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Ricardo Malerba and Orlando Medina. Argentine music at Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires.

Ricardo Malerba

Bandoneonist, leader and composer
(24 August 1905 – 29 June 1974)

He was lucky to live, in his beginnings, in the tango ambience of the late twenties, to travel to Europe and take part of a bohemia that shaped him artistically. His orchestra was known either for the quality of its sound or the swinging attributes of its rhythm.

He started gigging with a group lined-up with his brothers, the bandoneon was played by Ricardo, on piano was Alfredo and on violin, Carlos. Their stints were at cinema theaters in the local neighborhoods. They earned one peso a day.

Later, in 1927, along with his brothers he joined the orchestra that Cátulo Castillo put together to go to Europe. Miguel Caló and Roberto Maida were as well members of it. They stayed in Spain for a long period and gigged in numerous cities. There they recorded several records for the Odeon label. The tour ended in 1930, but the Malerba brothers stayed in Europe. Continue reading.

Ricardo Malerba and his orchestra appeared on the movie “La vida de Carlos Gardel” (1939), in which Hugo del Carril and Delia Garcés were starred, performing the tango piece “Noches de Montmartre” (start at 1:11:50).

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Juan Carlos Thorry

By Juan Carlos Thorry

My relationship with tango is old, intimate and sentimental. I was a young kid and then my old man, who used to play guitar, taught me some accompaniments (dominant and tonic chords) with which I began my Argentine-Tango-Classes-San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Buenos-Airesearly «two-four» songs. Which melody would I have learned first? I remember, through the distant time, the counter line of “La cumparsita (Si supieras)”, the one that says: «Si supieras, que aún dentro de mi alma…» And then, years later, «Buenos Aires, la reina del Plata…», or «Rechiflao en mi tristeza…», when I became acquainted with Carlos Gardel.
My first long trousers, the end of my high school studies and the time when I entered the university are very closely linked to my early experiences at dancehalls. We used to go to dance to the venues called then cabarets, which later became boites and thereafter night-clubs and now are boliches. There we held a contest of twists and turns dancing with the best players of the period: Aníbal Troilo, Juan D’Arienzo, Osvaldo Fresedo, Osvaldo Pugliese, Edgardo Donato, Alfredo De Angelis, etc. They caressed our adolescent dreams with the most popular melodies of the time.
Continue reading.

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Fernando Montoni. Argentine music. Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires.

Fernando Montoni

Real name: Montoni, Fernando José Juan
Nicknames: Jorge Raúl Ramírez
Bandoneonist and composer (27 June 1903 – n/d). Buenos Aires.
In his beginnings he attracted the public attention because of his mastery in guitar playing, with a thorough command of its intricate technique.
He had outstanding appearances in our main theaters. He appeared at the Victoria with the theatrical company led by the Podestás. Also at the El Nacional, accompanying the actor and singer José Cicarelli and Ignacio Corsini at the Apolo. He was later the guitarist that accompanied the Cicarelli-Fernando Nunziata duo.
By 1925 he gave up guitar playing to fully devote himself to study bandoneon. Continue reading.

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Listen to “La Chiflada” by Ángel D’Agostino y su Orquesta Típica, 1942:

Juan Carlos Bazán

By Néstor Pinsón

Argentine-Tango-classes-san-francisco-bay-areaStout, rather fat, and a good guy is the description with which those who knew him and gave us their testimony coincided. Héctor Lucci tells us that in his youth, a waiter of a Japanese barroom located on 25 de Mayo Street a few meters from Corrientes, had told him that on several occasions he had seen that on the corner of the street people used to crowd together to listen to some music. Eager to know, one day he went closer and, in the middle of that occasional audience, he saw Fats Bazán playing a long brass trumpet from which a cloth banner with golden letters was hanging. It was the advertisement of Kalisay, an aperitif of that time, which included the classic boy doll with large head that represented an old man… Continue reading.

Here you can see Juan Carlos Bazán playing his clarinet, next to his life long friend “El Pibe” Ernesto Ponzio, and “El Cachafaz” and Carmencita Calderón dancing, in this scene from the first sound film made in Argentina, “Tango!”, of 1933.

From “History of Tango – Part 3: La Guardia Vieja”and “History of Tango – Part 8: Roberto Firpo and the acceptance of the piano in the Orquesta Típica” (read more, click here).

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“Cuando dijo adiós, quise llorar…
Luego sin su amor, quise gritar…
Todos los ensueños que albergó mi corazón
(toda mi ilusión),
cayeron a pedazos.
Pronto volveré, dijo al partir.
Loco la esperé… ¡Pobre de mí!
Y hoy, que tanto tiempo ha transcurrido sin volver,
siento que he perdido su querer.
Jamás retornarás…
lo dice el alma mía,
y en esta soledad
te nombro noche y día.
¿Por qué, por qué te fuiste de mi lado
y tan cruel has destrozado
mi corazón?
Jamás retornarás…
lo dice el alma mía
y, aunque muriendo está,
te espera sin cesar.
Cuánto le imploré: vuelve, mi amor…
Cuánto la besé, ¡con qué fervor!
Algo me decía que jamás iba a volver,
que el anochecer
en mi alma se anidaba.
Pronto volveré, dijo al partir.
Mucho la esperé… ¡Pobre de mí!
Y hoy, que al fin comprendo
la penosa y cruel verdad,
siento que la vida se me va.”

Music and lyrics by Osmar Maderna and Miguel Caló,  Recorded by Miguel Caló y su Orquesta Típica, with Osmar Maderna in piano and with Raúl Berón singing, September 1942.

(When she said goodbye, I wanted to cry …
Then without her love, I wanted to scream …
All the daydreams dwelling in my heart
(all I dreamt of),
fell to pieces.
I’ll be back soon, she said as she left.
A fool, I waited for her… Poor me!
And today, that so much time has passed without her coming back,
I can feel that I have lost her love.
You will never return …
my soul says so,
and in this solitude
I call your name night and day.
Why, why did you leave my side
and so cruel, have you destroyed
my heart?
You will never return …
my soul says,
and, although it is dying,
it is waiting for you incessantly.
How much I begged her: come back, my love …
How much I kissed her, how fervently!
Something told me that she would never return,
as the nightfall
was nesting in my soul.
I’ll be back soon, she said as she left.
I waited for her so much … Poor me!
And today, that at last I understand
the painful and cruel truth,
I feel that life is leaving me.)

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