My choice for this week is ‘Tus labios me dirán’ (Carlos Di Sarli, 1945). I reviewed 11 performances.
My favorite: Noelia Hurtado & Pablo Rodríguez.
In case you haven’t already seen it in my YouTube channel, where it appeared several weeks ago, I’ve uploaded the full version of El señor del tango, a documentary about Carlos Di Sarli.
A while ago, my friend Alia—a superb dancer and DJ—left me the following message on Facebook: “Have you already composed a tanda with this beautiful tango?” The message included a link to Francisco Pracánico’s “Los muñequitos”, as recorded by Di Sarli’s orchestra. I found her question intriguing, since no less than two other friends of mine had recently written me about that same tango. Given the apparent interest in this overlooked gem, I thought I should take Alia’s implicit suggestion and build a tanda around it. But to have fun, I invited her to create a tanda as well, so that we could afterwards compare what each of us had come up with. She agreed, and a few hours later, we were ready to disclose our respective creations. What a surprise awaited us! Upon sharing the list of tangos with each other, we found out that we had chosen exactly the same songs! (The probability that something like this would happen by chance is extremely small. Even restricting the options to Di Sarli/Rufino recordings, the odds are in the order of 1 in 5,000!)
What follows is the list of songs arranged in the order that I believe suits them best (the original exercise involved listing the tangos in no particular order).
Another moving Di Sarli tanda from the 1940s, although in a more subtle, intimate way than the one previously featured on this blog. ‘Cuando el amor muere’ is the only recording that Carlos Acuña made with Di Sarli’s orchestra, and is as such rarely played at milongas by DJs who adhere strictly–and, one may say, blindly–to traditional rules of tanda composition. I find this unfortunate and unwarranted, especially in a tango of such haunting beauty, given the similarities in both mood and sound to other Di Sarli/Rufino recordings with which it can be combined, as I do in this tanda.
Dedicated to A.R.
This week we have another Di Sarli tanda, which I played at the Oxford Practica yesterday. A friend remarked that she finds these songs kitsch. I think they are wonderful–especially if danced with someone in a soft, snuggly embrace.
The discographies of the tango orchestras are scattered all around the web. Below is my best attempt to make the relevant links all available in one place. When I found more than one discography for a given orchestra, I chose the one which seemed most complete and reliable. I plan to keep this post updated, so if you think I’m missing something, please let me know.
Update: See here for my current attempt to improve on these discographies. The links below will gradually link to my own discographies, as they become available.
When I started dancing and listening to tango music two years ago, I quickly discovered that one of the easiest ways to identify an orchestra was to pay attention to the final two chords of the song (the dominanc-tonic, characteristic “chan-chan” ending ). Each orchestra plays those chords in its own, distinctive way, so by learning how the chords sound like, one can infer the orchestra even of songs one is unfamiliar with. The video below, which I created a while ago for my own amusement, provides a sample of the tango endings of 20 of the most popular tango orchestras. I am now posting it here in case it is of interest to readers of this blog.