Earlier, that same year, Osvaldo Fresedo's friend Martín de Álzaga Unzué, a famous racing driver nicknamed Macoco, helped secure a contract for 35 thousand francs for Fresedo to play at the re-opening of El Garron. Fresedo and Gardel had known each other for years, and even recorded together in 1925. Word of the new success of his friend reached Fresedo as he completed his final recordings for Odeon with Ernesto Famá, on October 9, in Buenos Aires.
Bandoneon: Osvaldo Fresedo - Alberto Rodríguez - Luis Minervini
Violin: Adolfo Muzzi - Jean Koller
Bass: Humberto Costanzo
Piano: José María Rizzuti
Singer: Ernesto Famá
The Excelsior announced their arrival, Elie Volterra was there to greet them. Volterra told Fresedo, in his broken Italian, that Cielito mío was now a popular tune in Paris. Fresedo recorded his Tango version of the Mexican song Cielito lindo in 1927.
On November 28, Fresedo played at a private reception hosted by M. Carlos de Olazábal, in honor of the Fragata Escuela Presidente Sarmiento, visiting France since November 15. The wife of the Argentine Ambassador in Paris (Federico Álvarez de Toledo), and other society notables were in attendance. M. de Olazábal was the Editor of the column “L’Amérique Latine” for the newspaper Le Galois. Around this time too, the feast of the Catherinettes took place in Paris, a very interesting video of Tango musicians was shot there that can help illustrate what it was like (but we don't know who these musicians are).
Nicolás Vaccaro, the violinist José Lorito, and bandoneon Juan Salvatore, answering Fresedo's call, traveled to Paris and joined the troupe. Fresedo told Zucchi that Carlos Esposito, the brother of Genaro Esposito and a bando player, joined the Orchestra too, but it's unclear when and for how long. The timeline of the events suggests that neither Rizzutti nor Vaccaro were with Fresedo when he appeared at the Paramount Theater on April 22, at a showing of Ivan Petrovich’s film Le Tsarevitch. This German film, based on the Franz Lehar operetta of the same name, was silent, and Fresedo provided the orchestral accompaniment. A Fox Movietone talkie preceded the main show, punctuating the passing of the Silent Film Era.
The Cafe des Ambassadeurs was a storied place as old as the idea of the concert-hall itself. Over the decades it underwent several transformations. Following Josephine Baker's arrival in France, and since 1926, impresario Edmond Sayag ("the Florenz Ziegfeld of Paris") staged a series of revues at the Ambassadeurs that propelled the American Jazz craze.
Also amongst the performers were Roberto Medrano and Donna Landwehr, better known as the dance couple “Medrano and Donna”. Fresedo knew Medrano since his first trip to New York in 1920.
Bandoneon: Osvaldo Fresedo - Juan Salvatore - Carlos Esposito
On May 30, Famá was spotted in Paris, sans Fresedo, singing at Chez Les Borgia on rue Laferrière. Lucienne Boyer, the famous French singer, sang in this cabaret regularly, and had visited Buenos Aires the previous October. Little else is known about Famá's whereabouts that Summer, he resurfaced in October singing for the Orquesta Típica Victor in Buenos Aires.
1. Fresedo told Zucchi: "This is from 1928, when the boys left me in Paris; I stayed and went to Paramount. Here is Nicolas Vaccaro, the pianist I made travel from the orchestra I had at the Casino Pigall. This is Juan Salvatore, bandoneon, this Carlos Esposito, also bandoneon, who was the brother of Tano Genaro Esposito, then Jose Lorito, violin, and Jean Koller, also violin, who had stayed in Paris with me. The others are French musicians. This cast played in the fabulous Ambassadeurs, where they spent four months, from which they went to Belgium in order to make the Summer season in the sophisticated beaches of Ostend, performing in the exclusive dances of the Casino Kursaal in the illuminated Belgian city”. It's almost certain he was talking about the same picture.
4. Fresedo barely mentioned his double-bass, the always reliable Humberto Costanzo. The evidence shows that he did not go to New York either, but we don't know how or when exactly he returned to Buenos Aires. Soon after, Costanzo formed a Sextet with Rizzutti. Fresedo's parting with his musicians seems to have occurred under amicable terms, as several rejoined his new Orchestra in the 1930s.
5. Fresedo also told Zucchi that the Baron de Rothschild asked him to play in a private reception behind the curtains, something that outraged Fresedo who demanded visibility. We couldn't find evidence about this event (yet).
1. Pablo Darío Taboada for contributing the picture of the telegram, and the picture of the Orchestra at the Ambassadeurs. Pablo is the main force behind Investigación Tango.
2. Camilo Gatica and Mark-John as usual
1. Anita Turón has an excellent blog that tells in great detail what the nights of Gardel in Paris were like
She did a deep-dive into the Bal de Petit Lit Blancs that is mandatory reading
She also wrote an excellent piece on Gardel's nights at the Emprire
She even covered Gardel in the Cote d'Azur
2. Jazz Age Club is an incredible source for material about the famous Jazz Clubs of the roaring 20s
To my brother Jean