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Real name: Manzione, Osvaldo Ramón
Pianist, composer, leader and arranger
(31 August 1925 - 18 April 1976)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
SONGS IN THIS ARTICLE
Los cosos de al lao
ARTISTS IN THIS ARTICLE
Joaquín Do Reyes
Silvia Del Río
raduated in the Conservatorio Nacional de Música, he further studied firstly with maestro Eduardo Velisone, later, harmony with Athos Palma, Juan Carlos Paz, Gilardo Gilardi, Teodoro Fuchs, and piano with Ewin Erlich.
In the early forties Radio del Pueblo intended to have a staff orchestra. It did it for a couple of years. It featured, as pianist, a nearly teenager
who, later, would join —with no chronological order— the aggregations led by
, Miguel Zabala,
Joaquín Do Reyes
His first experience as orchestra leader dates back to 1949 and was brief. We remember his tenure at the Café Marzotto. Among the musicians that joined the orchestra were
, Antonio Rossi and the vocalists
. Thereafter he played folk music and formed the group Los Pregoneros along with the guitarists Neira, Vila and Castell.
As well he joined the orchestras led by
. With the latter he composed several pieces.
Between 1953 and 1955 he conducted the
’s orchestra, only for six recordings and intermittently, because the singer, during that period, was also accompanied by other outfits and by guitar groups.
In 1954 the most brilliant time of his career would come when he joined the
Orchestra to replace
. His tenure lasted until 1957. During that time he was the pianist for
in all the shows and recordings. He was featured in 29 recorded numbers. The first was the tango “
Los cosos de al lao
” written by
on vocals. The last was another tango: “
. His seat was occupied by
Between 1957 and 1959 he joined the
’s aggregation as substitute for the leader, only when the latter was unable to play due to unexpected reasons. About his tenure with this orchestra his statements were published in the
magazine (1975). This was the last interview before his demise. In it he talked praising the maestro. He said: «His was a pure tango orchestra focused on dancing but never giving up his harmonic subtleties. He was and he is a studious person, he is not self-taught, I have evidence of it. His technical capacity in music is beyond any doubt. As a composer he has written beautiful tangos, those known and an equal or even greater number of unknown compositions, because he created them and let them somewhere so that someone would discover them. I never saw him with a little piece of music under his arm trying to offer it. In his facet as composer he stood out rhythmically, but he was always a romantic. In all his compositions there are sections when this romantic aspect is perceived».
Throughout his career there is a search towards a different sound for
. When in 1959 he had his second experience as orchestra leader he chose
as lead bandoneon and arranger. We can find a testimony of this in a 78 rpm disc: “
”, composed by Rovira, in which the virtues of both musicians are evidenced in their complete magnitude. This is a beautiful tango piece, excellently performed in an arrangement by the composer which allows the showcasing of the strings while the piano marks the beat. In the final section, and quite briefly, piano and bandoneon are featured. On the B side of the record we have “
”, by Cobián and Cadícamo, with
on vocals. His voice is pleasant, with good intonation, quite suitable for sentimental themes, but with enough character to face stronger challenges.
In 1960 he put together the group Los Cuatro, with Rovira and the double bassist
, to back the female singer
Silvia Del Río
on some performances at different nightclubs and on television.
In that decade he definitively embraced the avant-garde of tango. On one occasion he said: «My musical inclination is towards the rhythmical swing. I like the music I play as long as it doesn’t spoil good sound. This is a time —he referred to the early 70s— when many musicians are unemployed and others, the ones who are valuable, have overwork, and this includes
who, with over forty years of popularity, built a chain that cannot be broken».
He was the pianist of the
Quinteto Nuevo Tango
, led by
between 1960 and 1962. Later, he again tried along with Rovira to form an ensemble, also avant-garde, that would allow greater freedom to his need of expression. It did not last long. He reunited with Piazzolla and his tenure with him was until 1965.
In 1966 he put together a trio with Rubén
Ruiz on electric guitar and Benigno Quintela on double bass. They recorded a long-playing record for the Microfón label. The liner notes said: «Pianist with technical proficiency and notable sensibility, he leads the trio with attractive piano solos and excellent counter lines with the guitar, achieving quite worthy harmonic ensembles». The vocalist for the songs was
, very sympathetic to the style of the group.
After working on his own for a time, a new and last return took place. It was in 1972, Astor summoned him for his nonet. «Tango urgently needs the birth of new figures. I believe in Piazzolla because of his vitality and creative strength. I dedicated to him my last piece. I titled it with his name».
Even though he participated in other attempts, he did not reached the due response. In the seventies the avant-garde tangos were dominated by Piazzolla, who had been already struggling for over a decade to impose his musical ideas.
He was a multiphasic artist, he delved into journalism, in poetry and he wrote some stories. «I’m not an actor because I have to study, but I put on my face».
From the interview in the
magazine (Nr. 455 of October 1971) from which I excerpted the commentaries by
I chose some sentences which are an example of his peculiar way of expression. Sometimes he evidences certain incoherence and others, a touch of humor: «It’s necessary to conceive something more than the mere performance of a music score... Buenos Aires today is represented, among poets, by Juan Gelman or
, but also needs others like Tejada Gómez or Jaime Dávalos. I don’t know how, at this time of subversive groups and abductions...
takes the risk, he is one of the few, in a popular level, who is dealing with esoteric matters. He is against those who make music with an atrophied mentality, those who you cannot talk with about anything at all. The latter represent the word
(he paraphrases the way Gardel pronounced the letter
) and they are those who still think that the writer of Medea is the same one of
(incorrect verb forms)».
He was not a prolific composer but he wrote very good pieces: “Simple”, “Furtiva”, “Tema para la tarde de viento”, “Quien”, “Rosal [b]”, “No bailes con otro”, “Tres rivales” and “
Tango Female singers