Carlos Di Sarli (Bahia Blanca 7th of January 1903, Buenos Aires 12th of January 1960), has been one of the greatest tango orchestra’s directors, composer and pianist (also known as El Señor del Tango). He started to play piano when he was very young, studying in the conservatory where his brother was teaching. Di Sarli initially joined a popular music travelling company, touring the country and also playing some tango. Later he moved to Santa Rosa in la Pampa, working in a cinema, playing music for mute movies, and in a club.Mario Menara, his father’s friend, owned both venues.
His first orchestra and the move to Buenos Aires
Afterward he made a brief return to Bahia Blanca, where he formed his first orchestra, playing in local cafés (Café Express and Café Moka). Together with his brother Roque, he then moved to Buenos Aires, where he played professionally with different orchestras. Among the most important were: Anselmo Aieta, Juan Pedro Castillo, Alejandro Scarpino. In 1926 Di Sarli joined Fresedo’s Orchestra, and this will be a turning point in his career as Tango musician. Fresedo had such a big influence on el Señor del Tango, that the maestro later dedicated him a tango, Milonguero Viejo, in 1927.
Curiosity: his original name was Cayetano, only later on he changed it to Carlos.
Carlos Di Sarli and his orchestras:
In that same year he finally formed his first sextet, playing in several clubs and radio shows, and recorded many tangos with the RCA Victor. After a discussion with a club owner in Buenos Aires, who did not understand why Di Sarli was wearing dark glasses, Di Sarli went back to Bahia Blanca, where he played in La Central Club until 1934. The reason was because of an accident he had when he was young, working in his father factory.
Carlos Di Sarli, El Señor del Tango, leaves his permanent mark on the history of Tango
1939 is the turning point of Di Sarli’s rise as one of the greatest Tango musician ever. He formed his orchestra in 1938 and played for Radio Mundo. Then, once Roberto Rufino, only 16, joined the orchestra, they recorded the Tangos “Corazon” and “Retirao”. These were the first 2 tangos of many more that still delight nowadays thousands and thousands of milongueros all over the world.
Carlos Di Sarli with Rufino, Podestà and Duran, 1939 – 1944 – 1948.
Di Sarli/Rufino is a pair well known to any Tango dancer, and it is very rare not to listen during a milonga any of their tangos. Di Sarli’s style is very harmonic, as if every instrument is a piece needed to keep everything together, rather than shine on its own. Directing his own orchestra with his piano marking the compás, Di Sarli achieved to blend together simplicity, rhythm, harmony and sublime nuances. The only exception to this feeling of togetherness of the instruments are the violins, sometimes left free to go on their own notes, to highlight certain part of the piece, while the other instruments let them shine.
Best Di Sarli’s tangos of this first period:
1939, Corazon, Roberto Rufino
1940, Cosas olvidadas, Roberto Rufino
1940, En un beso la vida, Roberto Rufino
1940, Lo pasao pasó, Roberto Rufino
1941, El cielo en tus ojos, Roberto Rufino
1942, Junto a tu corazon, Alberto Podestá
1942,Mañana zarpa un barco, Roberto Rufino
1944, La capilla blanca, Alberto Podestá
1944, Tu, el cielo y tu, Alberto Podestá
1945, Un tango y nada mas, Jorge Duran
1945, Yo, Jorge Duran
1945, Tu Intimo Secreto, Jorge Duran
Carlos Di Sarli with Pomar and Serpa, 1951 +
After taking a break for a couple of years, Di Sarli started recording again in 1951. He composed many instrumental Tangos, and some with the singer Mario Pomar. All tango orchestras had evolved by this time, and while the compás was still marking the danceability of any tangos, Di Sarli slowed down the rhythm and amplifies each note, making the music more dramatic. It is a style with less staccato, more dramatic and intense, although the compás is still very present and the importance of the piano played by the same Di Sarli is the same as before.
Best Carlos Di Sarli Tangos 1951-1955
1951, Germaine, Instrumental
1952, El ingeniero, Instrumental
1953, Verdemar, Oscar Serpa
1954, Bien frappé, Mario Pomar
1954, Tormenta, Mario Pomar
1954, A la gran muñeca, Instrumental
Carlos Di Sarli with Florio and Duran, 1955-1958.
During the last three years of Di Sarli’s career, the singer Florio joined the orchestra. Less people were dancing Tango compared to the golden age, and every musicians changed their style in order to please no longer the dancer but also the radio listener. Despite the change of audience, in these last three years Di Sarli composed some amazing tangos for dancing, such as El jagüel, Cantemos corazón and Bahia Blanca.
Di Sarli’s valses and milongas
Although Di Sarli is famous for his tangos, tango dancers all over the world also love many of his valses and milongas.
Best Di Sarli’s Valses:
Rosa de otoño
Best Di Sarli’s Milongas:
Milonga del centenario
Rosa Morena (Abuelita Dominga)