Jorge Waisburd

ccording to the information in this planet, Mingo was born in Buenos Aires and according to the memory of our pain, he passed away before he was 46 years old.

A sort of unique, irreplaceable link between Aníbal Troilo and Astor Piazzolla, his bandoneon and his imprint are clearly singled out among the rest of his peers.

The great Leopoldo Federico told me something like what follows: «All the inspiration of my trio is indebted to Mingo. He paved the road». Because since his first group —the Buenos Aires Trío—, up to the progressive Trío Contemporáneo —that he put together for the first time in 1967 and which he renewed several times—, he always had an original, modern, recognizable and irresistible sound.

Mingo used to write and play as if someone from above was dictating to him what to play. When I told him that, as soon as we met, he looked at me with his transparent eyes, his frank smile like the one of a child and with his little small voice that even today I still hear he wittily asked me: «¿Se nota?»

Profoundly believer, surprisingly humble, with a unlimited sensitiveness, Mingo was a Man and a high Artist. He was capable of enjoying and suffering like no one else I’ve seen before. And as well loving, playing and writing.

His debut was at the La Botica del Ángel, at age 20, just he and his bandoneon. And there he was showcased —unintentionally—, for several seasons. He appeared for a long tenure at the El Viejo Almacén during Edmundo Rivero’s kingdom. And he was requested to be member of the orchestras of Osvaldo Piro, José Colángelo, Carlos García and the one led by his teacher Julio Ahumada. He fronted his own Octet, his Orchestra and his Trio, of course.

He accompanied Ruth Durante, Roberto Goyeneche, María Eugenia Darré, Olivia Molina, Graciela Susana, Inés Miguens and, among many others, his friends Carlos Barral, Daniel Río Lobos, Gabriel Reynal, Carlos Varela, Guillermo Fernández, Guillermo Galvé...

He had the extraordinary virtue of providing with his bandoneon the exact framework that tango needed, but at the same time remaining unnoticed, placing the accompaniment in a way that highlighted the vocalist, or, in other words, placing Music in the service of Poetry.

A unique case: once by request of a recording company and with the express authorization of the Great Astor, he replaced Piazzolla playing bandoneon on some tracks.

He traveled all over the world, always carrying his cage. Canada, Japan, Germany, France, etc. There are videos which feature him appearing on the TV of many of those countries. There are records of the Trío Contemporáneo published in Germany, in Japan, in France. It is hard to find them here.

His next-to-last time he appeared before a big audience at the La Noche de los Fueyes (Evening of the Bandoneons), closing night of the tango summit La Cumbre del Tango, in September 1992. And the last time, it was almost like a game... On a Sunday Mingo was at my place when Adriana Varela arrived. They had never met before. Among sips of mate and stories they started to play together. Two hours later we were improvising a recital in La Paz. People began to crowd the venue. Finally the Corrientes Avenue had to be cut. I keep that recording as a gem. Before a month’s time a ferocious pernicious anemia killed Mingo in 5 days.

He left written a handful of tangos. Some of them with lyrics by Héctor Negro, others in collaboration with Roberto Díaz [b] (both poets dedicated to him exquisite poems), with María Eugenia Darré, with Carlos Barral, with Eugenio Majul, etc. His last tango was to be named “The Big Bang”, and the lyrics was mine. But another Big Bang came and the tango resulted unfinished.

Later I wrote a tango (“El ángel azul”) (The Blue Angel) for him, which will never have a music.

Mingo had a son and a daughter whom he adored. And also dear friends like como Natalio Etchegaray, Julio Pane, Saúl Cosentino, Raúl Luzzi, Yoshinori Yoneyama, Leopoldo Federico, Gloria and Rodolfo Dinzel, Jorge Göttling, Héctor Negro and many more.

José Gobello, Roberto Selles and others had expressed words with profound admiration and affection dedicated to him. The obituary by Jorge Göttling was a work of art, deeply touching.

His friends, my family, my dogs and my plants miss his Love and his care. And I miss his bandoneon, also.