Sunday, 19 July 2009

Some music notes

I enjoyed Color Tango but, as someone pointed out, their performances are still very much Pugliese: nothing wrong with that, but the arrangements they use are those familiar from Pugliese recordings. There are five albums for free (plus a few ads) on Spotify.

I've liked the Orquesta Escuela since I first heard them a few years ago, and the arrangements they use are new. The film Si Sos Brujo hardly mentions that Emilio Balcarce, who was an arranger and bandoneon player with Pugliese and who directed the Orquesta, seems to have written new arrangements for everything they play; an octogenarian who takes on a new orquesta, directs it, and writes its repertoire. I wanted to link their Cumparasita from the Contrapunta album, which is just absolutely the best and a long-time favourite, and was actually the first tango I heard in Buenos Aires: stuck in downtown gridlock the driver turned off the radio and put on a cassette – and out came this very distinctive Cumparasita. I wanted to link it, but you can't link from Spotify, and although LastFM has the Contrapunta album, for some bizarre reason they have substituted another Cumparasita, by 'Various artists' in place of the orquesta one, and it's dire. But the album is available as a download from Amazon for £5.99, which is great value and has the right Cumparasita on it. Listen out for the bandoneon solo: it rocks. Like any Pugliese-style music it would be a challenge to dance to, but it's exciting listening.

But it's easy to link their Gallo Ciego and La Bordona.

A music journalist and music addict, musically illiterate and with no music skills, spends a year at the Royal Academy of Music learning composition, trying to understand his obsession. He can hardly tap out a simple rhythm to start with: music, its structure and how it's made, has to be explained to him from the very basis upwards. The luxury of suggesting ideas to groups of talented students to improvise on, and having another talented student to write them down, is his. How to be a Composer is on BBC4: the first episode is here, for anyone within reach of the BBC. The editing is innovative, very fluent. (PS. & some of the best young and not so young faces I've seen anywhere for a long time. There is hope for the world, and it is called music.)


Anonymous said...

Nice version..

I'm pretty sure you can link from Spotify, just right-click the track listing. should point to the Cumparsita that you mention.
You need the Spotify software installed for this to work obviously.

Tango commuter said...

Many thanks, Anon., and I'll give it a go. I know you can send a Spotify URL to someone who has the Spotify software and player, but I don't think that it would be any use to someone without it.

Glad you enjoyed the track.