Horacio Loriente

e was born in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of El Once. His parents were Saverio Polito and Isabel Romano. His brothers -Antonio who had a facility with piano, bandoneon and guitar; Pedro, a bandoneonist with a long career, especially in Europe; and Salvador, a violinist- belonged to a family of outstanding musicians.

When he was a kid he entered the Conservatorio Fracassi as a student of violoncello; he later switched to piano. He gave up his studies in 1925 because of the death of his parents. One year later he made his debut at the Bar Domínguez as member of the Juan Maglio's famous orchestra in which he had a tenure of almost three years. His partners at that time were, Juan Maglio, Rafael Rossi and Nicolás Primiani (bandoneons); E. Bonis and Emilio Puglisi (violins) and Francisco De Lorenzo (double bass). The group was reinforced with Elvino Vardaro as featured lead violin.

In the mid- March 1928, he recorded for Odeon five tangos as soloist, which included only one number he had composed: “Se mira y no se toca”. None of that was commercially released and remained unpublished. He joined the Anselmo Aieta's orchestra appearing at the Germinal and Guaraní cafés, and on Radio Prieto as well. It was a sextet comprised by Anselmo Aieta and Luis Moresco (bandoneons); Dimas Lurbes, Zendra and Menéndez (violins) and Juan Polito (piano).

By the end of 1928, he formed his first orchestra, appearing at the Salón Imperio, Lavalle 708, with Juan G. Bracco and Luis Moresco (bandoneons)(the former was soon replaced by Alberto Benito Cima); Dimas Lurbes and S. Menéndez (violins).

When this group was dismembered, for the carnival season of 1929 at the Palais de Glace, the Polito-D'Arienzo orchestra was put together. It had a six-month tenure and worked at different venues. It was lined up with Juan Polito (piano); Ciriaco Ortiz, Nicolás Primiani and Florentino Ottaviano (bandoneons); Alfredo Mazzeo, Juan D'Arienzo and Luis Álvarez Cuervo (violins) and José Puglisi (double bass). Carlos Dante was on vocals as estribillista (refrain singer).

In 1930, he reappeared as orchestra leader heading a sextet that appeared at the Salón Imperio, comprised by Luis Moresco and Anselmo Esmella (bandoneons); Alberto Mercy and Remo Bernasconi (violins); Francisco Vitali (double bass) and Polito himself on piano.

In the mid- 1931, the Brunswick record Company entrusted Juan Polito the leadership of the Orquesta Típica Brunswick. A task previously carried out by Pedro Maffia. With this oufit he made no public performances, it was only for recordings. It was an excellent line-up comprised by Juan Polito (piano); Fernando and Ángel Martín, Armando Blasco and Félix Verdi (bandoneons); Salvador Polito, N. Salvador and Eugenio Nobile (violins) and Francisco De Lorenzo (double bass).

In 1937, he was member of a group called Los Magos del Tango, with Daniel Álvarez and Nicolás Pepe on bandoneons, Bernardo Sevilla, the only violin, and the singer Pedro Arrieta.

In July 1938, he joined the Juan D'Arienzo's orchestra, substituting for Rodolfo Biagi, until the carnivals of 1940 when he, with all the musicians and the singer Alberto Echagüe, split. During that period he had achieved smash hits with the tango “La bruja” with words by Francisco Gorrindo and “Castigo", a waltz with lyrics by Luis Rubistein. His debut, leading the players that previously belonged to D'Arienzo's aggregation, was on Radio Argentina. In January 1943 he was aired at the most heard hour on Radio Belgrano.

In 1950, with his orchestra he cut some records for the Pampa label containing all traditional numbers. Some years later he was summoned again by Juan D'Arienzo to replace Fulvio Salamanca, a pianist that had replaced him when he split with the orchestra in 1940. On May 8, 1957, with the recording of of the tango “Llegando a puerto”, written by Mario Demarco and Enrique Lary, he made a new debut alongside the composer of “El vino triste”. This tenure would last up to his definitive retirement.

As musician of D'Arienzo he appeared many times in Montevideo which allowed us to appreciate his artistic capabilities and his gifts of excellent person. We had with Juan Polito a nice friendship that allows us to shape this note in his memory with his first-hand data.

His first tango dates back to 1924 and it was entitled “Mano larga”. Hits of his fertile writing were: “Gurrumina”, with lines by Enrique Dizeo, “Volvé hermanita”, with lyric by Salvador Polito, “Entre sueños”, sharing the music with Anselmo Aieta and words by Francisco García Jiménez, the instrumentals “Se mira y no se toca” and “Responso malevo”, the milonga “Serenata” with lyrics by Luis Rubistein, “Quedó en venir a las nueve”, with words by Luis Caruso and “Fui”, with Juan Alberto Leiva.

With a less popular repercussion there are many titles released during his last period with D'Arienzo that we have not mentioned, among them: “La pista está que arde” (1968) and “Que cante Ignacio” (1971) which bore original lyrics by our well-remembered friend Avlis.

For all what was above said Juan Polito deserves this memory as an important figure of tango.