Here’s a young Osvaldo Pugliese with his most classic singer, Roberto Chanel.
When I first started to listen to Pugliese (the first tango music I liked), I spent hours exploring his later music with very dramatic voices like Jorge Maciel, Miguel Montero, and later Alberto Morán. I knew about the work with Chanel, but I strongly disliked his nasal voice, and avoided it: I simply did not listen to that music.
But, as the years go by, and as our tango tastes develop and evolve into unforeseen directions, my somewhat chaotic preference for dramatic music changed into a more structured, mature one for the best (dance) music of the Golden Age, and one day I came to appreciate (because that’s often how it works) the superior quality of the early recordings with Chanel, where the orchestra and singer are in utterly beautiful harmony, making him seem like a natural instrument inside an already restraint orchestra, and even apart from that, I consider that although Chanel himself has a somewhat strange voice (that’s very personal…) yet at the same time he is a truly masterful singer, with a kind of depth, consistency and skill unrivaled by those who came after him.
Let’s celebrate this great partnership with this picture below, where Pugliese is holding a shellac. And indeed, tango dancers are very fortunate with the solid amount of recordings he made with Chanel, and I am always glad when I can play them in a milonga.