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.
He was an Oriental (Uruguayan) born in Montevideo on January 4, 1888. This is the exact date given by his nephew Bernardo, a pianist, who, besides exhibiting documents, stated that the right spelling of the family name is with “z” and not with “s”. As we found a certain generalized confusion about that, we think we have cleared out the issue.
Héctor Bates and Luis Bates (in La Historia del Tango) mention bibliographic references of the composer we are talking about. We include a summary of them:
«He was a little above one year old when he settled in Buenos Aires with his family. He studied up to third degree in grammar school, because he admitted he used to play truant. He carried out varied trades.
«His devotion for music was born after he heard Pacho who, by that time (1905), played at a café placed on Thames and Guayanas (now Niceto Vega).
«In his spare time he devoted himself to learn music: guitar, mandolin and violin. Finally he chose piano; his first lessons were taught by a hatter named Leopoldo, later he continued with Carlos Hernani Macchi. Continue reading.
Listen to “El Pollo Ricardo” by Carlos Di Sarli y su Orquesta Típica, 1946:
A short story of two friends
In September 1940 the Carlos Di Sarli Orchestra recorded, for the first time (he will record it again two more times), this tango to great public acclaim. The orchestra leader liked this piece so much that he cut it on three occasions: in September 1940, in March 1946 and in July 1951. In the latter case, on the new 33 RPM discs for the Music Hall company which only had two tracks per side. This fashion lasted in the label at least until 1954. Furthermore, Di Sarli opened this new format in Argentina.
Who was this Pollo? First of all I want to clear out an existing confusion. A well-known sports journalist who is used to dive into other proposals, on one occasion, talked for a long time about this tango and the title character in his radio program, but not revealing immediately his true identity. When he discloses the incognito, he mentions Ricardo Güiraldes. Even though the latter was a tango dancer and had the same first name, he was not the person to whom the piece was dedicated.
The true Pollo was an Uruguayan, born on September 29, 1890 who when he was a kid he already mingled with adults at the bohemian café reunions, like those at La Giralda, on Andes and 18 de Julio or at other more intimate, the Londres, according to the story told by Juan Carlos Legido in his book La orilla oriental del tango. Continue reading.
Bandoneonist, leader and composer
(16 July 1890 – 21 June 1945)
This porteño was initially guitarist. His friend, Eduardo Arolas, persuaded him to pick up bandoneon. He had two brothers that were musicians, Pascual who was pianist and Nicolás, guitarist. He lived for a long time on Tacuarí 1870 and his whereabouts were the neighborhood of Barracas and Parque Lezama.
Even though he was a “fueye” man, the first bucks he got were playing guitar at the Café de las Mercedes in La Boca when teamed up with the bandoneon player Antonio Cacace, widely popular by that time. This took place until he came to know Arolas in 1909 one evening that he crossed the city to El Abasto area.
They played in numerous backyard balls adding a violinist that played by ear and was known as “El Quijudo”. Now as bandoneon instrumentalist, Arolas himself had passed on to him the music of the first number, a waltz, “Las sirenas” and one by Alfredo Bevilacqua, “Recuerdos de la pampa”.