Néstor Pinsón

andolin, guitar and bandoneon were the instruments that this Italian born in Naples played, but his activity was focused on orchestra leading and composing music.

According to Juan Carlos Marambio Catán’s autobiographical book he played by ear. Although Rubén Pesce, in a work about his beginnings, affirmed that he had studied music and, especially harmony, with Alcides Palavecino. The latter was the one who wrote in the music staff his early compositions. Anyway, if he did study he scarcely did it. But on what everybody agrees is his privileged memory, his great facility to remember any kind of music.

Marambio said about him: «He was a picturesque figure of the theater milieu, he achieved smash hits because he didn't lack good taste and a fine intuition to create pleasant melodies. But he had no instruction, he was rough, aggressive, although he was a hard-worker». Later he mentions an anecdote characteristic of his alluded ignorance: Julio Escobar, journalist and playwright, wrote in the newspaper Última Hora and on his page he always had the banderillas ready to nail them.

The title of a note was «The unfortunate maestro Scatasso.» This had him nervous because he didn't understand that unfortunate, the meaning of the word. Finally somebody explained to him that he had not to worry about it that in fact it meant that they didn't pay him what he really deserved. He was satisfied with the explanation. And when in La Real (tearoom frequented by paper men) he saw Escobar, euphoric, he approached him to tell him: «Thank you, Escobar, finally somebody defended the work of the musicians. For a long time I have been complaining for the bad pay they give us».

He arrived in our country when he was about four years old and soon he was attracted by the mandolin. With that instrument he made his professional debut around 1907 alongside the violinist Francisco Canaro and the guitarist Félix Camarano, in a tour of the interior of the country. Later he appeared with Augusto Pedro Berto and Domingo Salerno at some cafes of Villa Crespo and it is possible, according to Oscar Zucchi, that seeing and listening to Berto has wakened up in him the interest for the bandoneon.

Already with the cage on his knees, in 1914, he appeared at the cafe El Parque, on Talcahuano Street. He returned to it in 1922, when he had command of the instrument and had established himself in the tango milieu. He then was accompanied by Fidel Del Negro on piano, Bernardo Germino, on violin and Luis Bernstein on double bass. And he arrived at the theater with his quartet that the following year presented Tito Roccatagliata replacing Germino. Soon thereafter he began as director of theater shows which became his main activity and target of most of his compositions: Simple melodies, ideal for the sketches that are accepted immediately by the public.

In 1923, he came to know Ignacio Corsini at the Teatro Smart. A great friendship was born that would result in a long career together. The following year they appeared at the Teatro Apolo. Some of the musicians that lined up his orchestra were: Julio Vivas on bandoneon —later Gardel’s guitarist —, the violinist Alberto Pugliese and Fidel Del Negro.

He began to record in the Victor company accompanying the Uruguayan singer Oscar Rorra, The Black Caruso, a too pompous nickname, maybe as a joke, because in fact he was a hardly mediocre singer. Among the titles: Salvador Granata’s “Un real al 69”, “Triste regreso”, Eduardo Pereyra’s “Recuerdos de arrabal” and “Cruel mujer” by Arturo Senez and Sierra.

His performances with Corsini were growing and they appeared in many different venues. He often appeared in Rosario and Córdoba. He also appeared on Radio Nación.

In 1929, he formed a trio to accompany Tita Merello's performances in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. In 1933, he put together the Orquesta Típica Argentina Los Cuatro Ases to appear in Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. One of his last performances was on Radio Argentina in 1943, when he teamed up with the bandoneonist Héctor Presas to form the group Scatasso-Cachito. He continued associated with theater, but now in administrative jobs, until the time of his death.

There were a great number of singers that he accompanied and whom he helped to reach a position, like Ernesto Famá and Azucena Maizani.

His main titles: "Adiós para siempre", "Caferata", "Dejá el conventillo", "El olivo", "El poncho del amor", "La cabeza del italiano", "La he visto con otro", "La mina del Ford", "La tristeza del bulín", "No me tires con la tapa de la olla", "Pobre corazón mío", "Ventanita de arrabal", "Ya no cantas chingolo", "El espejito", "Malandrina", "Mariposa de cabaret", "Moneda corriente", "Qué sabe la gente", "Viva la patria", "Lagrimeando lagrimeando", "Macho y hembra", "Pobre gringo", "Juventud", "Melgarejo".