Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Grand Milonga playlist, Missoula Tango Marathon, May 2015

I would like to start from thanking Patrick for entrusting me with the Grand Milonga of Missoula Tango Marathon, and Buell for his hospitality, and the tango community of Missoula and the whole wider, wilder North for their companionship, for their support, and for the memorable tandas! It was my first time dancing in Montana and I so look forward to another time!

The theme for the Saturday night Grand Milonga was "Vintage" and I took it as a license to play several seriously old tandas (and to sport a beret for a good portion of the night, too :) )
The vintage crew from Salt Lake sets the tone for the night :)
It's been just 3 days since Osvaldo Fresedo's birthday and I plan to play several tandas in honor of this pioneering musician and probably the most influential one in the tango world of the 1920s. But it leaves room for just one instrumental tanda ... so I'm starting bolder and bigger than usual, with a tanda spanning 25 years of Fresedo's recors:
001. Osvaldo Fresedo - Instrumental "Tigre viejo" 1934 3:01
002. Osvaldo Fresedo - Instrumental "Derecho viejo" 1941 2:27
003. Osvaldo Fresedo - Instrumental "La Viruta" 1957 3:32
 "Smuglyanka" ("Darkie girl", also "Moldovan girl") has been composed in 1940 and became wildly popular towards the end of WWII, but to my generation it's mostly known from an iconic 1973 movie about the war, "Only Old Men are Going to Battle" (clip from the movie below)
004. Leonid Bykov "Smuglyanka" 0:33

005. Quinteto Don Pancho - Instrumental "Champagne tango" 1938 2:30
006. Quinteto Don Pancho - Instrumental "El choclo" 1937 2:46
007. Quinteto Don Pancho - Instrumental "Loca" 1938 2:57
"Little Kathy" Katyusha song is fairly widely known in the West as a WWII period Russian classic (it was actually composed in 1938 and softly alluded to the simmering pre-WWII tensions with the Imperial Japan ... "to the serviceman on the border far away, say hi from his beloved Kathyusha"). Less common is the knowledge that the song may have become even more popular among the Italian resistance fighters (clip below).
008. "Katyusha" 0:33

009. Aníbal Troilo - Floreal Ruiz "Flor de lino" 1947 2:53
010. Anibal Troilo - Floreal Ruiz "Lloraras, Lloraras" 1945 2:52
011. Aníbal Troilo - Edmundo Rivero - Floreal Ruiz "Lagrimitas De Mi Corazón" 1948 3:00
I played Leonid Utesov's cortinas before. The Jewish enfant terrible from the freewheeling Odessa already achieved stardom as a jazz and folk singer (and of some classic tangos such as "Serdtse") before WWII, and during the war, he was all over the frontlines with concerts. "Road to Berlin" is indelibly linked with the memories of triumphal advances of the Red Army in 1944-1945, and in fact it improvised the lyrics and even its very title from month to month and from a military unit to a military unit, starting out as "Road to Minsk" when Berlin still seemed so far, far away. In each couplet, it brags about taking a city, and seeing a street sign with a name of another city down the road. Then in the next couplet, the next city is taken, and the song continues.
012. Leonid Utesov "Road to Berlin (slow)" 0:27

