Saturday, 30 April 2011

Carlos Di Sarli Instrumental 1928–1931

A fascinating CD has been released: I've just come across it in Spotify and it seems to have been released just two days ago on April 28. It's fascinating because it's a collection of some of Di Sarli's first recordings from 1928 to 1931 – with a sextet. (Given the date, it's strange that the CD cover photo appears to show Di Sarli in later years.)

I know I'm not the only one to love dancing to Di Sarli, while finding I don't really want to listen to his music while off the dance floor. The emotional grandeur of it can seem excessive when you're not dancing. But the early sextet is a much more spare, more reflective music, reminiscent of early Fresedo. It's mainly orchestral: the sound of the human voice comes as a bit of a surprise in the last track.

I remember Pedro Sanchez being very enthusiastic about a CD he had of Di Sarli, which I understood as being late Di Sarli with a quartet. I've never come across it elsewhere, but it sounded a bit like this sextet. I hope to catch up with Pedro later this year, but if anyone knows what it might be, do let me know. Until then, Carlos Di Sarli Instrumental 1928–1931 (20 Grandes Exitos) in the Tango Collection is going to get a lot of listening to. Hopefully it'll turn up in a milonga soon.

Available if you're within reach of Spotify here. On Amazon it's here.


jantango said...

I compared the playlist on Amazon with a CD that a collector in BsAs gave me a couple years ago. They are practically the same: different order and my CD has 22 recordings.

From a dancer's point of view, the sextet is danceable, but you won't hear these recordings in any BsAs milonga. His greatest works came from the orchestra in the 40s.

Chris, UK said...

Great stuff indeed.

TC: "Hopefully it'll turn up in a milonga soon."
Carablanca's last Xmas party opened with four of those tracks.

Janis: "you won't hear these recordings in any BsAs milonga. His greatest works came from the orchestra in the 40s.
I've heard them played in BA e.g. by Osvaldo Nantucci at El Beso. In general BsAs DJs play Di Sarli from the late 20s to the late 50s.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Chris - love the info pages .. finally found the music I had heard but didn't know the name of .. Biagi, Paloma ... lovely! I've been searching and asking for months.

You do the community a real service Chris , much appreciated.

Janis said...


Did you see any milongueros dancing in El Beso or did they all leave the milonga? DiSarli rerecorded tangos with his orchestra, didn't he?

Osvaldo Natucci isn't working any longer as a DJ in BsAs. He was noted for playing music he liked, not what the dancers wanted.

I've been spoiled by Daniel Borelli at Lo de Celia.

Chris, UK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris, UK said...

Janis, I too am not a fan of Nantucci's DJing. To my taste it has too high a proportion of sleepy tangos that are not great for dancing. But I don't count the recordings in question amongst those. People, you can hear samples of them, and a selection across the four decades of Di Sarli, at

And Anonymous, you're welcome!

Tango en el Cielo said...

This CD has almost the same content as one I bought several years ago at Buenos Aires Tango Club, called Carlos di Sarli Vol. 1 (1928-1929). It's part of a 3-CD set - there's Vol. 2 (1929-1930) and Vol. 3 (1930-1931).
I played four tracks from Vol 3 at Carablanca on 5 June 2009: Flora, Que Torcido Andas Julián!, Por La Pinta, Chau Pinela (sung by Ernesto Fama).
I just love dancing this music! But it is difficult for beginners and for those who don't hear or can't dance complex rhythms. For them it feels too slow and low energy. So I wouldn't play more than a couple of tandas of music of this type per evening, much as I would happily dance to more of it myself.
The problem with the 3-CD set I have is that the quality of the recordings is poor, being (I think) homemade by BATC from original vinyl rather than commercially produced. Many of the tracks are too hissy and crackly to use for DJ-ing. (I note that two of the four tracks Chris played were the same as the ones I chose, which may reflect similar musical tastes and/or that our choices were limited by sound quality considerations.)
From a quick listen even on spotify this new CD sounds better than the ones I have so will definitely try to find it when next in BsAs. Thanks for telling us about it.

Chris, UK said...

I find the quality of many Buenos Aires Tango Club (BATC) releases too poor for DJing. For this tanda I used the versions from Carlos Di Sarli - Las Primeras Grabaciones (1928-1931) from Blue Moon, and
Carlos Di Sarli (1928/1931) on Collection 78rpm 2.

Tangocommuter said...

Immediately I heard this I was pretty sure this was the music Pedro played me 15 months ago. I thought he said it was late, and a quartet, but I might well be wrong. He was very enthusiastic about it, and it's a curious thought that it might suit his way of dancing more than later Di Sarli. It seemed to me 'barebones' tango: it establishes very clearly the structures Di Sarli went on to build on so magnificently. & I'm delighted to find that I have already danced to it in London! But it is a bit spare to dance to a lot.

& I'd like to second Anon's remarks about Chris, UK's lists. They are very useful, and it's also interesting to compare one's subjective memory of an evening with the facts! A great deal of work has been going on to list and cross-reference a huge body of music. I think that very little of this was available five years ago, and now recent tango releases appear immediately in public.

TEEC said...

Thanks for the info Chris. Do you remember where you bought those two Di Sarli CDs by any chance?