My favorite tandas: Mixed tanda – ‘El viejo vals’

This is an experimental tanda, which I included in my recent DJ set for Twilight Milonga @ Studio 1924 (an excellent milonga in Oakland, CA). I absolutely love Charlo’s version of ‘El viejo vals’, and thought I might be able to play it if I managed to build a tanda around it. The goal was to find two other valses from the 1950s with a lead singer accompanied by guitars only. After a long search, I settled on Jorge Vidal’s ‘La vieja serenata’ and Alberto Marino’s ‘Un cielo para los dos’. Neither recording is quite up to the level of Charlo’s, but they are, I think, strong enough to be played together in the same tanda. I was somewhat nervous during the milonga because I didn’t know how the crowd would react to it. The dancers did seem a bit surprised at first, but after a few minutes they eased off, and when the final track was played, everyone liked it. Afterwards, a few people came over and told me that they had really enjoyed the tanda. So overall I think it was a success, and will probably play it again at some point in the future.

  • Ali Guerin

    I played this tanda tonight– the first song does not establish the vals beat early enough and confused some dancers. Otherwise, it was beautiful and I got some really nice comments. Personally I really like the tracks, so I’ll see if I can find a first song that will be more well-accepted by the crowd 🙂

    • Yes, that’s exactly right. In fact, I should have said in my original post that after my experience at the milonga, I decided to invert the order of the first two tracks, because ‘Un cielo para los dos’ is better at establishing the vals beat than ‘La vieja serenata’. Alternatively, one could remove the latter’s introduction.

      Thanks for the feedback!