Saturday, September 20, 2014

Carlos Gardel and His Guitarists - Part 2

Carlos Gardel
We had an extensive article from Luis 'Tito' Liber discussing the influence of early jazz on the career of the famous Argentine tango singer, Carlos Gardel (1890-1935). The focus in Liber's article is put on the guitarists working with Gardel exploring their styles of playing and adding audio examples to illustrate from uploaded YouTube videos. The article points to a specific guitar tradition in the Argentine tango community and may indirectly have had an influence on the evolution of Oscar Alemán's playing style as well. Thus, the reason for publishing the article here is that the music discussed and illustrated in the article enlightens a historical context not often included in examination of the roots of Alemán's playing technique and musical environment. - Below follows the second part of Luis 'Tito' Liber's article, the first part is available here.

Carlos Gardel and his guitarists - Early South American Jazz Records - Part 2
Luis ‘Tito’ Liber 

13. Circe (María I. Goddard - Juan A. Caruso) (Nacional-Odeon 1925. 2640, 18125). Shimmy. Gardel (vo), Ricardo (lead g), Barbieri (g)
14. Reyesdel aire (José Bohr -  Amadeo Canale) (Nacional-Odeon 1925. 2710, 18127). Shimmy. Dedicated to the bold airplane pilots, these tunes used to be payed at the Christmas/New Year meeting of the Pilots Circle. Gardel (vo), Ricardo (lead g), Barbieri (g)
15. Honolulú Blues  (Nathaniel Goldstein - Maurice Grunsky) (Nacional-Odeon 1925. 2771, 18129). Shimmy in hawaian style (spanish lyrics by Spanish Juan A. Caruso). Goldstein must have been an amateur composer, because he is not registered in any authoral society. The original record was published by Milis Music, New York. Gardel (vo), Ricardo (lead g), Barbieri (g)
16. Lacanción del ukelele (Say It With a Ukelele) (Con Conrad) (Nacional-Odeon 1925. 2902, 18135). Foxtrot in Hawaiian style (Spanish lyrics by Adolfo Avilés). Gardel (vo), Ricardo (lead g), Barbieri (g)
17. Holaseñorita (Arturo de Bassi - Doblas - Alerto Weisbach) (Nacional-Odeon 1925. 2965, 18134). Shimmy. Gardel (vo), Ricardo (lead g), Barbieri (g)
18. Amor (Gran Buda) (Julio Burón - O. de Ramenti) (Nacional-Odeon. Barcelona 1925. So 3818). Shimmy. Gardel (vo), Ricardo (g).

Prince Edward of Windsor
In August 25, 1925, Gardel-Razzano combo played in the Buenos Aires county in honour of the visiting prince Edward of Windsor. They played tangos and French songs, like "La canción del ukelele", "Honolulu Blues", "Yes. We Have not Bananas". Prince Edward himself played ukulele at the meeting!

