Donnerstag, 22. Februar 2024

Gardel in New York by Terig Tucci: Introduction


by Camilo Gatica and José Manuel Araque

We are pleased to announce our project's new production, a serial based on the book by Terig Tucci "Gardel in New York". Terig Tucci (1897-1973) was an Argentine violinist, composer and orchestra director that lived in New York since July 1923. In 1930 he was part of a trio with Andrés d'Aquila, and he worked for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) as an arranger. By 1933 Tucci was RCA Victor's executive producer of their lucrative Latin American music unit. 

In Tucci's telling, the idea to bring Gardel to New York came from violinists Hugo Mariani (Uruguay) and Remo Bolognini (Argentina). Mariani arrived in New York in 1920, and from 1925 through 1928 recorded with his own "Típica" for Gennett Records. Mariani was not only dedicated to Tango, instead his musical interests were quite eclectic, and since at least 1927 he was working on radio for the National Broadcasting Company's Blue Network. In 1929 he was conducting as many as 6 ensembles for NBC on WJZ Radio, and running the weekly program Tango Romántico (José Moriche regularly sang with Mariani that year). By 1932 Mariani had a second radio program, the "Symphonic Rhythm Makers", showcasing Latin-American music.

In 1932 Mariani approached Remo Bolognini to join his group on radio. Remo, the most important Argentine classical violinist of the era, was friends with Carlos Gardel. Remo first arrived in New York in 1927, and had recently returned from Belgium to serve as assistant concertmeister of the New York Philharmonic under Arturo Toscanini. In Summer 1933 Remo and Mariani Mariani. traveled to Argentina where they met Gardel in early July, and invited him to New York. Gardel was eager for work, specially in movies, and agreed to come. Before Remo and Mariani returned to New York they recorded with Gardel the vals Noches de Atenas, composed by Horacio Pettorossi. The pianist Alberto Castellano directed the small ensemble.

Gardel got his United States visa in order in early November. On November 6th he registered what would turn out to be his final recordings for Odeon: José Betinotti's vals Tu diagnóstico; Eduardo Pereyra and Enrique Cadícamo's tango Madame Ivonne; and the "estilo" El tirador plateado.

A drift of nostalgia infused that take of the estilo as it was precisely the first song Gardel commited to record a little over 20 years before. His trusted guitar accompanists (his "brooms") Guillermo Desiderio Barbieri, Ángel Domingo Riverol and Domingo Julio Vivas were in the studio that day, and Pettorossi was added to the ensemble, giving the recordings an even fuller presence to the guitars. After the session Gardel bid farewell to his "brooms", at least temporarily since they stayed in Buenos Aires.

Gardel left Buenos Aires for good on November 7 with Pettorossi and Castellano. In Paris they spent a mere month, Gardel mostly visited friends and met business contacts. His movie Luces de Buenos Aires was still running there, while in Madrid the movie Melodía de Arrabal was a hit since October, surely he was now focused on his movie career. And then he traveled to the US and stayed for more than a year in Gotham.

Tucci's book is divided in 88 chapters, which we will translate to English and publish one chapter at a time, there's no formal schedule. We will follow each chapter with annotations, hopefully enriching the text with fresh research.


Collier, Simon - Carlos Gardel: Su vida, su música, su época
Ariadna Ediciones, Plaza & Janés Editores, S.A. - 2003