Néstor Pinsón

e was born in Buenos Aires. The bandoneonist Vicente Demarco, who was my music teacher in the secondary school called him «El poeta del piano» (The piano poet). In the mid- 1940s the first stage of the Cantando magazine was in circulation. It included a songbook by different authors and articles, several of them about the subject. One of them, which was published for a long time, was titled «¿Quién me quita lo bailado?» (Who will deprive me of what I’ve already danced [enjoyed], was signed by Demarco.

In one of those articles he released a chat with Scalise in which the latter had told him that since he was seven he used to walk several blocks to get to the house of his music teacher, Agustín González Pinto, who had the illusion of making of him a concert player but the kid, when he was eleven, one day turned up with a tango he had precociously composed: “Rosa de fuego [b]” (with the same name as the one written by Manuel Jovés). He spent his time at home, among friends and relatives, playing that tango and Chopin’s waltzes. So the idea of putting together a little infantile orchestra to play in the neighborhood was put forward.

The idea came true and they agreed that, in case they would collect some money, it would work as a cooperative. They were hired by the Café La Sonámbula and they got 187 pesos with 70 cents each. Furthermore, as they had to play until midnight, somebody who was responsible had to take him back home. This requisite was imposed by his father. The young player appeared wearing short trousers and knee-high socks.

His dexterity and youth allowed him to be constantly required. We can mention that he appeared with a trio that played tango and jazz on the stage of the Capitolio movie theater, on Avenida Rivadavia in the neighborhood of Liniers, close to another movie theater, the Edison. And he alternated it with appearances on LOY Radio Nacional, Flores station, forerunner of LR3 Radio Belgrano. The art director was the pioneer in that labor, Pablo Osvaldo Valle, who made them coffee and gave them a voucher for one peso each, for allowances, to exchange in a shop which sold radio receivers on Entre Ríos Avenue.

He was playing with Anselmo Aieta at the Café Germinal when Pedro Maffia summoned him. The audition was exhaustive but successful, and so he was accepted to join a new lineup of that orchestra. Besides the leader, the members were: Gabriel Clausi, Alejandro Junnissi, Antonio Rodio, Emilio Puglisi, José Abati, Nerón Ferrazzano, Francisco De Lorenzo and the refrain singer Fiorentino. Lalo alternated his piano playing with José Pascual. It was in 1930 and his tenure was until 1933. Among the numerous appearances were the ones at the Cine Hindú on Lavalle Street and the recordings for the Columbia label stand out.

Lalo attracted the public’s attention due to his ductility and it is worthwhile mentioning his work in “Loca bohemia”, the beautiful masterpiece composed by Francisco De Caro. One of his last appearances with Maffia was at a contest for orchestras held at the Luna Park. Then, besides the leader, the personnel was: Gabriel Clausi, Roberto Dolard and Juan Liguori (bandoneons), Antonio Rodio, Pablo de Martino and Juan José Gallastegui (violins), Lalo (piano), and Francisco De Lorenzo (string bass).

He finished his first stage with Maffia and the time came, towards the late 1933, to back up the female singer Tania on Radio Prieto. And he continued with her and, of course with Enrique Santos Díscépolo, when the latter decided to make a tour of Europe where he formed an orchestra with several musicians of the countries they visited. They were in Morocco, Spain, Portugal and Paris. On their comeback, their last stop was in Rio de Janeiro to appear at the famous Casino Da Urca. The tour ended in 1936.

As curious information we know that their friendship made that Scalise were the musician who wrote the largest numbers of songs in the music staff for Discepolín because the latter had difficulties in that respect; others were Carlos Di Sarli and Aníbal Troilo. Lalo was appearing with Maffia at the Tibidabo, on Corrientes 1244, and his friend used to visit him with his new things. As a joke, Lalo used to say that his friend did not appreciate that because when he began to write he asked him to stay with him and while he was working he never stopped talking and having whisky, and was overwhelming and so he said: «I could have signed in collaboration several of his creations, he only cared about having a friend nearby».

In 1937 he put together a quartet with Enrique Rodríguez and Gabriel Clausi (bandoneons), Antonio Rodio (violin) and Lalo on piano. He also organized an orchestra for appearances in Punta del Este (Uruguay) in which the bandoneonist Roberto Pansera made his debut. Time later he recommended the latter to Osvaldo Fresedo. And he also joined the latter orchestra to replace José María Rizzuti.

With Fresedo he carried out a style with embellishments and melody played in octaves, an innovation of his which became fashionable in the orchestras. When he split with that orchestra looking for new paths he was replaced by Emilio Barbato. But his new movement was joining again Pedro Maffia to appear at the Tibidabo. He also played in another group formed by Juan Carlos Cobián to play at the Cabaret Empire and, in 1945, again with Maffia on LR1 Radio El Mundo. The regular lineup of that period was: Maffia, Alfredo Cordisco, Pascual Mamone and Torterolo (bandoneons), Elvino Vardaro, Ríspoli, Bautista Huerta and Pedro Sapochnik (violins), Enrique Marchetto (double bass) and Lalo on piano.

From 1949 to 1951 he had another tenure with Fresedo. He was in charge of the EMBA music publishing company which operated in an office of one of the buildings on Paraná and Lavalle. He continued his work in our country and, finally, he made a tour of South America and settled in Venezuela where he passed away in the city of Caracas.

In his aspect as composer we can highlight the numbers that the Fresedo orchestra recorded: “Buscándote”, with Ricardo Ruiz on vocals (December 30, 1941); “Firulete”, instrumental (November 16, 1939), “Déjame soñar”, with Armando Garrido (May 31, 1951); “Vida querida” with Ricardo Ruiz (May 10, 1940).

Maffia committed to record: “Cabecita de azabache”, instrumental (1930); also “En tinieblas” in collaboration with the lyricists José María Contursi and Francisco García Jiménez; “Nada más que amor” with García Jiménez; “Un reproche” (music and lyrics) recorded by the Orquesta Discépolo with Tania on vocals (February 1, 1937).