Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I'm just going to start off ... probably spend too much time thinking about it for a productive human being ... and look forward to it taking on its own life - if you and others decide to play.

I won't pretend that I've given this much thought or researched it before putting this up. I just want to get it going to see what develops.

I'll say right off that I don't think Gardel's death should be near the top of the list, even though its effects ripple on the surface enough to perhaps warrant it to some. I rather think it had a positive effect, by creating a super-powerful mythology and awareness. It's the underneath I'm interested in. And after-all ... Gardel is not much of a factor for DANCERS of Tango, but for listeners.

I reserve the right to change my mind and this list at any time dependant on input from others with a better understanding of Tango or a different and interesting perspective. And further consideration.

My starting List:

1. "European musicians invent European or International Tango because they must be hard of hearing and rhythmically challenged so couldn't replicate what fellow Europeans loved about Argentine Tango (1912 -present). Enter Ballroom Tango and surely some stiff necks/sore backs. Good for sales of mirrors and dance teachers with questionable depth of sensual feelings/searching intelligence/conviction and communication skills with people outside their native culture.

(No offense intended)!

2. Every Argentine musician wants to be like the startlingly creative and wonderful maestro Astor Piazzolla (post 1950). None are - but they churn out recordings and performance tours we're still trying to recover from. Most of the world doesn't have a clue what Argentine Tango is or like what they think it is. Piazzolla wanna-be musicians must share much of the blame.

3.RCA Records manager (a Columbian), Ricardo Mejía purposely sets fire to it's huge archive of Master recordings from three decades of many musicians, including Troilo, Di Sarli, (early 1960s). Effects of never again being able to access the Masters of hundreds of important recordings and masterpieces will last forever. (Fortunately, the above-named artists left the label right away and we have their next recordings in fine shape). A modern day auditory equivalent to one of the three burnings of the parchments at the great library in Alexandria. All recordings (CD's) from that era originally issued on RCA are copies of copies of copies of scratchy records type-thing. Of course, we love the music for all that.

4. All too many CD's issued EVERYWHERE have the music sped-up 5-7 beats per minute.

5. Military coup d'état imposes evening curfew for years and generally takes the fun out of life in Argentina (1955-84). (This is an admitedly simplistic statement). If indeed where there is smoke there is fire, many of the top generals did want to kill Tango after Perón. They made a pretty good job of trying.

6. Juan Perón administration curry's favor with Argentine population by promoting isolationism (long-term negative economic effects.

7. Recording engineers fall in love with too much reverb and processing (1970 - present). This world-wide power-trip by technicians remains a great danger to the music-loving public and musicians' careers.

8. Gifted Argentine Tango show dancers teach and preach their stage-craft way and forget to replicate fun social dancing ... though that's what it's all about for the average person (1955 - 95). Substantial negative effects recently being largely being overcome by wonderful PorteÒo dancers or teachers who are making their mark.

9. Amazing numbers of ill-informed people are not able to "hear" the Bandoneon, let alone pronounce it's name. A reluctance to notice how incredible the music really is follows their knee-jerk response to first impressions, however understandable.

10. Although "knowing" it Takes Two to Tango, many men get caught up in themselves as - whatever - when dancing and take the fun away for women.

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