NOCHERO SOY, (Track 8 on Tango Project Loca Bohemia) by OSCAR LUIS HERRERO (Cacho) (5 July 1921 – 23 February 1999)

Herrero’s famous instrumental of 1956, Nochero Soy, is a curiously modern tango 56 years after it’s composition. It is a tango containing a relentless dance beat, but also a combination of rhythmic and melodic rubato surrounding one truly sublime violin solo, written in this case for Camerano and of course for himself, Herrero.

When selecting tangos for Tango Project Loca Bohemia, we chose classics such as Nochero Soy  which could be given  fresh treatment musically and still retain the elements which made it so compelling and danceable, such as using the violin solo and most of the famous bandoneon variation which sends it hurtling to a dramatic finish.

Violinist, composer and arranger, Oscar Herrero was born in the barrio of Palermo in Buenos Aires to a household in which music, especially tango, was very important.

His father taught him music theory and sight reading and his brothers, one of them violinist and the other bandoneon player, gave him early instrumental training.

When he became a teenager, he devoted himself completely to violin. He continued tuition with his brother Fernando and after with the great violinist of Rosario, Emilio Cantore.

At age sixteen Herrero made his debut in an orchestra formed by the Herrero brothers. Later he formed the Quinteto Catano-Herrero and  then joined Armando Cupo with whom he played until 1940 when he was summoned by Pedro Maffia.

We already get an idea of his fine musicianship by the demand for his services by the leading conductors and instrumentalists, and by radio programs, LR2 Radio Argentina, and Ronda de Ases on LR1 Radio El Mundo where he played with the  Emilio Orlando orchestra.

In late 1943 he was asked by Alfredo Gobbi – Un Historia De Un Amor to join his band.  However, instead he accepted the second violin postition in the Osvaldo Pugliese orchestra, which was offered by lead violin, Enrique Camerano.  This made Gobbi very angry however, they reconciled many years later.

The choice must have suited Herrero as he enjoyed a twenty-five year tenure with the orchestra. The first fifteen years were with Camerano, Emilio Balcarce (still playing violin and who replaced Tursky) and Julio Carrasco, Francisco Sammartino (viola) and Aniceto Rossi (double bass)

In 1958, on the resignation of Camerano,  Herrero became first violin  until 1968, when together with Osvaldo Ruggero, Víctor Lavallén, Julián Plaza, Emilio Balcarce and Alcides Rossi they split with the orchestra and formed the Sexteto Tango with Jorge Maciel on vocals. At that time Julián Plaza switched from bandoneon to piano. Herrero was member of the sextet until 1991 during which time they toured Japan, China, the Soviet Union, France and the United States.

Here is the famous version of Nochero Soy by the Orquesta Osvaldo Pugliese

Words by Maggie Ferguson

Sources-Abel Palermo, Todotango