Ricardo García Blaya

he group headed by Enrique Mora is an archetype of the tango quartets that appeared after the 30s with the same style and traditional trend that opened maestro Roberto Firpo.

Because of that we can place him within the second generation of musicians that picked up that instrumental setting such as the Cuarteto Los Ases and later, the ones fronted by Juan Cambareri, Aníbal Troilo with Roberto Grela and the Cuarteto del Centenario led by Eduardo Valle.

The previous generation can be found at the beginning of the second decade of the twentieth century. The pioneers were the Cuarteto Pacho led by Juan Maglio and soon later the ones fronted by Eduardo Arolas, by Celestino Ferrer, by José Arturo Severino and by Vicente Loduca, among some of the outfits with similar features.

A strict respect for the melodic line, a stressed beat, regular beats and, above all, a clear piano with crystaline sound and driving push that are the trademark of his group, ideal for dancers.

He was born in Buenos Aires, in the neighborhood of Mataderos. When he was a teenager he appeared on the radio as member of the orchestra led by the bandoneon player Julián Divasto, composer of the waltz “Para las chicas” which was recorded by the Firpo quartet in 1942.

Between the late 1932 and 1933, he played at many venues and with several aggregations like the ones of Florindo Sassone, Anselmo Aieta, Juan Canaro, Vicente Fiorentino and also he joined the Orquesta Típica Columbia which was led by Alberto Castellanos.

In 1935, he put together his first quartet which he led at the popular radio show Las Matinés de Juan Manuel. Thereafter and for a short time he formed an orchestra when he signed with Radio Belgrano and Radio El Mundo.

He played at neighborhood locals and at the best cafés and venues in Buenos Aires. His outstanding appearances were at the Tango Bar on Corrientes Street and at the Munich of Boedo and San Juan.

His aggregation always included great instrumentalists like the bandoneon players Osvaldo Ruggiero, Máximo Mori, Daniel Lomuto, Luciano Leocata and Alfredo Calabró.

He arrived at the recording studios in April 1950 when he cut two tracks for the Pampa label: “La canción del linyera”, a piece by Antonio Lozzi and Ivo Pelay recorded as a waltz with Alberto Legrán on vocals and the instrumental “La sonámbula” composed by Pascual Cardarópoli.

Between 1950 and 1959 his recordings for Pampa were seventy, among them the ones which stand out are his tango “El catedrático” (1951) and his waltz “Paisaje azul”, the latter in collaboration with Osvaldo Lombardero and Rogelio Araya (1954), both instrumentals. Also: “Andate con la otra” with Amanda Vidal on vocals; “Almagro” with the singer Pedro De Luca; “Tango argentino” with Diana Durán; “Romántica” with Roberto Campos; “Fumando espero” and “La muchacha del circo” with Elsa Moreno and “Mascotita de marfil” with Roberto Taibo.

He made a large number of tours throughout our country and went on with his career in the city of Mar del Plata where he settled. In 1976 he accompanied the singer Alberto Arenas in two numbers for the TK label: “La última copa” and “Sentimiento gaucho”. The latter were the only two recordings of this singer outside the Francisco Canaro orchestra.

Besides the above, the following singers were in his quartet: Carlos Reyes, Elena Maida, Hugo Roca, Eduardo Márquez, Alberto Tagle, Roberto Videla, Martín Podestá, Horacio Deval, and quite probably there were others that I don’t remember.

Out of his tangos, the best known is “No fue batidor” that he recorded with Roberto Campos. Also belong to him: “Así era mi barrio”, “Crucificado” and “Testamento de un curda”, all with words by Rodolfo Palacios (Walter Chiodini’s pen name) and “Este es tu tango”, with words by Reinaldo Yiso, recorded in 1945 by Ricardo Tanturi with Roberto Videla and by Enrique Rodríguez with Armando Moreno.

He was, undoubtedly, a great musician that, like many artists, today is absolutely ignored by the broadcasters of the genre. However, we can still hear him by listening his recordings that, fortunately, are many and were well recorded.