Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tango West con Livia Comerci!

A grand occasion, yet a very minor DJ assignment: I was supporting a live music event of the Tango West Orchestra with short segments of recorded music before, after, and during the intermission. On this special night, a notable porteña tango singer, Livia Comerci, joins our local tango band! We were privileged to host Livia last year at the beautiful Ladies Literary Club, but tonight's performance at our new Templo de Tango a.k.a. Garbett Center for the Choral Arts is a whole lot more special. Livia struck a chord with our local tango musicians, and they had a lot of fun rehearsing and dining together. The whole performance wasn't just artistically amazing, but also unbelievably warm and inspiring. We are the community together!

January is the birth month of Ricardo Tanturi, and what would work better for opening a night than the bright rhythmic tangos of Tanturi's early years! Tanturi's tango orchestra wasn't called a "tipica". Instead, they chose a name "Los Indios", "The Indians", after a favorite sports team. Their first recordings have been made in 1937, but they were truly propelled to fame when a 24 year-old medical student Alberto Castillo joined the band in 1939. Their best recordings were made in 1941-1942, and what a voice it was!
01. Ricardo Tanturi - Alberto Castillo "La copa del olvido" 1942 2:31
02. Ricardo Tanturi - Instrumental "Comparsa Criolla" 1941 2:51
03. Ricardo Tanturi - Instrumental  "Argañaraz" 1940 2:22
04. ZZ Top  "Sharp Dressed Man cortina"  0:25
Both Carlos Di Sarli and one of his most prominent singers, Roberto Rufino, have also been born in the month of January. Rufino, "the kid from Abasto", started singing in his birth neighborhood cafe's at the age of 14. At 17, he joined Di Sarli's orchestra (and, as the story goes, his Italian immigrant father Lorenzo wouldn't yet allow the kid to wear grownup's long pants, so Roberto Rufino had to sing in his shorts). But how mature was the voice of this kid! They made just 46 records over Rufino's on-again, off-again 5 years with Di Sarli, but it's hard to imagine a milonga without these masterpieces. 05. Carlos Di Sarli - Roberto Rufino "Patotero sentimental" 1942 2:34
06. Carlos Di Sarli - Roberto Rufino "Decime Que Pasó" 1942 2:41
07. Carlos Di Sarli - Roberto Rufino "Cascabelito" 1941 2:34
08. Vitas  "7, the element cortina" 2012 0:23
Héctor Varela is also a January birthday boy. My favorite dramatic pieces of Varela's are better suited for the late hours of milongas, but I couldn't miss a chance to spotlight the more lively and dynamic recordings of this 1950s band - their valses with amazing vocal duos 
09. Héctor Varela - Argentino Ledesma y Rodolfo Lesica "Igual Que Dos Palomas" 1953 2:36
10. Héctor Varela - Armando Laborde y Jorge Rolando  "Una Lagrimita" 1962 2:39
11. Héctor Varela - Argentino Ledesma y Rodolfo Lesica "Como tu cariño" 1953 3:33
and then it's time for the live music!
La Melodia de Nuestro Adios - Orquesta Tango West - Instrumental
Malena  - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
El Adios - Orquesta Tango West - Carl Gorder
Afiches - Orquesta Tango West - Carl Gorder
Los Mareados - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
Nada - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
Naranjo en Flor - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
Uno - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
we transition into recorded-music intermission with another set of Tanturi-Castillo masterpieces (and, alas, there won;t be enough time for valses and later lyrical tangos of Tanturi and his "Indians")
13. Ricardo Tanturi - Alberto Castillo "Pocas palabras" 1941 2:27
14. Ricardo Tanturi - Instrumental "Una Noche De Garufa" 1941 2:30
15. Ricardo Tanturi - Alberto Castillo "La Vida Es Corta" 1941 2:26
16. Vitas "7, the element cortina" 2012 0:23
17. Rodolfo Biagi - Instrumental  "Pajaro herido" 1941 2:18
18. Rodolfo Biagi - Teofilo Ibanez  "Viejo porton" 1938 2:27
19. Rodolfo Biagi - Andres Falgas  "Dejame amarte aunque sea un dia" 1939 2:55
A special cortina for the Russian Christmas Eve (which is tonight according to the old Orthodox Julian Calendar) - a song based on Pasternak's white-winter-themed verse from "Doctor Zhivago".
20. Alla Pugacheva  "Winter Night (Svecha gorela) cortina"  0:19
Violinist and orchestra leader  Florindo Sassone (12 Jan 1912 - 31 Jan 1982) is another great tango musician to celebrate in January. After several years with Fresedo's orchestra, Sassone formed his first band in 1936, but disbanded it after 5 years, failing to compete with the numerous start-up tango orchestras of these years of the wild tango revival, and missing the Golden Age of Tango almost entirely. But after returning to tango in the late 1940s, Florindo Sassone succeeded in hiring some of the grandest talents, creating the first tango TV shows, touring abroad in Japan and Latin America, and helping to sustain the flame of tango during its Dark Ages. It is these later-era recordings of Sassone which we cherish the most. 
Nicholas DeVitte (from E. & V. Ukolovs book)
Of course I must note a special connection I have with the opening song of Sassone's tando - a composition of the legendary King of Russian Tango, Oscar Strok, which in turns draws on a legendary Russian gypsy romance (already remade into into a different Argentine tango by Francisco Canaro decades earlier). The life story of the "Ojos negros", the Gypsy "Dark eyes", never stops to surprise me. There are so many wild fantasies about the nation's most beloved songs, and so few hard facts. The readers of my blog might remember how I worked to reconstruct the basic details of the biography of the romance's original composer, Florian Hermann. Just last week, I was stunned to discover that the arranger who put the forty-years-old lyrics and the music of Hermann's together in 1881 - a musical director of Moscow's famous Gypsy restaurant and night club "Yar", who is known in Russian as Sergey Gerdel and who is customarily described as "a Jewish pianist from a shtetle of Berdichev" - was actually a Scandinavian named Sophus Herdahl. So much for another legend! Moreover, I also discovered that the lyrics of "Dark eyes", published in 1843, were immediately made into a romance by talented and mysterious young Russian Dutchman, Nicholas DeVitte ... but the original song was a lively mazurka rather than a foreboding waltz melody adapted by Herdahl 40 years later. (Special thanks to Lucia Petkovic for recording DeVitte's composition for me!).

