Tango Mahi “Tanda of the Week” – Enrique Rodriguez’s “La orquesta de todos los ritmos” featuring vocalist Amando Moreno
1942 “Como has cambado Pebeta”
1941 “Llorar por una mujer”
Rodriguez was an accomplished bandoneonist, pianist and violinist and a great composer, arranger and orquesta leader.
In his 20s Enrique Rodriguez played bandoneon for silent movies, then in various tango orquestas including those of Edgardo Donato, Juan Maglio and Juan Canaro, and in a trio that backed Francisco Fiorentino, his wife-to-be Maria Luisa Notar and other vocalists on radio broadcasts.
At the age of 35 (in 1936) he formed his own orquesta “La orquesta de todos los ritmos” (ie the orchestra of all rhythms) to play multiple genres of music and to cater for most of the social dance styles of the period, including foxtrot, waltz, polka, pasodoble, tango and a variety of South American folk dances. His musicians were of a high calibre as were the dozen or so vocalists (including Roberto Flores, Armando Moreno and Raul Iriarte) who performed at various stages through the orquesta’s 35 year existence.
In 1937 he negotiated an exclusive recording contract with Odean that resulted in his orquestas recording more than 350 vocal and instrumental tracks; many of which Rodriguez composed and most of which he arranged.
The orquesta gained wide public recognition and popularity in Buenos Aires and throughout South America (especially Colombia and Peru), and was in great demand for balls, dances and parties, but was “looked down upon” by many Buenos Aires milongueros who followed such leading tango orquestas as D’Arienzo, Di Sarli, Troilo and Pugliese.
My ears were opened to Rodriguez when attending Murat Erdemsel and Michelle Lamb tango musicality workshops in which they adopted Rodriguez’s vals “Tengo Mils Novias” and his tango “Marinero” to demonstrate their teachings. In these, and other Rodriguez music there is generally great clarity in the ways the phrases throughout each song are differentiated by breaks and changes in instrumentation, and are presented frequently in “question and answer” formats. The combination of these phrasing features together with underlying steady consistent rhythms and (usually) uplifting, fun melodies, makes Rodriguez music particularly suitable for social dancing.
The three songs I have chosen for the tanda were all composed and arranged by Rodriguez and feature Armando Moreno on vocals.
As a postscript, an inescapable signature of Enrique Rodriquez tango music is the absence of a resolution note or chord to end nearly every tune or song… reflecting Rodriguez’s sense of humour and creating anticipation and expectation of more to come…
Check out the musicality of Mario Consiglieri and Anabella Diaz-Hojman dancing to “Como has cambado Pebeta”.[This video is one that Silvina Pugliese identified in a FB post recently as being a favourite.]