Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Today's tango is...

A while ago I heard about this source of tango on YouTube. I’ve only just checked it out, and I find I’ve been missing out on a good source of music and lyrics.

Paul Bottomer is a dance teacher with a background in ballroom, who went to Buenos Aires in the 1980s and studied with Maria Nievas and Juan Carlos Copes. (Separate classes, I assume, since they had their differences.) His website says he won the ‘Grand Slam of Tango competitions’ (he doesn’t say what they were) between 1990 and 1994. He still teaches in London.

He currently seems on a mission through his YouTube channel to ensure that as much tango as possible is available online, in some form of HD, with translations of lyrics and all the readily available information on each track, such as performers and recording dates. Since he studied with Copes and Nievas he must be a Spanish speaker and I assume his translations are at least serviceable. I can’t check them, but I expect they are useful to listeners in general, even if lunfardo experts and historians of tango lyrics might not always agree on the details. His channel is called ‘Today’s tango is...,’ but he often uploads many tangos a day, and not always the well-known tangos you hear in milongas. Yesterday there were five tangos, including two versions of Yo quiero cantar un tango (Laurenz and D’Arienzo). Only one so far today, D'Arienzo's 1966 Virgen de la Serranía, but it’s only 4pm. This channel is clearly a labour of love, and it’s a very welcome, ongoing effort to make the songs more accessible. It’s been going for a while, so there’s a substantial archive of songs and music. There’s also a Facebook page.

(PS: On YouTube you need to click on SHOW MORE to access the translations.)


tangogeoff said...

Thanks TC. I really appreciate your thoughts and links. I'm just saying. 😊

Tangocommuter said...

Many thanks, TG. I always hope it's useful!