Abel Palermo

bove all he was a prolific composer. His pieces have an exquisite melodic quality that transmit the feeling as if they had been thought to highlight the lyrics and, in that way, the showcasing of the vocalists.

He was born in the neighborhood of San Cristóbal in the city of Buenos Aires. When he was only 15 years old he made his debut as pianist alongside the flutist Vicente Pecci.

Later he would join several aggregations: the one led by José Arturo Severino in 1928, and the Juan Maglio Orchestra, the following year. In the 30s he passed through the ranks of the Ciriaco Ortiz orchestra, later with Anselmo Aieta and later with Pedro Maffia.

In 1936, on Enrique Santos Discépolo’s comeback from France, the leader summoned him for his orchestra. He appeared in most of the recordings made in 1937, with Tania on vocals, for RCA-Victor.

He got in touch with Agustín Magaldi and played as member of the accompaniment group in his discs and appearances, as well as working as his secretary and A&R manager until the death of the singer, on September 8, 1938. They were close friends.

He would continue with his activity backing Azucena Maizani, Tita Vidal, Adhelma Falcón, Oscar Alonso and playing with the Joaquín Do Reyes Orchestra. Parallely, he began to grow as composer, regrettably, Magaldi did not succeed in committing to record his pieces that were included in his songbook.

With the poet Alfredo Faustino Roldán he formed an interesting songwriting team. Among those numbers: “Tu pálido final”, a beautiful piece recorded by many artists which includes a memorable rendition by Edmundo Rivero with Aníbal Troilo in 1947. Aldo Campoamor’s rendering with Astor Piazzolla cut that same year is also quite beautiful.

Other good tangos: “En secreto”, with excellent recordings by Miguel Caló with Roberto Arrieta on vocals (1946) and Osvaldo Pugliese with Alberto Morán (1947); Osvaldo Fresedo recorded “Alas”, with the singer Ricardo Ruiz (1940) and “Camino”, with Carlos Mayel (1941); Hugo Del Carril, accompanied by guitars and introductory words by Julián Centeya, recorded “Guapo” (1942) and Pedro Laurenz, cut the instrumental “Poca suerte”.

Also the tangos: “Quién no tuvo un amor”, “Cuando estás en otros brazos”, “Llegarás amor”, “Hormiga negra”, “La piedra libre”, the milonga “Tango negro [b]” and “Viejo camino”, instrumental. The last four were committed to disc by the Sebastián Piana’s orchestra, between 1940 and 1944.

His last important work was made conducting his own orchestra to back up Azucena Maizani in two recordings: the tango “En esta soledad” and the milonga candombe “Liberata”.

In 1946 Aníbal Troilo recorded his instrumental tango “Bienvenida” that the composer with his orchestra recorded six years later.

As from 1946 he devoted to journalism —especially show business and tango airplay—, in several publications: Sintonía, El alma que canta and Cantando.

The tango “Bien jaileife” is undoubtedly his last hit. It was recorded by many artists, among them: Juan D'Arienzo with Alberto Echagüe on vocals, Alberto Mancione with the vocalist Héctor Alvarado, Miguel Caló with Carlos Almagro and Alberto Marino with his orchestra conducted by Toto Rodríguez.

Among other well-remembered numbers of his, we can mention: “Cuando seas mayorcito”, “Mi flor de noche”, “Petit salón” and “El tango es azul”.

Finally, it is important to single out his permanent contribution with the growth of the society of authors and composers (SADAIC). Since the time of its foundation and until his death he was always in the service of the institution with a spirit supportive toward his peers.