Friday, 17 August 2012

Enrique Rodríguez - Foxtrots

Orchestra: Enrique Rodríguez

Singers: Armando Moreno, Roberto Flores, Roberto Videla, Instrumental

Period: 1937–1970

A few days ago I was at a tango marathon. Around 5 a.m. on Sunday the energy of the milonga was going down and the only reasonable choice for me seemed to be going to the hotel. Suddenly the DJ started playing a tanda of Foxtrots by Rodríguez. The floor filled up with the dancers (I was one of them) immediately and it brought the milonga back to life. So here comes the topic for this post...
As I wrote in one of my previous posts, Rodríguez was recording quite many different music genres (e.g. Corridos, Foxtrots, Marchas, Pasodobles, Polcas). His orchestra was called “Orquesta de todos ritmos”. Foxtrots had quite an important place in the repertoire. I´m aware of at least 50 recorded songs. During milongas they can be treated as "special" milongas. They are a bit more difficult to dance than a regular milonga, but I think it does not matter much. The fun you get dancing those foxtrots compensates any difficulties...
In songs recorded by Rodríguez there are many references to locations from outside of Argentina. In his foxtrots there are quite many Hungarian motifs. This is particularly close to my heart as I´m currently living in Budapest. The ones that come to my mind now are:
-          Noches de Hungría (also the name of a great tango marathon of Budapest),
-          Danza Hungara no5 (based on Hungarian dance by Johannes Brahms),
-          Alma de Dios (based on  Cancion Hungara from Zarzuela Alma de Dios)
-          Amor En Budapest
-      Please let me know if there are more of them :)

DJ Comment
I've got only one remark: don't use those foxtrots too often. If you do, their special character will be gone... So "play with moderation" :)

Song examples:

La Calesita Se Destrozó, Canta Roberto Flores, 1937

La Colegiala, Canta Roberto Flores, 1938
Bailan Yanick Wyler - Sigrid Van Tilbeurgh
Bailan Gaston Torelli ' Mariela

Amor En Budapest, Canta Armando Moreno, 1940

Noches de Hungría, Canta Armando Moreno, 1942

Se Va El Tren, Canta Armando Moreno, 1942

Suavemente, Canta Armando Moreno, 1942

Por Las Calles De Istambul, Canta Armando Moreno, 1944

Danza Húngara No. 5, Instrumental, 1947

Japonesita, Canta Roberto Videla, 1951

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Osvaldo Fresedo, Roberto Ray - Hollywood in Buenos Aires

Orchestra: Osvaldo Fresedo

Singer: Roberto Ray

Period: 1932–1939

During the 1920ies and at the beginning of the 1930ies Osvaldo Fresedo's orchestra was playing and recording in Guardia Vieja style. In 1933 Fresedo´s style completely changed. The music became much lighter, softer, more sophisticated. New instruments (harp, vibraphone, drums) had added a completely fresh flavor to his music. When I ask my tango friends to describe Fresedo's music from that period, they say that is sounds like as if from a movie, straight from Hollywood.

At the beginning I wanted to cover all of the "Hollywod" period in one post. But there are so many great songs and singers in that period, that this post would be far too long. So I have decided to cut it in more pieces.

So let's start from the beginning. Roberto Ray was the first singer in that period. He was recording with Fresedo during the 1930ies. A few songs were recorded between 1948 and 1950, after nearly 10 years of break. Between the best and most known songs you'll find: Vida Mía, Siempre Es Carnaval, Sollozos, El Once (El 11), Cordobesita, Isla De Capri. The first 4 songs were composed by Fresedo himself. The Lyrics of those 4 songs (and many others) were written by the brother of Osvaldo, Emilio Fresedo.

DJ comment:
Orchestra of Osvaldo Fresedo is not played very frequently in the milongas of Buenos Aires. That obviously doesn't mean it should't be played more often elsewhere :). Amongst the recordings with Ray you'll find material for faster tandas (e.g. Araca La Cana, Cordobesita, El Mareo, Telón), but also very slow and romantic songs (e.g. Pampero, Siempre Es Carnaval, Vida Mía).  One of my favorite songs is "Como Aquella Princessa" with its very distinctive oriental sound...

Song examples:

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Osvaldo Fresedo - Overview

Osvaldo Fresedo is one of the most interesting characters in the history of tango. He was apparently the longest recording tango musician ever. My music collection indicates 60 years of recording (the first from 1920, the last from 1980). Todo Tango's biography mentions 63 years. That's a very long period and lots of things have happened during that time.

Not many people know that in the 1920ies and early 1930ies, Fresedo was recording in Guardia Vieja style (similar to Orquesta Tipica Victor, Adolfo Carabelli, etc...). Some of the recordings from that period are really amazing and I will surely write a separate post about them. I hope they will be becoming more popular and we will hear them more frequently in the milongas...

His most popular recordings come from the 1930ies and the 1940ies. During that period he developed his very particular and easy to recognize style. The music is very soft, romantic and it feels like it has some Hollywood touch. Fresedo's orchestra from that time could hardly be called "Típica". A¨normal¨ orchestra "típica" (as it is the case of the most famous tango orchestras) includes: violins, bandoneóns, piano, and double bass.. Fresedo's orchestra on top of the standard instruments  included harp, vibraphone and drums. That surely contributed to his unique style.

During the 1950ies his music gets a more jazzy flavour. It's still very good and danceable (though I would not play it in milongas too often). Later recordings are rather interesting for listening only.

Fresedo's discography is quite big (more than 1000 recordings), but one can hardly find any songs suitable for dancing milongas and valses. As far as I remember I have heard only once a tanda of Fresedo's valses (during La Latina marathon in Rome). I liked it a lot, but I'd treat is as something special and keep it for only very rare occassions.
Fresedo had quite many prominent singers recording with his orchestra. Below I list the main ones:

Early Period / Guardia Vieja style (1920 - 1932)
  • Ernesto Famá
  • Ada Falcón
  • Teófilo Ibañez
  • Luis Díaz
 Middle Period / Hollywood style (1932 - 1950)
  • Roberto Ray
  • Ricardo Ruiz
  • Carlos Mayel
  • Oscar Serpa
Late Period / Jazzy Fresedo (after 1950)
  • Héctor Pacheco
  • Armando Garrido
The singers from the early period are surely more known from their recordings with different orchestras: Ernesto Famá with di Sarli and Canaro, Ada Falcón with Canaro, Teofilo Ibañez with Biagi, Luis Díaz with Orchestra Típica Victor and Edgardo Donato.

That's enough for now, let's move to the next post to listen to some music and watch some videos.