Hugo Diaz: Milonga Triste


Milonga Triste


Hugo Diaz (harmonica)


The Tango Lesson (Sony Classical 63226)

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Hugo Diaz (harmonica),

Omar Murtagh (bass), Robert Grela (guitar), José Leonardo Colangelo (piano)


Composed by Sebastián Piana and Homero Manzi


Recorded: Buenos Aires, 1972


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

You may have heard this haunting theme on the soundtrack to the film The Tango Lesson. Diaz eerily evokes the sound of the bandoneón on his harmonica. Yet one can also hear hints of the U.S. harmonica tradition here, and the spirit of what is called the "deep blues" permeates this performance. Blind from the age of five, Diaz moved as a teenager to Buenos Aires, where his music encompassed everything from traditional folk songs to jazz. He met Larry Adler and Toots Thielemans in Europe during the 1950s, and later had the opportunity to play with Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson in the United States. But Diaz did not make a tango recording until 1972, when he shifted from his typical folkloric material to present this remarkable track. His emotional affinity with the tango stands out on "Milonga Triste," and his work in this vein found a receptive audience. Diaz made several more tango recordings -- much cherished by fans although often hard to find -- before his death in 1975.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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