We're into old style tonight, right? Adolfo Carabelli was one of the most talented tango orchestra directors before the upheavals of the Great Depression. That's the real vintage sound to me.
013. Orquesta Tipica Victor (dir. A. Carabelli)  "Niño bien" 1928 2:43
014. Orquesta Tipica Victor (dir. A. Carabelli) "Che, papusa, oi" 1927 2:37
015. Orquesta Tipica Victor (dir. F. Scorticati) - Angel Vargas "Adios Buenos Aires" 1938 2:36
016. Leonid Bykov "Smuglyanka" 0:33
017. Ángel D'Agostino - Ángel Vargas "Ahora No Me Conocés" 1941 2:35
018. Ángel D'Agostino - Ángel Vargas "Solo compasion" 1941 2:58
019. Ángel D'Agostino - Ángel Vargas "Ninguna" 1942 2:59
020. Leonid Utesov "Road to Berlin (fast)" 0:30
021. Carlos Di Sarli Roberto Rufino "La Mulateada" 1941 2:22
022. Carlos Di Sarli Roberto Rufino "Zorzal" 1941 2:40
023. Carlos Di Sarli Roberto Rufino "Pena Mulata" 1941 2:27
I already wrote about the WWII history of Lidiya Ruslanova's "Valenki" ("Felt Boots"), a hundred years old Gypsy dancing song which she resurrected in the 1940s and famously performed, by the crowd's request, at the steps of the ruined Reichstag in Berlin in May 1945.
024. Lidiya Ruslanova "Valenki 5 (cortina)" 0:36
Osvaldo Fresedo (1897-1984)
My 2nd Fresedo tanda for the night. It's always a challenge to mix a tanda with a beautiful and unique "Buscandote". In the end I kind of liked how it came out. "Plegaria" has a pretty unique sound too, with its chorus countering the lines of the soloist - of course it also happens to be the very tango which (in Bianco's rendition) has captivated Hitler's sick imagination, and morphed into the Death Fugue of the Nazi extermination camps :( I wouldn't have played Bianco's record, especially on a night like this one, but after thinking about it, I hesitantly concluded that Fresedo's was fair game. It is a prayer, it is about death, grief, darkness, and loving hope, and it actually projects sincerity no matter what one may think about the song's history.
025. Osvaldo Fresedo - Ricardo Ruiz "Y no puede ser" 1939 2:26
026. Osvaldo Fresedo - Ricardo Ruiz "Plegaria" 1940 2:24
027. Osvaldo Fresedo - Ricardo Ruiz "Buscandote" 1941 2:49
028. Leonid Bykov "Smuglyanka" 0:33
029. Enrique Rodríguez - Armando Moreno "Tango argentino" 1942 2:37
030. Enrique Rodríguez - Armando Moreno "Como has cambiado pebeta" 1942 2:37
031. Enrique Rodríguez - Armando Moreno "El encopao" 1942 2:34
032. "Katyusha" 0:33
Roberto Firpo (1884-1969)
Roberto Firpo was born on May 10 1884, and it's about time to celebrate it with a good tanda! Firpo was a trailblazer, a great musician and composer who may have ranked as tango's #1 in the 1910s, and who famously turned "La cumparista" into a real, stellar tango in 1916 - and then missed millions in royalties. Firpo recorded hundreds tangos in the 1920s, largely before the era of electric recorders, so all these treasure troves aren't ever played at the milongas. By 1930, he felt ready to retire to ranching, but soon lost all his investments to the disasters and the economic crisis, and sort of crawled back to tango to heal his wounds. This tanda of beautiful, spirited valses belongs to a quartet Firpo organized after the Great Depression:
033. Cuarteto Roberto Firpo "El Aeroplano (vals)" 1936 2:14
034. Cuarteto Roberto Firpo "Olga (vals)" 1946 2:10
035. Cuarteto Roberto Firpo "Para Las Chicas (vals)" 1942 2:14
036. Leonid Utesov "Road to Berlin (slow)" 0:27
Time for another infusion of the 1920s vintage! Towards the end of this mixed tanda, Roberto Firpo's old Orquesta Tipica makes a very rare appearance with a great, powerful 1929 masterpiece. I just gotta dance to it!
037. Sexteto Carlos di Sarli "Belen" 1929 2:44
038. Orquesta Tipica Victor (dir. A. Carabelli)  "Coqueta" 1929 2:47
039. Orquesta de Roberto Firpo "Una Noche En La Milonga" 1929 2:56
040. Lidiya Ruslanova "Valenki 2 (cortina)" 0:33
Lilac in Missoula...
