Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Rarity: Yo Soy El Negro

It is a candombe - not a tango - and it's rare. Today's feature is the only appearance of Yo soy el negro on YouTube. It is the only candombe written by Piazzolla, the only cancion in which he collaborated with playwright, Carlos Gorostiza for lyrics, and the only song recorded which was both written by Piazzolla and sung by the classic tango vocalist, Jorge Sobral. It was included in a 10 inch LP, issued in 1957 on the Sandor label (which is also quite rare today). The story of that recording is well documented in a La Página article which can be read here.

The candombe is a Uruguayan dance form based on African rhythms. Some view it as the basis for the Brazilian samba - which I think you can hear in this performance. The original version from that Sandor recording is available on a reissue and is a quite different example of the song. Both start with the candombe rhythm but the original morphs into almost a broadway showtune before recapturing the candombe rhythm towards the end of the song. The version in the video has much more drive and urgency and a jazz feel as you might expect from a latin jazz songstress like Maria Cangiano who provides the vocal. Ms. Cangiano has recently released a CD, Ballads for My Life and Death: A Tribute to Piazzolla, which contains Yo soy el negro and six other Piazzolla songs.

Thanks, Maria to you and your band for bringing us some rarely heard Piazzolla.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.


  1. Thanks so much for posting my video. I just wanted to add that this is the first time this song is sang my a woman!!!. Besides this performance has master candombero Quintino Cinalli in the video and the recording too..thanks again!
    Maria Cangiano

  2. I forgot. My cd is available in two formats online. You can get it at cdbaby in cd format. And you can download the songs at myspace or mondomix.
    It will be available in Itunes in September.
    A new cd called Piazzolla Inedito will be released before of the end of the year..Piazzolla songs never recorded before. thanks!