21. Florindo Sassone - Instrumental "Ojos Negros (Oscar Strok)" 1968 2:28
22. Florindo Sassone - Instrumental "Adios corazon" 1968 2:16
23. Florindo Sassone - Instrumental "Bar Exposicion" 1959 3:26
24. Los Iracundos  "Puerto Montt rock" 1971 0:27
Time for the second live music section, which begins with excellent milongas, and continues with Livia's favorite valses:
Silueta Porteña - Orquesta Tango West - Instrumental
Milonga del 900 - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
Nostalgias  - Orquesta Tango West - Carl Gorder
Romance de Barrio - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
Desde el Alma - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
Pedacito de Cielo - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
Vida Mia  - Orquesta Tango West - Carl Gorder
La Cumparsita - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
and after a long round of applause, Livia's "otra", another old-time favorite:
El día que me quieras - Orquesta Tango West - Livia Comerci
we return into action with D'Arienzo and Donato:
26. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Ansíedád" 1938 2:32
27. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Que Importa" 1939 2:08
28. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Mandria" 1939 2:22
29. Vitas  "7, the element cortina" 2012 0:23
30. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos y Lita Morales "Carnaval De Mi Barrio" 1939 2:30
31. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos, Lita Morales y Romeo Gavioli "Sinfonía De Arrabal" 1940 3:09
32. Edgardo Donato - Romeo Gavioli y Lita Morales "Mi Serenata" 1940 3:01
33. ZZ Top  "Sharp Dressed Man cortina"  0:25
and we continue to celebrate the tango greats of the month of January with milongas of Di Sarli and Rufino, and the dramatic treasures of Varela:
34. Carlos Di Sarli - Roberto Rufino "La Mulateada" 1941 2:22
35. Carlos Di Sarli - Roberto Rufino "Pena mulata" 1941 2:27
36. Carlos Di Sarli - Roberto Rufino "Zorzal" 1941 2:40
37. Alla Pugacheva  "Winter Night (Svecha gorela) cortina"  0:19
38. Hector Varela - Argentino Ledesma "Fueron tres años" 1956 3:26
39. Hector Varela - Argentino Ledesma "Muchacha" 1956 3:19
40. Hector Varela - Argentino Ledesma "Si me hablaras corazon" 1956 3:18
41. Soda Stereo  "En la ciudad de furia"  0:24
At the San Diego Tango Festival, I was really stoked by our beloved Patricia Becker's dance to Horacio Salgan's "Ensueños", a stunning piece juxtaposing tango with dreamy jazz. Couldn't resist trying to mix a new tanda starring this gem:
42. Nuevo Quinteto Real  "Ensueños" 1960 3:10
43. Orquesta Tipica Fervor de Buenos Aires "Quien Sos" 2007 3:08
44. Analíá Goldberg y Sexteto Ojos De Tango "El Adios" 2011  3:13
45. Los Iracundos  "Puerto Montt rock" 1971 0:27
46. Osvaldo Pugliese - Instrumental "Patetico" 1949 2:40
47. Osvaldo Pugliese - Instrumental "Negracha" 1948 2:45
48. Osvaldo Pugliese - Instrumental "Malandraca" 1949 2:52
49. Juan D Arienzo - Instrumental "La Cumparsita" 1955 3:44
50. Kevin Johansen Kevin Johansen + the Nada "Sur O No Sur" 2002 4:53

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