El 13 (1938)
Pura clase (1939)
El yaguarón (1940)
La maleva (1939)
Rodolfo Biagi was Juan D’Arienzo‘s pianist from 1935 until 1938, when he left to form an orchestra of his own. His orchestra’s signature is his surprising use of erratic accents on the upbeats, which give his orchestra a jumpy, lively sound.
Opening with “El 13,” recorded just a month after his orchestra’s debut at the cabaret Marabú, this high-energy tanda showcases some of Biagi’s best early instrumentals. He lives up to his nickname Manos Brujas (Wizard Hands) with clear, crisp piano playing on “Pura clase” and “El yaguarón.” The closing song, “La maleva,” composed by Antonio Buglione, is one of the most familiar, often recorded numbers in the tango repertoire, and has a nice blend of drama and sweetness.
For even more punch, I sometimes end this tanda with Quejas de bandoneón (1941), Biagi’s version of composer Juan de Dios Filiberto‘s magum opus.