We are often asked for advice and suggestions about Tango music – what to look for, what to buy etc.
One thing for sure, although it is becoming better known and more popular, classic Argentine Tango music is quite a “Niche” market – unless you know what you are looking for, buying “Tango’s Greatest Hits” from your local High Street store will most likely lead to disappointment.
Firstly, some of the main Tango Orchestras to check out on iTunes or Amazon mp3 (it’s also worth putting these names into You Tube)
Probably in order of priority for people just starting Argentine Tango:
Carlos Di Sarli – elegant and melodic, one of the greatest greats
Juan D’Arienzo – known as “the king of the beat” because of his driving rhythms
Francisco Canaro – gorgeous early Tangos, Milongas & Valses, very nostalgic. Can be very rhythmic too with regular walking speed beat
Pedro Laurenz – beautifully arranged and orchestrated – a bit of a “musician’s musician”
Miguel Calo – lovely music to dance to, clear rhythms, lovely melodies
Rodolfo Biagi – very syncopated, sharp rhythms. In 2 rather than 4. Fabulous once you get the hang of it
Anibal Troilo – was immensly popular with dancers – a wide variety of music over time, but again, choose carefully – some of his music is an acquired taste and not so accessible, especially for less experienced dancers.
Alfredo De Angelis – one of my personal favourites. Elegant melodic patterns, good rhythm and wonderful changes of direction within each piece give great musical variety and richness – almost like mini symphonies
Osvaldo Pugliese – hugely important and long career, but especially his later work can be very intense and hard to dance to – more intended for the concert platform – so choose carefully
Some more modern possibilities – lovely to listen to but not always so good for dancing in the Salon style:
If you want to buy CDs of classic Tango music in the UK, Michael Lavocah is a reliable source.
To read up on Tango music, and everything else Tango, Todo Tango is a good place to start.
To see some interesting demonstrations of Tango dancing, click here to see the contrast between the Salon style of Argentine Tango compared with other Tango derivatives. Through YouTube you can get a comprehensive view of different Tango dancers and music – the good, the bad and the ugly. Paste these names (below) into your You Tube search box for some starter suggestions for the best to be seen. Then follow your nose – there’s a lot of good listening and watching to be had:
Carlos Gavito – probably the All Time Master
Homer Ladas – lovely dancer & teacher based in the US – classic and nuevo style
Tango por Dos – world famous Tango Show, starring Miguel Zotto
Osvaldo Zotto – Miguel’s brother who tragically died recently at the age of 46
Pablo Veron – starred in the film “The Tango Lesson” with Sally Potter. Watch out for his dance with Geraldine Rojas during the closing credits of the film “Asassination Tango”
There’s much, much more we could suggest, but hopefully this will keep you going for a while!