Tanda of the week: mixed 1950s valses

Tanda of the week: mixed 1950s valses

I've advanced in time by a decade since the last week, and bring you a mixed tanda by Roberto Caló.

While not as impactful as his brother Miguel, he recorded a few notable pieces such a wonderful renditions of Margareta Gauthier and Cualquier cosa and is the author of the unforgettable Soñemos. He has only started recording in the 50s, and so he missed out on the bounties of the Golden age.

The biggest issue we still have today is the scarcity of good transfers. The now defunct Japanese label CTA has produced two CDs that you can only get on the second-hand market. The online stores such as TangoTunes haven't produced their transfers yet.

Two of the valses featured here (#1 and #3) have versions that are better known. I love Pugliese's Manos adoradas but Caló's version might be easier on the dancers. Que nadie sepa mi sufrir have several interesting takes, e.g. by Castillo, De Angelis, or Tango Spleen. I like this one a lot. The middle piece, Mi barrio duerme, was only ever recorded by Caló. It's a fun, happy vals without genre-breaking ambitions, which I quite like as far as valses go.


1) Manos adoradas (1952, canta Alberto Santillán)
2) Mi barrio duerme (1953, c. Enrique Campos)
3) Que nadie sepa mi sufrir (1955, c. Jorge De La Peña)

I think Manos adoradas has that right "catchiness" to serve as the opener, and Que nadie sepa mi sufrir has an air of finality, so a closer it is - also, it's about 2 BPM faster than the other two at 66 BPM, which would be another good argument for me to put it at the end.

Mi barrio duerme has an uplifting character. The other two are quite intense, and so the dancers get a chance to catch a breath here. That's a pattern I like a lot in tanda threesomes: lyrical-happy-lyrical. Even if the middle song wasn't exactly happy, I would prefer it to be lighter than the other two.


The tempos are just right and there are no dirty tricks here. I would play this tanda literally anytime. At a typical weekday milonga, I'd wait until I have a full floor and not put this as the first vals tanda so as not to waste it.

PS The legality of the audio file embedded above is not entirely obvious to me. I have downgraded the originals to 128 kbps and stuck them together. Please kindly do not download and distribute the file(s), they are here for educational purposes only. Thanks!

photo credit goes to sept commercial

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