Jorge Palacio (Faruk)

ith an achieved recognition for his work, the musician expressed the following concept: «The way that I used to shape my personal artistry is based on the three essential elements of music: melody, harmony and rhythm. The melody in my charts must be clear, like it was conceived by its composer, it must not be distorted. When dealing with harmony every arranger has to introduce his ability and the knowledge he has. Even though chords are always the same they have to be handled in a new manner, with a different color. As for rhythm, tango was born as a danceable music and so it must continue».

He was born in Buenos Aires, in Parque Centenario, to a middle class family that lived with financial problems. Music was already at home because his father played violin and his uncles played bandoneon. They were the Caggiano brothers. Among them, the elder one, Américo, stood out. The latter played in the Miguel Caló’s and Enrique Santos Discépolo’s orchestras, among others. He also backed Tania in her tour of Mexico and there he run, with other partners, the famous venue El Patio.

He was seven when his father began to teach him the elements of music reading. But as the kid learned fast he was sent to the conservatory headed by professor Furzi, a violinist of the staff orchestra of the Teatro Colón. His father bought a violin for him but his interest was focused on bandoneon. When Caggiano went abroad he began to study with Calixto Sayago, then member of the Radio El Mundo orchestra.

Around age twelve as he already evidenced an ability to play the instrument he joined the successful infantile group called La Pandilla Marylín that daily was aired on the radio.

But again his father intervened because he thought that his son ought to have experience playing in orchestras and made him join several groups of the neighborhood. One of them was the Orquesta Típica Maipo led by Miguel Ángel Giordano. In it an older player taught him all the licks of the bandoneon. At age fourteen he joined the orchestra fronted by Emilio Balcarce who later had a strong influence on him. He then began to be deeply interested in arranging. His charts were written out of intuition but he decided he had to study harmony, counterpoint and orchestration.

By that time he was much sought after by the orchestras that played at cafés and cabarets. He passed through the ranks of the groups led by Alberto Pugliese, Antonio Arcieri, Antonio Rodio, Raúl Kaplún, Alfredo Calabró and others less known. But soon he was recommended to join the Elvino Vardaro Orchestra.

In 1952 he led his own orchestra and debuted on Radio Libertad where he stayed around two years. At the same time he appeared in numerous neighborhood clubs. In 1957 the vocalists Alberto Echagüe and Armando Laborde split with Juan D'Arienzo. They wanted to have their own aggregation and summoned Di Paulo to work as leader and arranger. The debut took place at the Richmond tearoom on Suipacha Street, and with them he recorded his first disc. Only four numbers were cut: “Soy varón” and “Nosotros” with Echagüe on vocals, and “Andate por Dios” and “La calesita” with Laborde as vocalist.

Thereafter he was summoned to accompany Alberto Marino. They appeared at tearooms and on the TV channel 7 and recorded for the Victor label. But the surprising thing is the inclusion of eight strings. The chosen numbers were “Telón” and “La calle sin sueño”. By chance during those recordings the well-known bandleader Xavier Cugat was in the studio because he was on a world tour and then he was appearing in our country. He had asked the Victor company for a tango orchestra and an arranger to blend them with his aggregation and take back four tango pieces to the United States for a record of Latin music that he was producing. He had already listened to the orchestras led by D’Arienzo, Piazzolla and Troilo. But Di Paulo’s was his choice because he had liked how he had treated the strings. As a consequence of this recognition the recording company released a long-playing record in 1961: Alberto Di Paulo, su bandoneón y su orquesta that contained 12 numbers. It was simultaneously published in all the Latin American countries and even in Japan.

He appeared, always on channel 7 in the programs: Buenas Noches Soy el Tango, La Escala Musical and many others. In 1966 he wrote the charts and conducted the orchestra of the successful release 14 para el tango”, an idea of Ben Molar for his label, Fermata. It was published on November 17, that year. Because it turned out a cashbox hit, Ben Molar called him again to record Los de siempre with tangos by Cátulo Castillo, Celedonio Flores, Pedro Laurenz, Francisco De Caro. And almost immediately they released a new album: Catorce de Cobián y Cadícamo, recorded by Di Paulo with an octet.

Later he switched to Music Hall to arrange and conduct the orchestra that backed Alberto Podestá. From 1972 to 1982 he recorded for the Magenta label.

Between 1973 and 1974 he cut a new recording: El sonido de Alberto Di Paulo. The musicians were José Colángelo, Mario Abramovich, Alberto Del Bagno, Aquiles Roggero, Enri Balestro, Adriano Fanelli and Antonio Pagano. The singers: Osvaldo Arana and Carlos Cristal.

In 1982 he was part of an important production of the Reader’s Digest magazine. Three years later he presented a series of famous American songs arranged to a tango beat, such as: “Rhapsody in Blue”, “Begin The Beguine”, “Stardust”, “The man I Love”, “Moonlight Serenade”, among others.

He as well backed all the singers that recorded for the Magenta label. Simultaneously he continued with his job as musical advisor for the new albums published by the Selecciones magazine (Reader’s Digest).

He made tours of the South American countries, he went to Spain and, of course, he appeared in Japan.

As a composer his oeuvre is large. It is worthwhile to mention: “Mi bandoneón está triste” that he wrote the same day Aníbal Troilo died and he played it as a bandoneon solo.