I believe that the music of Calo's "Jamas retornaras" have inspired a fav Russian street chansonne of my childhood years, a WWII vintage tango called "Lilac Mist" ("Сиреневый туман"). Even the folk lyrics, originally penned by a nearly-forgotten Russian composer, Yuri Lipatov, tell similar stories of parting forever, to never come back. Recently, the "Lilac Mist" suddenly sprung into TV fame, and heirs to a more famous Russian composer won a court battle for royalties, citing vague stories about this song being composed for some informal party in the 1930s. But Calo's recording is from the 1942, and if it isn't a coincidence, then the claimed 1936 date of the Russian composition may not be true. Anyway - it is Missoula, it is May, and the whole town is drenched in the mist of lilac bloom, and of course I feel too sentimental not to start a Calo tanda like this:
041. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón "Jamas Retornaras" 1942 2:31
042. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón "Tristezas De La Calle Corrientes" 1942 2:46
043. Miguel Calo - Raul Beron "Que te importa que te llore" 1942 2:44
044. Leonid Utesov "Road to Berlin (slow)" 0:27
And the third Fresedo tanda, the most classic one, with the sweet vocal of Roberto Ray:
045. Osvaldo Fresedo - Roberto Ray "Isla de Capri" 1935 3:16
046. Osvaldo Fresedo - Roberto Ray "Canto de amor" 1934 3:25
047. Osvaldo Fresedo - Roberto Ray "Sollosos" 1937 3:27
048. Leonid Bykov "Smuglyanka" 0:33
The time is closing on 11 pm, so after these two tango tandas, I expected to play a set of chacareras as requested by the hosts. But Patrick and Lori aren't quite ready and I'm asked to delay the chacareras by another tanda. The darker, more brooding quality Biagi favorites I haven't played for far too long:
049. Rodolfo Biagi - Jorge Ortíz "Queiro verte una vez más" 1940 2:59
050. Rodolfo Biagi - Jorge Ortíz "Todo Te Nombra" 1940 3:33
051. Rodolfo Biagi - Jorge Ortíz "Yuyo verde" 1945 2:43
052. Lidiya Ruslanova "Valenki 3 (cortina)" 0:24
Of course the chacarera is delayed again ... and again ... and again ... so please forgive my eventual straying really far from the classic TTV-TTM flow format.
053. Carlos Di Sarli - Roberto Rufino "Noche De Carnaval" 1942 2:41
054. Carlos di Sarli - Roberto Rufino "Charlemos" 1941 2:30
055. Carlos di Sarli - Roberto Rufino "Patotero sentimental" 1941 2:34
056. "Katyusha" 0:33
057. Edgardo Donato - Félix Gutierrez "La Tapera - vals" 1936 2:54
058. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos "Quien Sera - vals" 1941 2:15
059. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos "Con Tus Besos (vals fast)" 1938 2:23
060. Lidiya Ruslanova "Valenki 2 (cortina)" 0:33
DJ Sean played two tandas of Canaro - Maida the previous night, so in my turn, I'm going for Canaro / Famá:
061. Francisco Canaro - Ernesto Famá "Tormenta" 1939 2:35
062. Francisco Canaro - Ernesto Famá "No me pregunten porque" 1939 2:51
063. Francisco Canaro - Ernesto Famá "Te quiero todavia" 1939 2:54
OK, here comes easily the craziest cortina I ever cut, overlaying the bold guitar of Cafrune with the 1928 voices of José Galarza & Carlos Viván... and then it is finally the chacarera time!
064. Juan Maglio Pacho, Jorge Cafrune "Characera loca de Ledesma (cortina)" 0:27
065. "Chacarera del Rancho" 2:21
066. "Chacarera del violin" 2:12
(Note to self: should have made a pause after the first chacarera - the dancers were so excited after the first one that their voices totally drowned the opening bars of the second song)
067. Leonid Bykov "Smuglyanka" 0:33
What to choose to re-start the floor after the chacarera and the speeches and the raffle, other than D'Arienzo? Only normally I would have fired a classic D'Arienzo - Echagüe tanda right off with "La bruja", but Tommy just played it endlessly in a class earlier in the afternoon, so we better do without:
068. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Ansiedad" 1938 2:38
069. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Mandria" 1939 2:26
070. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Que importa" 1939 2:17
071. Lidiya Ruslanova "Valenki 3 (cortina)" 0:24
072. Lucio Demare - Juan Carlos Miranda "Malena" 1942 2:57
073. Lucio Demare - Juan Carlos Miranda "Manana zarpa un barco" 1942 3:22
074. Lucio Demare - Juan Carlos Miranda "No te apures, Carablanca" 1942 3:29
075. Leonid Bykov "Smuglyanka" 0:33
076. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos "Lagrimas" 1939 2:50
077. Edgardo Donato - Lita Morales "Yo Te Amo" 1940 2:50
078. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos, Lita Morales, Romeo Gavioli "Triqui trá" 1940 2:34
079. "Katyusha" 0:33
Lomuto's is seriously vintage stuff in my "vals book". Love the unusual texture of these rarely played gems:
080. Francisco Lomuto - Jorge Omar "Damisela encantadora (vals)" 1936 2:58
081. Francisco Lomuto - Instrumental "Noche de ronda (vals)" 1937 2:34
082. Francisco Lomuto - Fernando Díaz, Mercedes Simone "Lo que vieron mis ojos" 1933 2:22
083. Leonid Utesov "Road to Berlin (slow)" 0:27
084. Pedro Laurenz - Alberto Podestá "Todo" 1943 2:37
085. Pedro Laurenz - Alberto Podestá "Recien" 1943 2:43
086. Pedro Laurenz - Alberto Podestá "Garua" 1943 3:09
087. Lidiya Ruslanova "Valenki 2 (cortina)" 0:33
The energy of the floor is really great, and I have no qualms about marking the upcoming birthday of another great master of tango, Alfredo Gobbi (May 14th). His is the beautiful, seldom heard stuff to be played when people are deeply in the music and in the mood - it's now or never!
088. Alfredo Gobbi "Jueves" 1947 2:43
089. Alfredo Gobbi "Independiente Club" 1948 3:12
090. Alfredo Gobbi "Sin vuelta de hoja" 1956 3:16
091. Leonid Utesov "Road to Berlin (fast)" 0:30
and one more lucky tanda of "raw-DJ-imagination-meets-the-tango-crazed-floor". Love those moments. At first I just thought to add a lone tango-foxtrot track after the Cumparsita, but the plan morphed into a whole set - and right in the flow of the milonga! The vintage theme gets really powerful here, with the final two tracks embracing the Balkan folk, while the first one is firmly rooted in Yiddish Americana. "Bei Mir Bistu Shein" has been composed in 1932 in New York City, and made really famous with the 1937 recording of Andrews Sisters. The following year, Enrique Rodriguez had it in a faithful Castellano translation. "For me, you are wonderful!". Bailemos?
092. Enrique Rodriguez - Roberto Flores "Para mi eres divina" 1938 2:28
093. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "Noches de Hungria" 1942 2:57
094. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "Amor en Budapest" 1940 2:43
095. Leonid Bykov "Smuglyanka" 0:33
It's been a milonga!
(Felipe El Aleman's photo)
096. Alfredo de Angelis "Mi dolor" 1957 2:51
097. Alfredo de Angelis "Pavadita" 1958 2:53
098. Alfredo de Angelis "Felicia" 1969 2:47
099. Victor Tsoy "Gruppa Krovi (Blood Type) (cortina)" 0:36
100. Osváldo Pugliese "Recuerdo" 1943 2:45
101. Osváldo Pugliese "Gallo Ciego" 1959 3:34
102. Osváldo Pugliese - Jorge Maciel "Remembranza" 1956 3:41
after the dramatic closing tandas which spanned 1950s and even 1960s, it's time to close the curtain with the most vintage of the songs of the night's playlists, the 1926 duo of the bandoneon virtuosos:
103. Pedro Láurenz y Pedro Maffia "La cumparsita" 1926 3:01
... and the final track ... think of it as of a long, danceable cortina ... the night isn't over, it's only 1:15 AM, time to hand the DJ table over to El Aleman and we'll be up till 4
104. Kayah & Bregovic "To Nie Ptak [Not a Bird]" 1999 4:40

(and next day I took up a more traditional assignment of the event's grillmaster, but that's a separate story :) )

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