19. Quélindo es el shimmy (Guilermo Barbieri - Eugenio Cárdenas) (Nacional-Odeon 1926. 4012, 18169). Shimmy. One of the authors is Gardel`s guitarist, Barbieri. Gardel (vo), Ricardo (lead g), Barbieri (g).
20. Sonrisas (Esteban González - Eugenio Cárdenas) (Nacional-Odeon 1927. 1111, 18220). Shimmy. Gardel (vo), Ricardo (lead g), Barbieri (g).
21. Lahija de japonesita (Nacional-Odeon 1928. 2865, 18246). Foxtrot. Gardel (vo), Ricardo (g), Barbieri (g), Aguilar (g)
22. Ramona(Mabel Wayne) (Nacional-Odeon Paris 1928. Ki-1856, 18252). Waltz (spanish lyrics from Cadícamo). Gardel (vo), Ricardo (g), Barbieri (g), Aguilar (g)
23. Manosbrujas (José M. Aguilar) (Nacional-Odeon 1928. 2923-3136; 1928. Nacional-Odeon Paris Ki2077). Foxtrot. The autor is Gardel`s guitarist. Three versions: two recorded in Buenos Aires, the other in Paris. One of the Buenos Aires versions, recorded in September 1928, was an instrumental recorded by Gardel`s guitarists, and it shows the skills of those excellent musicians. Ricardo (g), Barbieri (g), Aguilar (g).*
* Listen to Manos brujas sung by Héctor Mauré, here
24. En unpueblito español (In a Little Spanish Town) (Mabel Wayne) (Nacional-Odeon 1928. 3039). Waltz  (with spanish lyrics from Cadicamo`s sobrino, Rogelio Ferreyra). Gardel (vo), Ricardo (g), Barbieri (g), Aguilar (g)
25. Amorpagano (Pagan Love Song) (Nacio Herb Brown - Arthur Freed) (Nacional-Odeon 1928. 5112). Waltz in hawaian-style (Spanish lyrics by Luis Rubinstein); from the 1928 film El Pagano. Gardel (vo), Ricardo (g), Barbieri (g), Aguilar (g)
26. Ladivina dama (Nat Shilkret) (Nacional-Odeon 1929. 4451-4513, 18284). Waltz (Spanish lyrics by Enrique Cadícamo); from the 1928 film Fair Lady. Two versions. Gardel (vo), Aguilar (lead g), Barbieri (g)
27. Yobeso vuestra mano señora (Ich Küsse Ihre Hand Madame) (Fritz Rotter- Ralph Erwin) (Nacional-Odeon 1929. E4514-1, 18289). German song with Spanish lyrics by Luis Rubinstein. Two versions. Gardel (vo), Aguilar (lead g), Barbieri (g)
28. Yo nací para tí, tú serás para mí(You Were Meant For Me) (Macio Herb Brown) (Nacional-Odeon 1930. 5326). Foxtrot (spanish lyrics by Enrique Cadícamo); from the film Melodía de Broadway). Recorded April 1st 1930. Rodolfo Biaggi (p), Antonio Rodio (v), Barbieri (g), Aguilar (g), Riverol (g).
29. Caprichosa (Froilán Aguilar) (Nacional-Odeon 1930. 6067, 18837). Fado in foxtrot-style from Uruguayan Froilán Aguilar. Gardel (vo), Barbieri (g), Aguilar (g), Riverol (g)

30. Dejà (Jean Lenoir - Elie Aivaz) (Nacional-Odeon Paris 1931. Ki4491). Waltz in French. First version recorded in Paris with Gregor orchestra. Second with two guitars. Gardel (vo), Barbieri (g), Riverol (g).
31. Folie(Locura) (A. Wilson - Alfred Fischer) (Nacional-Odeon Paris 1931. Ki4492; Nacional-Odeon 1931. 6872). In French. Two versions: With two guitars (Barbieri and Riverol) and with Gregor orchestra.
32. Madame,c’est vous (Señora, es usted) (Kalikián Grégor) (Nacional-Odeon 1931. 6873, 18863). In French. With Gregor orchestra.
33. Je tedirai (Kalikián Grégor - Michel Emer) (Nacional-Odeon 1931. 6874, 18863). Foxtrot. Sang in French.

Kalikian Gregor (Krikor Bedros Kallekian, b. Stambul 02-28-1897 – d.?) was a French-Armenian dancer who lead his jazzband, called The Gregorians. This orchestra played in Paris and the theaters, casinos and cabarets on the Côte d'Azur (i.e. Nice) in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He dressed eccentrically, accompanied by two large Afghan dogs. He got acquainted with Gardel in January 1931, then in Paris and Nice. By the end of 1931, during a tour through South-America, he was in Argentina. Gregor made records for Ultraphone and Edison Bell, among others labels. His orchestra of twelve pieces, one of the pioneers of jazz in France (as Ray Ventura`s), was capable of playing all styles of music, from comic burlesques (with amounts of clowning) to hot jazz. It adopted the symphonic style of Paul Whiteman, combining improvisation and written music. The band dressed in impeccably tailored uniforms. The French jazz magazine La Revue du Jazz (appeared in 1929) was the "house-organ" of Gregor and His Gregorians (Acc. Kennedy, W.: Le hot. The assimilation of American jazz in France, 1917-1940. Kent State University).

