "El remordimiento" is actually composed by Francisco Rotundo. Rotundo also recorded "Destino de flor" with Alfredo del Río. I tried hard to find a connection for Rotundo and the De Angelis song to satisfy my tango geek side as well, but failed to do so.
Now... if you find yourself behind the decks at a very traditional milonga, it's probably not a great idea to play something like this. If you feel like your crowd is ready for some experimentation then this tanda might work. If you think they'll like the opening track then they'll probably enjoy the rest of the tanda too. I sure would rather dance to this than 50's D'Arienzo/Echague, which always rubs me the wrong way.
Anyway.... the tanda is an experiment. I even thought of saving it for an April Fool's tanda and mark all the songs to have been recorded by Rotundo and see how fast my readers realize the mixing of orchestras... but the Spotify/Deezer playlists would've of course given it away too soon.
So my friends and enemies. Do you think these songs have a consistent enough style to be mixed into one tanda? Would you even notice the difference in styles? Would you recommend other songs to improve the tanda? Have you played or danced to any great tango tandas of mixed orchestras?
PS. I updated the neglected complete TOTW playlist on Spotify!
De Angelis, Alfredo - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - iTunes Store
Rotundo, Francisco - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - iTunes Store
Varela, Héctor - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
D'Arienzo, Juan - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
THE BUS TOUR*
I just finished a two week tour of 3200 km by bus... I played in Vilnius (Lithuania), Riga (Latvia), Tallinn (Estonia), Helsinki and Tampere (Finland) and Lodz and Warsaw (Poland). The hours of sitting in busses and the recovery was made a lot easier by the great tango communities, dancers, organizers and my hosts. Thank you all!