Juan Maglio – “La guardia vieja” (1927-1932)

If you’re not sure about Maglio then try this album, compiled by Carlos Puente and released by Euro Records in their “Colección 78RPM” (EU-17052), and now present on all the digital platforms. Vardaro plays on all the 1927 tracks (tracks 1 to 5), but that’s not to say that those are the best tracks on this compilation – not at all!
A prototypical figure of the old guard (guardia vieja), Maglio made changes to his band to respond to the changes being wrought by the new guard of De Caro et al. In 1929 he assembled a new bandoneon lineup with Federico Scorticatti, Gabriel Clausi and Ernesto Di Cicco (Minotto’s brother) – all top players, and in En un rincón del café they unleash a variación which is simply stunning.
From November 1929 Vardaro was occupied by the Vardaro-Pugliese sextet but he is present on some of the 1930-1931 recordings such as the creamy Abrojos – and just listen to his tone in the long intro to the vals Princesa. From 1932 onwards he is again present in all the recordings, with a superb solo in Mi queja.
Finally, for the most complete arrangement of the album listen to Alma triste. As well as Vardaro’s beautiful violin we get a final variación on the bandoneons which is clearly in multiple voices (the different men play different notes). This is the era of which Troilo commented that Maglio could not understand the music that his own band was making – not only did he no longer play in these lineups, he sometimes didn’t even attend.
Thanks to Osvaldo Vardaro for confirming in which years Elvino Vardaro is present in the band.