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.
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.
Listen to “Dejame ser así” by Enrique Rodríguez y su Orquesta Típica with Roberto “Chato” Flores in vocals (1938):
“Dejame que te quiera a mi manera, Dejame seguir siendo como soy, Que no se pone en moldes el cariño Ni se le pone riendas al corazón.
Yo soy como los cardos del potrero Curtido por los vientos, lluvia y sol, Pero también, capaces de dar flores Dejame seguir siendo como soy.
Si soy triste por algo Y si canto un dolor, No será por capricho Ni será por rencor. Si hay en mí un algo raro Que no alcanzo a explicar, Pero por favor, No me reprochés Que son cosas de ayer.”
Let me love you my way,
Let me remain as I am,
We can neither put a cast to the affection
Nor reins to the heart.
I am like the thistles of the paddock
Tanned by the winds, rain and sun,
But also, able to produce flowers
Let me remain as I am.
If I’m sad about something
And if I sing a pain,
It will not be on a whim
Nor will it be out of spite.
If there is something strange about me
That I can not explain,
Do not reproach me
That are yesterday’s things.