ur beloved Francisco Fiorentino was going adrift when he decided to cross the river and drop anchor on the opposite bank, more precisely in Montevideo, by the time the brand-new orchestra fronted by Edgardo Pedroza and José Adolfo Puglia, two young but experienced musicians, was appearing. It was the last orchestra that Fiore joined and, with it he cut his last three recordings. Thereafter and up to the time of his death he went on appearing as soloist singer wherever he was requested. His name still was strong.
The numbers recorded in November 1951 were: “Malena”, “Íntimo” (waltz by Fiorentino himself and Antonio Cantó) and “Letra de tango” (by Federico Silva). The following year the bandleaders were boastful when they included another great, Julio Martel, but then in complete decline despite he was still young. (Julio himself admitted it to me in a private chat). The new member committed to record the tango “Nacional” which was written by the orchestra leaders as homage to the famous soccer club of Montevideo.
Edgardo Pedroza, bandoneonist, leader and composer, was born in Carmelo, Uruguay, in 1926. His father was his first music teacher. He studied guitar and, at age thirteen, he started to appear in public and collect his early bucks. At age sixteen he was in a trio with Horacio Salgán and Manlio Francia to back up the female Singer Carmen Duval, by that time, wife of the famous pianist. After that he left his hometown and settled in Montevideo.
He joined several groups and, in 1945, he had his own aggregation. Later, as lead bandoneon and arranger, he joined the outfit of the pianist Hugo Di Carlo to accompany the singer Luis Alberto Fleitas. He composed “Flor amarga”, “A Horacio Salgán”, “A Osmar Maderna”, “A Francini-Pontier”, “Mosquita”, “Nocturno campero”. For many years he devoted himself to teach bandoneon playing. He died after a long illness on November 29, 2000.
José Adolfo Puglia, pianist, leader and composer, was born on June 16, 1921 in Montevideo, in the neighborhood El Cordón. He began to study music when he was a child. When he was twenty he put together his first group: a quintet to play in the evenings at the Café Vaccaro. He was also musician in theater shows and had a busy career until he met his partner Pedroza. He died on October 31, 2009.
When Puglia and Pedroza teamed up, they appeared at all the important venues of their time and made tours of Brazil and Argentina. When the hard times for orchestras came they became a trio by including the guitar player Alfredo Piñón. A local presenter said the following phrases in connection with the orchestra: «They were one of the most outstanding figures in tango for the second half of the twentieth century in Uruguay. Their style had a high musical level, with a very special sound of their own and a notable good taste that combined technical dexterity with excellent arrangements. The aggregation remained, only with Puglia in the latter years, until 2003. A large number of vocalists passed through the ranks of the orchestra, for example: Marylín Devita, Luis Luján, Washington Rodríguez, the Argentine Bruno Dandó, Fleitas, Oscar Nelson, Roberto Muro, Carlos Castelar, Angela Mor and many others.
«In 1951 was their debut with a septet in a ball at the Parque Hotel. The first vocalist was Oscar Nelson. They had a ten-year tenure on Radio Carve, several seasons at the boite Embassy and at venues of the highest level. With the trio they often appeared on radio and television channels.
«As from the eighties the appearances were less frequent. One important one was in 1994 for a recital at the Brunet salon. Two others were in 1999 and in May 2000. A compact disc with a compilation of old and new recordings and a video shot from a television show were their last releases.»
As a finale, I quote a last commentary included on the cover of the record above mentioned that describes the style of the aggregation: «Always faithful to their style which was the one corresponding to good tango, evolved but without excesses, with a balance in its musical treatment with the logical changes that the passing of time demands but always respectful of the original melody and rhythm».