José María Otero

Orchestra Los Señores del Tango

istory shows us a great number of cases of orchestras which were formed by splitting up with another group in which its musicians were lining up. It happened, for example, when Juan Polito, with the players and singer who appeared with Juan D'Arienzo, quit to put together a group of his own. Or those who, with Francisco Fiorentino, split up with the Aníbal Troilo orchestra; the Sexteto Tango, which quit the Osvaldo Pugliese ensemble, and several ones of the kind.

It is also the case of this orchestra which, in its presentation, paraphrased as a plural the sobriquet by which Carlos Di Sarli -El Señor del Tango- was known. Its birth took place in January 1956, when most of the members of the orchestra led by the pianist from Bahía Blanca decided to send a prior notice telegram, one month in advance, announcing their breakup.

The ones who stayed alongside Di Sarli —who was forced to put together another group—, were the violinist Simón Bajour, aka Tito Simón, and the double bass player Alfredo Sciarreta.

This new music group also included the two singers: Oscar Serpa and Mario Pomar. And the players who played during the new group’s tenure were: Federico Scorticati, Félix Verdi, Ángel Ramos, Luis Masturini, Héctor Moggio, Alberto Forte (bandoneons), Roberto Guisado, Bernardo Weber, Pedro Sapochnik, Daniel Goicoechea, Domingo Varela Conte, Claudio González, Alfredo Pérez, Ernesto Gianni (violins), Salvador Nicosia (piano), Hamlet Greco (double bass).

Those were hard times because our country was under a dictatorship, after a military coup that ousted General Perón in 1955, and tango was undergoing a bad period. Di Sarli kept on struggling despite the drawback he had faced and the decline of tango, which was at one of its ebbs, and was always scorned by politicians and intellectuals.

Los Señores del Tango made their debut on February 3, 1956 on Radio Belgrano, and appeared at the Confitería Richmond and at the Dominó dancing tearoom, venues where I spent nice times in my youth.

They were also hired to record for Music Hall and, later, for the RCA-Victor label. They visibly kept the Di Sarlian style and, in their repertoire they even included several pieces they used to play with the former leader, although they tried to play them with a slight different nuance.

But the recording companies promoted other genres and the new situation that cornered tango with the lack of jobs at balls and radios, made that this orchestra disbanded in 1963, after a seven-year tenure, and each of its members followed different paths.