Another drunken man



Tabernero was composed in 1927 by Miguel Cafre y Fausto Frontera, with lyrics by Raúl Costa Olivari. And it was recorded already in 1927 by Roberto Firpo (unfortunately there is no good transfer), and as tango canción by Ignacio Corsini and Carlos Gardel. Then, 14 years later in May 1941, two different orchestras recorded the song within two days: Enrique Rodríguez with Armando Moreno and Aníbal Troilo with Francisco Fiorentino. And another 8 years later, José Basso recorded it once more with Francisco Fiorentino.



The lyrics are, like in many tangos, about drinking. The protagonist talks to the bartender (tabernero) begging him to give him more of the "poison", he wants to get really badly drunk, he says he has nothing left in his life and wants to kill his soul.

"Sigue llenando mi copa con tu maldito veneno"

"Sigue llenando mi copa, que yo no tengo remedio"


These are the recordings I want to present:

Enrique Rodríguez with Armando Moreno, recorded 26th of May in 1941

Aníbal Troilo with Francisco Fiorentino, recorded 28th of May in 1941

José Basso with Francisco Fiorentino, recorded 27th of May in 1949


Rodriguez' version:

This is a lively, rhythmic, cheerful song, with regular beat and a simple arrangement, the piano leads through the song. Armando Moreno sings like telling a nice story, in the B part accompanied by the violins with a simple countermelody. This is easy-listening music for dancers who like a clear, regular beat.


Troilo's version with Fiorentino:

The arrangement is relatively simple, but not regular at all. There is much variation in the way of playing the notes, between legato and sharp staccato, between low and loud, and always fueled by the elastic piano of Orlando Goñi. And Fiorentino, with his wonderful relaxed voice, also sings with much variation; begging "his friend" the bartender to give him more with a tender vibrato, and then with a sharp voice when he describes himself behaving embarrasingly out of control. After the singing, Troilo plays a very introvert, weeping bandoneon solo, and then follow - half spoken, half sung - the "drunkard's philosophical reflections" (Michael Lavocah in his Troilo book), accompanied by very gentle violins.


José Basso's version with Fiorentino:

Before founding his own orchestra, José Basso played the piano in Troilo's orchestra from 1943 to 1947. And we hear immediately that he comes from the "Troilo school": The contrasts iin the mood, especially the violins between sharp and soft or dull; the elastic piano; the interesting syncopations. The arrangement is very similar to Troilo's, but with more richness in rhythms and a bit more drama. And Fiorentino sings more drunken than in Troilo's version, with a heavy tongue and with more roughness, and he becomes more and more drunken during the song. The orchestra accompaniment is very rich, intensifying the misery with eery violins and sometimes dissonances.