Francisco Canaro was a master of milongas—and these are some of his fastest. Not for the faint of heart, or those who fear sweating.
Todo te nombra, singer Ernesto Famá (1939)
Como dos extraños, singer Ernesto Famá (1940)
Copa de ajenjo, singer Francisco Amor (1941)
Cuartito azul, singer Francisco Amor (1939)
The strictest rules of traditional tango DJing require all songs in a tanda to be by the same orchestra, and also all vocals to be by the same singer. Often, this makes sense because different singers recorded with orchestras in different eras, and the sound of the orchestra can change drastically (with Di Sarli this is especially true). And some singers are so iconic (like Raúl Berón or Alberto Podestá), with such well-known voices, that it is rarely advisable to put them in a set with other vocalists.
Clearly, I don’t feel that way about Ernesto Famá and Francisco Amor. This is not a reflection on these artists or their singing; rather, it is a function of the fact that Francisco Canaro‘s sound in this period is consistent and even. These tangos are all up-tempo, though the lyrics are in fact sad and nostalgic.
We start off with the hypnotic “Todo te nombra” (literally, Everything Calls Your Name, though perhaps a better translation would be Everything Reminds Me of You), one of Canaro’s own compositions. Next comes “Como dos extraños” (Like Two Strangers), an often-covered tango composed by Pedro Laurenz, whose orchestral style is quite distinct from Canaro’s. Then we switch over to Francisco Amor, singing “Copa de ajenjo” (Cup of Absinthe), one of many tangos where alcohol helps ease a jilted man’s pain. Closing the tanda, I have the classic “Cuartito azul” (Little Blue Room), a coming-of-age song about bidding farewell to the home of one’s youth.