A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME TO THE HEART OF BUENOS AIRES
Traveling is not always the best book. Sometimes a book can also be the most rewarding journey. And Laura Falcoff achieves it perfectly. More thana literary work, Tango 50 keys is a pride time machine that will transport you to the heart of Buenos Aires, to those glorious 30s.
As with any journey through time, there is always a first welcome station. In this imaginary platform which receives you is nothing more or nothing less than Carlos Gardel: one of the most recognizable voices of history, or rather, the Elvis of Tango, and why not the Porteño Sinatra. It was the same Gardel who immortalized songs such as El día que me quieras (yes, you are right, it is the song that Luis Miguel recorded a cover version in his album Romance, 60 years later), Mi Buenos Aires Querido, Rubias de Nueva York, among other jewels. It was him who blew up the bing bang of this musical genre, spreading his mystic and passionate poetry to all cultures and corners of the planet.
Let us continue this journey, but before I ask you: do you usually dressed up fancy? Do you like to wear suits, handkerchiefs or shiny shoes? Because the author will also introduce you one of the most colourful characters of this universe: the milonguero dancer. Trained in neighborhoods clubs during the 40s and 50s, these milonga men not only gained world famous for their mastery on dance floor, rather by being a source of wisdom and more precise incarnation of secrets and legends of Buenos Aires.
But it is time to get out of the world of clubs and dance halls. Do not forget your Smartphone and other belongings, because the author will also take you for a ride by the hypnotic beauty of the Buenos Aires neighborhoods. Almagro, San Telmo, Flores, Boedo, Belgrano Bajo, Villa Crespo y Pompeya, among others. More than districts they are the birthplace of tango: “living entities of low houses and cobbled streets, street lamps and railroad barriers; of conventillo and friends everywhere”, the author expresses. Or in other words, they are an accurate picture of Buenos Aires stained by illusions and melancholy desire of a life that tango could confer from the day one. But beware; the journey does not end here. Laura will also make you discover other character such impeccable and famous as Gardel. If “Carlitos” was the Elvis or Porteño Sinatra, we can boldly say that Enrique Santos Discépolo was the John Lennon of tango. It is not a too overwhelming comparison when you find out that this poet, transgressor indomitable; he wrote three of the most beautiful and memorable works: Cambalache, Uno yEsta noche me emborracho.
Also, you will walk by the splendor of the Corrientes Street. The same that since 1937 knew how to be the feverish Porteña “Broadway”; the one of the remarkable coffees, bars and the inspiring muse of those gloomy tango poets. But a journey through time without La Cumparsita is a really wasted journey. In the blink of an eye, Laura Falcoff will immerse you in the “Tango of all Tangos”:
The world’s most famous. Written in 1916 by Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, it becomes popular around the world thanks to orchestral arrangements by directors as Juan D’Arienzo and Osvaldo Pugliese. “Surely there is not another tango with the largest number of phonographic records or that it has been more used in the cinema” the author claims. Just think that La Cumparsita was honored on films like Sunset Boulevard(by Bill Wilder, 1950), some like it hot (the same director, 1959) and even inspired Woody Allen for the scenes in Radio Days (1987) and Alice (1990).
And from Woody Allen’s New York, Laura takes you nonstop to Sur but not exactly a cardinal point instead to the brilliant work of Homero Manzi: one of the legendary authors that tango knew how to win. Sur: “What argentine has not sung this tango, right or wrong, some time in their lives?” improvisedFalcoff. But Manzi went a step further and together with Aníbal Troilo (a bandoneonist “goddess” level) composed other milestones of tango repertoire, such as, Che Bandoneón, Romance de Río y Discepolin, among others. Just as captivating and wise is the passage that Laura is dedicating feelingly to another hero of the Tango League: Astor Piazzolla. The most admirable is how she described to “the world’s most famous bandoneonist”. Just let yourself be carried away by his wise words to realize that the prolific career of Astor and the most fascinating anecdotes of his life that he shared with his admired Gardel in New York, they can coexist in the same “oil narrative”.
Are you ready to go on a journey through time to the heart of Buenos Aires? Tango 50 keys are the one. A journey of initiation milonguera that every curious and sensitive person must have in their hands.