Bandoneonist, composer and leader
(24 February 1892 – 29 September 1924)
Every tango lover has a personal vision towards the artists’ values, and that is all right, our taste and personal experiences define us in the choice of ones or others.
Certainly, when we talk about tango as song, there is an unanimous agreement in the incomparable figure of Carlos Gardel, something that does not happen when the opinion is about orchestras or the rest of the musicians or singers.
The case of Eduardo Arolas, is another exception, his extraordinary talent as composer, places him one a rank above the rest, what is a merit even greater if we take into account that in his time the major tango creators appeared. Let us remember musicians of the category of Agustín Bardi, Vicente Greco, Arturo De Bassi, Juan Carlos Cobián, Roberto Firpo, among so many others.
So Gardel and Arolas are, in my opinion, the basement of modern tango, the former, born French and porteño (Argentine from Buenos Aires) by adoption, the latter, Argentine with French parents.
Gifted with an incredible melodic creativity, he stepped into the musical environment as a modest player of guitar, his first instrument, introduced by his friend Ricardo González, (Muchila).
But the bandoneon will be responsible for his consecration and the faithful witness of his genius and his tormented life. Continue reading.
Pianist, leader and composer
(7 January 1903 – 12 January 1960)
He, as nobody else, knew how to combine the rhythmic cadence of tango with a harmonic structure, apparently simple, but full of nuances and subtleties.
He was not enrolled for any of the two streams of his time. His was neither a traditional orchestra, styled after Roberto Firpo or Francisco Canaro nor a follower of the De Caro renewal.
Di Sarli imposed a seal of his own; a different musical profile, which remained, unaltered throughout his prolonged career.
In the beginning, his sextet reveals us the influence of Osvaldo Fresedo. And certainly, I think there would have never been a Di Sarli had not existed a Fresedo. But, only as necessary forerunner of a style that, with time, would become a pure model with its own and differentiated nature.
He was a talented pianist, maybe one of the most important, who conducted his orchestra from his instrument, with which he mastered the synchrony and the performance of the outfit.
In his orchestral scheme there were not instrumental solos, the bandoneon section sang at times the melody, but it had an essentially rhythmic and danceable role. Only the violin was showcased in an extremely delicate way, on a brief solo or on a counter melody. Continue reading.
Singer and composer
(6 January 1922 – 24 February 1999)
Listening to Roberto Rufino when he sang “María” or “La novia ausente” or “Malena” or any of the tangos he had chosen for his repertoire, was to realize that that tango was unraveling little by little and that the words sprang up separately, without forsaking the whole that gathered them, with the proper strength they had to have in their context.
Rufino was that: a storyteller, a phraser, an interpreter that perfectly knew which was the meaning of what he was singing.
He was born on January 6, 1922, on 753 Agüero Street —in the heart of the neighborhood of el Abasto—, son of Lorenzo Rufino and Agustina Guirin, although in his birth certificate is written the day he was filed on the records, on the 8th day of that same month and year. A little bit yonder, on Agüero and Guardia Vieja Streets, the café O’Rondeman was placed, where Carlos Gardel attempted his early songs. A premonition? Maybe, because Rufino as well started at the old café of his neighborhood, which still was run by the Traverso brothers. But there is a further coincidence: in the same year, 1935, his father and Gardel died. And in 1936, a few days after the cortege which was mourning Carlitos to his final abode had passed along Corrientes street, El pibe del Abasto —as he was called since the early days at O’Rondeman, made his professional debut; he was also called El pibe Terremoto— at the Café El Nacional, as vocalist of the Francisco Rosse typical orchestra, to switch, a little bit later, to Petit Salón, with Antonio Bonavena orchestra, composer of “Pájaro ciego” and uncle of the would-be boxer.
But we are still in the singer’s prehistory. Continue reading.
Osvaldo and Coca Cartery are incredible dancers. Osvaldo does lots and lots of very interesting steps that I haven’t seen anyone else do. I recently revisited the Tango and Chaos web site and read how Osvaldo Cartery’s dance style is probably the closest thing to the legendary dancer Petroleo’s style in the milongas today. Find out more.
He had a so porteño destiny that he was born in the year the Obelisk was inaugurated.
As a kid he used to dance with his mother and his aunts. «He was the favorite in the family», to such an extent that when he was nearing the time of wearing long trousers he entered the Jockey Club of Olivos. «I danced foxtrot, boogie, later tango, and I have never stopped since then».
Later, at age 14, he went downtown and came to know Alfredo Gobbi, who became his dancing backer and allowed him to enter the Sans Souci dancehall on Corrientes Street. So then he frequented other milongas. Among them we can mention the Galería Pronor on Maipú Avenue and the Club 12 de Octubre, both in Olivos; the Club Huracán in Villa Martelli and the Club Defensores in Florida, among others, «where people danced tango in the Pugliese’s style» and he developed a style that made him an expert in slow-paced tango. Continue reading.