After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The original Sexteto Mayor: Mario Abramovich, Eduardo Walczak (violin); Jose Libertella, Luis Stazo (bandoneon); Oscar Palermo (piano); Osvaldo Aulicino (double bass) -- 2003.

With my violin idols Mario Abramovich and Eduardo Walczak


I've been a fan of these guys ever since I first heard them play in Tango Pasion in Los Angeles. For me, El Sexteto Mayor is el mejor, even though attrition has changed four of the six faces.

When I saw the poster in the window of Esquina Homero Manzi at San Juan y Boedo, only 2 blocks from my apartment, I inked in the concert of November 18. Even though this historic cafe is so close to me, I've never been to any of their performances. They have the usual tango cena-shows every night, but they also have special concerts and events at various times, including radio and TV talk programs.

My friends Else from Norway and Karla from Santa Barbara, California, joined Ruben and me at a center table. Ruben, not a huge fan of just listening and not dancing, snapped about 50 photos. The sound was great, line-of-site perfect, a thrilling concert. Of course there was lots of Piazzola, but also an enthralling Desde el Alma, and Abramovich's signature song, Celos. I had to mop my eyes several times with the abrasive paper napkins. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed live music. I was reminded of the intensity and drive of tango dancing, as well as its soulfulness. It was hard not to leap onto the stage and express myself!

Yes, there was a young couple who danced, just briefly thank God, as it was mechanical and clichéd. So the less said about their two numbers the better. There was also a young male singer with a nice voice and a very strange beige suit of clothes. But overall, it was a concert of gorgeous music in a rather intimate, historic ambiance. No big busloads of tourists here.

In comparison, Else had gone last Thursday night to La Ideal to hear the orchestra, Los Reyes del Tango. (Read here of my magical experience several years ago.) And she said nothing at all was good about the evening; according to her--too many people, bad acoustics, bad sound, bad, bad.

Sexteto Mayor was founded in 1973 at the Casa de Carlos Gardel by José “Pepe” Libertella († 8. December 2004) and Luis Stazo; its current line-up includes: Mario Abramovich and Eduardo Walczak (violins), Oscar Palermo (piano), Enrique Guerra (double bass), Matías González (bandoneón) and Horacio Romo (bandoneón and direction).

Posing with the bassist and the bandoneonistas, and like typical tourists, Else, me, and Karla outside the front door.

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