Abel Palermo

his notable musician, maybe unknown by many tango lovers, was born in the neighborhood of San Telmo, a southern area near the center of the city of Buenos Aires. He walked a long way in our tango history since the ‘40s until the ‘70s.

He began when he was a child to study bandoneon playing with Alejandro Scarpino, composer of “Canaro en París” and, time later, he had his early training on harmony with professor Roberto Pepe.

At age 14 he made his debut in the bandoneon section of the orchestra led by the composer of the notable tango “Color de rosa”, Antonio Polito.

In 1934, he was summoned by Ángel D'Agostino to join his tango group. He later joined the orchestral aggregations of Elvino Vardaro and, in 1939, that of Joaquín Mora, who was presenting his brand-new orchestra on Radio Prieto. On that occasion he played in the bandoneon section along with Alfredo Calabró and Benito Galván. The other members were the violinists Simón Broitman, Domingo Varela Conte and Armando Angeletti; on double bass Augusto Furchi and the leader on piano.

Thereafter he was called by the great maestro Pedro Laurenz, joining his orchestra from 1940 to 1944. As from this latter year he joined one of the most brilliant tango orchestras in the history of tango, Francini-Pontier. Together with the pianist Juan José Paz he was one of the strongholds of this aggregation.

In 1950, he split for a change and joined, as bandoneonist, the Alberto Mancione’s orchestra. Furthermore he was arranger of the group.

Those were times of continuous changes and the following year he joined the Florindo Sassone Orchestra for a tenure that lasted almost a year.

Sassone’s vocalist was Roberto Chanel who was willing to put together his own outfit. And so it happened, tempting Domínguez to be its director. The latter agreed and so they committed to record 6 numbers. The first, “Fatal y tanguera”, by Domínguez himself with lyrics by Ángel Queirolo, on June 21, 1954 and the last, “Plegaria al señor” by Norberto Ramos, Orlando Vera and Eduardo Rufino, on April 25, 1955. Chanel’s orchestra recorded 10 pieces, all for RCA-Victor, among them there are four instrumentals: “El embrollo” written by Esteban Gilardi, “Si sos brujo” by Emilio Balcarce, “Mal de amores” by Pedro Laurenz and “Pelele” by Pedro Maffia.

In the mid- 1955, Domínguez, now with the orchestra under his name, signed with the above mentioned record company. In this period he recorded: Julio De Caro’s “El monito”, Osvaldo Fresedo’s “Pimienta”, “No me hablen de ella” written by Ernesto Rossi and Jorge Moreira, with Alberto Rial on vocals, “Suerte loca” by Aieta and García Jiménez, “Porque te quiero así”, that he composed with lyrics by Luis Uncal, both with Carlos Almagro on vocals and, finally, “Mi madre y vos” written by Norberto Ramos and Jorge Moreira, again with the vocalist Alberto Rial.

He was associated to the Victor until 1959. It’s important to highlight the quality of the musicians that passed through the ranks of his orchestra, on bandoneons: Pastor Cores, Eduardo Otero, Marcelo Yupolo, Ángel Baya and Fichicaro; on violins: Mario Abramovich, Nathan Melman, Juan Bibiloni, Osvaldo Rodríguez, Enrique Tula Rodríguez, Jorge Buivydas; on cello: Finoli; Norberto Ramos on piano and Ricardo Pecci on double bass. All the arrangements were written by Ángel Domínguez. The main radio stations like Belgrano, El Mundo and Splendid, required this modern orchestra.

In 1963, the singer Armando Laborde invited him to lead his orchestra to record a disc for the Fénix label. Carlos Maidana and Miguel Montero did likewise in 1970.

As from 1964 he was hired by LR4 Radio Splendid, as conductor of the staff orchestra, lined-up, among other players, by Juan José Paz on piano, Tito Besprovan, Mauricio Mise and Carlos Arnaiz on violins and Armando Calderaro (Pajarito) and Ángel Genta on bandoneons.

It's worthwhile to say that, on many occasions, he was summoned for different jobs by Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Pugliese.

As composer, his three most important pieces, all them with lines by José Rótulo, are the tangos: "Como tú", recorded by Aníbal Troilo with Edmundo Rivero and by Francini-Pontier with Raúl Berón. Also, by this latter orchestra, "Santa mía", with Alberto Podestá on vocals and "Firuletear de bandoneón", recorded by Pedro Laurenz with the vocalist Juan Carlos Casas.

He died at age 56. When he passed away gone were the joy of his music and his talent, his pleasantness and his extraordinary human quality. For him is this humble homage that only wants to make lasting the memory of this great artist, today almost an unknown person.