Stéphane Grappelli
Stephane Grappelli was a member of the band in 1930. Formation ca. 1932-1933: Ray Allen (d), Leo Vauchant-Arnaud? (tb), Edmund Cohanier (as, cl), Alix Combelle (ts, cl), Michel Emer? (p), Roger Fisbach (as, cl), Gregor Kelekian (Leader, vo), Charles "Coco" Kiehn (ts, cl), Gaston Lapeyronnie (t), Charles Lisee (as, cl), Lucien Moraweck (p), Edmund Masse (banjo, g), Stephane Mougin? (p), Guy Paquinet? (tb), Andre Pico (t), Sylvio Schmidt (v), Raymond Van Der Notte (bass brass), Michel Warlop (v) ( Source:

Gregor and his Gregorians
The jazz band of Gregor that accompanied Gardel in 1931 (or toured with Gregor in Southamerica in 1930) was integrated by: Alberto Hervier (as), Carlos Trógolo (ts), Francisco Mazzeo (t), José Brullo (tb), Freddie Forsher (p), Manuel Gabinovich (v), Johnny Conyers (g) and Luis Castro (d). (Source:

34. Parlezmoi d’amour (Háblame de amor) (Lenoir) (Nacional-Odeon 1933. 7365, 18880). In French. Popularized in America by Lucienne Boyer in 1930. Four guitars: Pettorossi, Barbieri, Riverol, Vivas. In his last year in Argentina, Gardel became the first Argentinian singer who performed with a four guitars combo.
35. Rubias de New York (Gardel-LePera) (Victor New York 1934. 83703, 18914). Foxtrot composed by Gardel in the USA, 1934, for the film El tango en Broadway. His last, best and world kown foxtrot. Part of the merry lyrics: Mary, Peggy, Betty, Julie, / New York blondes, / adorned little heads / that lie about love. / The stars feel envy; / I don`t know how to live without them. / Mary, Peggy, Betty, Julie, / of flourished lips. It was recorded with Terig Tucci orchestra, integrated by: Tucci (v), Remo Bolognini (v),Rafael Galindo (v), Joe Biviano (accordion), Domingo Guido (bass), Alberto Castellanos (p), Osvaldo Nazzuchi/Vicente Navatta (cello).
36. Amortropical (Sol tropical) (Terig Tucci - Alfredo LePera) (Victor New York 1935. 89231). Rumba. Recorded in January 1935, with Terig Tucci orchestra, for the film El día que me quieras. It was integrated by: Juan Manzo/Horacio Zito (v), Remo Bolognini (v),Rafael Galindo (v), Joe Biviano (accordion), Domingo Guido (bass), Abraham Thevenet/Joseph Kahn (p), Osvaldo Nazzuchi/Vicente Navatta (cello), Eugenio Cibelli (g), Juan López (t).

These records show that Carlos Gardel, as well as Francisco Canaro, Roberto Firpo,  Horacio Salgán, Astor Piazzolla (and Oscar Alemán of course), was not limited to a single genre. They were all "tango men", but in contemporary definition of jazz... could they be named "jazz men" too?

Carlos Gardel
 For making this, I used my own (and humble) discographical archive and Boris Puga`s discography (published in Tangueando nº7. 1969). Some of the information about the authors is taken from the great work of Orlando Del Greco, "Carlos Gardel y los autores de sus canciones" (Ed. Akian. Bs. As. 1990). Other data are from various websites and excellent J. and O. Barsky`s :"Carlos Gardel. La biografía" (Taurus, Bs. As. 2004).



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