Héctor López
| Néstor Pinsón

e was born in Ituzaingó, province of Buenos Aires, a few kilometers from the Federal Capital. Her aunt Felipa was who introduced him to the first secrets of violin. He furthered his studies with maestro Marcos Sadovsky. His fellow students were Raúl Kaplún, Mauricio Mise and Jacobo Dojman. When he was a professional he attended a course by José María Ramos Mejía.

Through his violin bow he always offered a clear tango expression. His sound was somewhat mellow and, at the same time, with a long vibrato alla Vardaro and cadences that flowed with a twangy weeping alla De Caro. And Tierrita then managed to free his identity, the same one that for over thirty years contributed moods in the string section he led in the Carlos Di Sarli orchestra. They together achieved that colorful, expressive, precise unit so that we can always identify the orchestral touch, the style of the group headed by the maestro from Bahía Blanca.

He was a man with a criollo-like face, light brown skin and rather thick lips. When he was not onstage, he loosened his muscles and he turned out a character with sharp humor to make comments on the spur of the moment and to play on his violin any popular melody, whether a tango, a zamba or an international romantic tune. So he was able to be appraised also in his rehearsals prior to any performance when he paid special attention to the fluency of his fingers, the intonation (which always was perfect) and, above all, he was interested in the warm sound expression.

He began in 1924, at the Café Marinoli, with a quartet led by a pianist named Famá. In 1925 he made his debut on radio with the group fronted by Adolfo Pérez, on one of the pioneering stations: LOY Radio Nacional Estación Flores located on Boyacá Street. In 1927 he was with José Servidio at the Café Nacional.

On October 20, 1929 he debuted with the sextet led by Carlos Di Sarli. He never split with the latter save for complying, in his free time, with some other engagements we shall try to remember below. When he joined the sextet, it was lined up as follows: César Ginzo and Tito Landó (bandoneons), Guisado and Héctor Lefalle (violins), Domingo Capurro (string bass) and Di Sarli (piano). Its first recording was on October 28: “Che bacana”.

In 1933 he was member of a quintet that accompanied the singer Roberto Arrieta. The following year he joined the Andrés Falgás trio that backed up the leader’s singing on Radio Stentor. In 1935 there was an uprising in the Di Sarli orchestra and the leader withdrew from music for some time. With Ricardo Canataro on piano the Orquesta Típica Novel was put together and Tierrita was its member.

In 1936 he joined the aggregation fronted by Miguel Padula that used to appear on Radio Belgrano. The Orquesta Novel invited Di Sarli to join them but only as instrumentalist. But naturally, the composer of “Milonguero viejo (Fresedo)” was soon appointed leader of the aggregation and, in 1940, he put together a new orchestra that he dismembered in 1948 and that later reorganized in 1951.

In 1947, Roberto Guisado was in the violin section of the Héctor Artola orchestra that appeared on Radio Splendid with the vocalists Ruth Durante and Carlos Yanel (Siro San Román). In 1950 he played with Florindo Sassone; in 1951, with Joaquín Do Reyes at the Cabaret Empire. In 1956 he split with Di Sarli —because all his musicians left him— and joined the brand-new aggregation Los Señores del Tango. They appeared on Radio Belgrano. But he joined the leader again and stayed beside him up to his last line-up in 1958.

After don Carlos’s death he was member of the Cuarteto Los Porteñitos and recorded several long-playing records for Philips. In 1962 he joined the Enrique Alessio’s group for the recording of an album by José Berón for Odeon. On November 24, that year he traveled to Japan with Sassone on a twenty-day tour.

One year later he headed the violin section of Joaquín Do Reyes to play on Radio El Mundo and for some recordings. He also recorded in 1965 with Mario Demarco and in 1968 appeared and recorded on TV Channel 7 with the Octeto Marabú. Thereafter he appeared at the well-remembered Caño 14.

In 1970, he joined the quintet put together by Artola to back up the vocalist Héctor Ortiz. He played in the Miguel Nijensohn orchestra and recorded for the Chopin label and, in 1972, was member of the quartet that accompanied Blanca Mooney at the Caño 14. He played as additional violinist in recordings by the Osvaldo Fresedo and the José Basso orchestras.

As composer, among other numbers, these stand out: “Tres veces” —with words by Hipólito Oneca—, “Mimito”, “Camino de la iglesia” (waltz) —with Roberto Fermín Torres—, “Nuestro sueño” —with Julio Camilloni— and “El mangrullo” with Felipe Villa.

Nélida Rouchetto tells us about her experience, as from 1969, when Guisado was at the Caño 14 along with Héctor Stamponi (piano), Atilio Del Corral (bandoneon) and Fernando Romano (double bass): «I used to go there every week but very early, at 10 pm, when there was almost nobody there and I was able to listen to the best tango pieces while seated on the first row and asking them the tangos of my choice that they played by heart, without written music. “Romance y tango” (Stamponi), “Pensativo” (Máximo Mori), “El mangrullo”, “Gallo ciego” arranged by Mario Demarco, “La cachila”. Sometimes he added “Mi changuito”. Then the public began to arrive but they kept on talking in a loud voice and paid no attention to the music. Then the four players, who had previously agreed upon it, ignored my requests and started to play “El amanecer”, which was a code among us, and the audience began to be silent but not due to the music but because Guisado, cunningly, in the section where the singing of birds is emulated and while keeping close to the melody, played with the bow the squawking singing of the “Bicho feo” and repeated it three times. After that Guisado or Stamponi used to tell me: «Don’t ask for more ‘cause the fools have arrived and I, then, was already hurrying out along the carpeted staircase that led to the street».