Tango Mahi “Tanda of the Week” by Orquesta Tipica Osvaldo Pugliese with vocalist Jorge Maciel
1955 “Cascabelito” (“Little Cascabel”)
1955 “Esta Noche de Luna” (“Night of the moon”)
1956 “Remembranza” (“Remembrances”)
Osvaldo Pugliese was a classically-trained pianist who played with many leading orquestas and musicians before forming his own orquesta tipica in 1939 at the age of 33. These included the orquestas of Roberto Firpo, Pedro Maffia, Miguel Calo and Pedro Laurenz, as well as duos, trios and quartets he formed with Alfredo Gobbi, Anibal Troilo and others in tango and non-tango genres.
The Pugliese orquesta’s tango music built on the sophistication of Julio De Caro’s polished music arrangements performed by classically trained musicians, and also drew on Pugliese’s own progressive jazz and avant-garde musical ideas as well as the tango dance rhythms that had evolved and were continuing to evolve. The orquesta made hundreds of recordings; some with a strong underlying tango dance beat, and others that were clearly intended for films, concerts and other non-dance settings.
The three songs I have chosen for the tanda were recorded in 1955 and 1956, featuring vocalist Jorge Maciel, who had huge hits with “Canzoneta” and “Remembranza” as vocalist for the Alfredo Gobbi Orquesta before he was recruited by Pugliese. Both these songs were re-recorded with Pugliese.
Pugliese was a devoted communist who operated his orquesta as a collective with all income shared equally. He spent many years in prison because of his communism beliefs and profile, and from the 1960s till 1985, the military dictators of Argentina banned Pugliese music from being played on the radio or in public places. When he was in prison his orquesta members placed a rose on a piano stool and performed without a pianist.
On the TangoClub Auckland Facebook page, I will post two YouTube clips of maestros dancing to recordings from the tanda. One is of Mathew Ferrol and Amelia Rambe dancing to “Cascabelita” in a traditional salon style with large, smooth, elegant steps through the strong sections and contrasting long pauses and adornments matching the pauses in the music. The second is of “Remembranza”, danced by Michelle and Joaquin at the conclusion of a colgada immersion course, demonstrating smooth, circular nuevo sequences, separated by pauses between rhythmic phrases.