Mario Safier

hen reading the Clarín newspaper I found an interesting article by Héctor Negro about maestro Raúl Garello that said that he was born in the city of Chacabuco, province of Buenos Aires. It also said that with the passing of time, with his presence, contemporary tango evidenced one of the most important contributions to what is considered the generation of “post-Piazzolla” musicians.

I completely agree with this concept because, as it is widely known, Astor meant a turning point between the sound of the forties and the present tango; there is a time before and a time after him in the music of Buenos Aires. Garello is a happy consequence of this process.

He arrived in Buenos Aires from his hometown, with the experience of having played in different local groups.

He immediately joined staff orchestra of Radio Belgrano in which he met Leopoldo Federico, whom he later replaced in the quartet led by Roberto Firpo (Jr.).

He played in different aggregations accompanying prestigious singers of the period and recorded with Roberto Pansera.

Alongside the bandoneon players Alfredo de Franco and Osvaldo Piro he joined the accompanying outfit for Alberto Morán. The following year he led the orchestra that backed the above-mentioned singer.

Soon thereafter his most fruitful and relevant “tenure” took place: he joined the Aníbal Troilo Orchestra as bandoneon player. This stage would highly influence his style and personality.

His early works as orchestra arranger were made in 1966: Agustín Bardi’s “La guiñada” for the Baffa-Berlingieri Orchestra and Juan Carlos Cobián’s “Los mareados” for Pichuco’s orquesta. In the latter he stayed as arranger and bandoneon player until the leader’s demise in 1975.

It is worthwhile to emphasize the way Garello reached the rank of “staff” arranger for Troilo. The latter was about to start a series of recordings with his orchestra in the RCA-Victor studios, when somebody made him hear a brand-new record by his former vocalist Roberto Goyeneche. “Pichuco” was nicely struck by the sound of the orchestra that accompanied the “Polaco” and asked who was the one responsible for the orchestration. When he was answered that Raúl Garello was, he asked: «The same one that plays with me?». When they ratified this to him, Troilo asked Garello if he dared to write some arrangement for his unit. So in 1967 he began the first of these tasks with an instrumental version of “Los Mareados” that later would be included in the volume 2 of “Troilo for Export”.

Since then Garello started to arrange the whole book of “Pichuco”, except the Julián Plaza’s numbers that continued being arranged by the latter. In an interview made on a radio station, Garello said that rather than an arranger he considered himself an instrumentator, since the real arranger was “Pichuco” who approved of or rejected what he wrote.

Since 1965, already as leader, he appeared and recorded along outstanding soloists: Roberto Goyeneche, Rubén Juárez, Floreal Ruiz, Roberto Rufino, Eladia Blázquez, Edmundo Rivero, the Spaniard Dyango and Susana Rinaldi. The records of Victor label credit his work under the name “Orquesta Típica Porteña”. He as well wrote for the orchestras led by Enrique Francini and Leopoldo Federico.

In 1974 he made his debut with his first group, a sextet, at “El viejo almacén” of San Telmo whose owner was the great singer Edmundo Rivero.

In 1977 he began a remarkable series of four records with his orchestra enhanced by 27 players performing his own instrumental compositions: “Che Buenos Aires” (previously premiered by the Troilo Orchestra in 1969), “Verdenuevo”, “Margarita de agosto”, “Muñeca de marzo”, “Pequeña Martina”, “Bien al mango", “Vaciar la copa”, “Aves del mismo plumaje”, “Che Pichín” and “Pasajeros del tiempo”.

At this stage also a great number of songs written by him were released. Among them we have “Dice una guitarra”, which has a magnifi