We'll never know how many traditional tangos Piazzolla wrote but according the the excellent discography of Mitsumasa Saito, we do know that he recorded 23 traditional tangos of his own composition before he recorded his first nuevo tango in 1957. Interestingly, he recorded four additional traditional tangos of his own composition in 1959 - although they are cleverly disguised as 50's Latin pop with the help of a mindless studio drummer - on the rare album, Take Me Dancing. One of those four, Para Lucirse, or as it was known on the album, Show Off, is our featured video today as played by the Orquesta de Señoritas. Their version, fortunately, bears no resemblance to that found on Take Me Dancing but rather is the version arranged by Piazzolla but recorded and made famous by Piazzolla's mentor, Anibal Troilo in 1950 or 1951. You can hear Troilo's recording in this YouTube video. Today's video is the only performance video of the piece on YouTube. It is a rarely performed Piazzolla work.
Orquesta de Señoritas is not the only all female tango orchestra around but they are the best - in fact, they are one of the best traditional tango orchestras around regardless of how few or how many females are included in the musicians. The group is from Rosario and consists of Eliana Vazquez and Julia Testa (violin), Irmgard Münchgesang (viola), Agustina Taborda and Belén Plouganou (bandoneón), Yanina Bolognese (piano), and Julia Martinez (contrabass). The group is directed by Javier Martinez Lo Re who also does many of the arrangements. You can find biographical information on all the musicians on their website. Groups like Orquesta de Señoritas are important because they are keeping traditional tango alive. They deserve our support.
There are other interesting things to be said about the Take Me Dancing album but I will save them for a later blog posting.
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