Orquesta Típica Enrique Rodriguez

and his Orquesta de todos los ritmos

*8.31901 - +4.9.1971


Orchestra of many styles

El rey del Fox

Number of recordings

around 350

To buy:

Best transfers are available at www.tangotunes.com

Please support this fantastic project!


A nice discography is offered by La Milonga di Alvin.


- simple, rhythmical, happy

- the final chord is missing

Biggest hits:

Tengo mil novias (1939), Son cosas del bandoneón (1939)

Important singers:

- Robert ‚El Chato‘ Flores (1907 - 1981)
- Armando Moreno (1921 - 1990)

Tango is a sad thought you can dance is a phrase you usually do not associate with the music of Enrique Rodríguez and his Orquesta de todos los ritmos.
With their relaxed, cheerful, upbeat and occasionally silly numbers, the extremely versatile musicians have filled cabarets, dance clubs and - during carnival - even sports stadiums.


Bailar todos los ritmos was the orchestra's slogan.

Accordingly, the repertoire was not limited to around 130 tangos, 40 valses and 15 milongas. The fans loved and still love the funny, lively and light-footed marches, polkas, pasodobles, corridas, but above all the 68 foxtrots, which can still be used today as a milonga substitute for a tango evening, and which have secured Rodríguez the title King of the Foxtrot. And untypical for a tango orchestra, clarinet, trombone and percussion are sometimes part of the orchestra sound. Rodriguez also used song material from all over the world, such as Viennese waltzes, Hungarian dances or Colombian cumbia, in order to exploit them commercially very successfully as tango or foxtrot arrangements.


Even if, especially in Argentina, some tango purists dislike the Orquesta des todos los ritmos because ot the mentioned "sins", it has a firm place in milongas around the world because of the positive energy, the clear, varied rhythm and the two outstanding singers Roberto Flores and Armando Moreno. All this together guarantees carefree dancing.


El orquestre de todos los ritmos

Like many others, Enrique began his career playing the bandoneon to accompany silent films in the neighbourhood cinema. Enrique was a versatile musician, who played bandoneon, piano and violin in equal measure. But only after a couple of years he managed to form his own orchestra. Before, he got more experienced in various orchestras, whereby the time with the funny, lively, rhythmist Edgardo Donato was certainly the most formative. In 1934, he accompanied Francisco Fiorentino, who later became legendary as the singer of Aníbal Troilo, with a trio. In 1935, his quartet provided the harmonies for the singer María Luisa Notar. The same year he married her.

The following year, he finally put together his Orquesta de todos los ritmos. Many of its members had been musical companions in former formations. Although other orchestras such as the Orquesta Típica Victor, Osvaldo Fresedo, Francisco Canaro or Edgardo Donato regularly launched otros ritmos, no other orchestra labeled itself as a dance orchestra of all rhythms as consistently as Rodríguez.


This was certainly one of the reasons why it was so popular, as it meant that the organisers had to hire only one orchestra. Normally, the tango formations played in alternation with another orchestra that went by the name of Jazz or Tropica. They formed a fresh counterpoint to the calmer tango with rhythms like cumbia, corridas, polkas, foxtrotts and others.


In 1937, Roberto 'Chato' Flores, the first important singer, joined the group. This was followed by appearances on the radio, in the carnival at the Atlético River Plate football club. Finally they got a recording contract with the Odeon label, with which he remained associated until the end of his life in 1971.
Rodríguez did a goog choice when he discovered his second singer, the 18-year-old Armando Moreno, whose sonorous voice we associate with this orchestra like no other. The recordings with his numerous successors, such as Ricardo Herrera or Fernando Reyes, are hardly convincing today. Rodríguez, however, succeeded in keeping his orchestra alive even in the 'dark' tango years after 1955. He was on stage until a few months before his death in 1971.


Pure dance music

The master of many styles never saw himself as avant-garde. He wanted his fans to dance, to enjoy their time and to have a happy evening. Accordingly, the orchestra, which is best classified in the tradition of rhythmists such as D'Arienzo or Donato, preferred light, witty and sometimes somewhat silly numbers with simple harmonies and melodies that usually immediately make the legs itch and move tangueros onto the dance floor.

The clear compás does not surprise the dancers, but at the same time is full of little diversions. Moreno's slightly sonorous, strong, rhythmically phrasing voice gives the recordings a solid liveliness. However, the critics has its point, some of the music comes across as very simple and drifts in the direction of irrelevant, strummed carousel music.

But maybe that's why the orchestra was so popular at dance events. Often enough, the mood increased so much that not only all band members, but the whole hall sang along. What fun with over 1,000 people in the hall and hits like La Colegiala.


Tangos without final chord

Many orchestras made the ending of their tangos a typical trademark: With Caló it is a chord broken up by the pianist into lovely arpeggios, with Tanturi the last chord always is a little too late, and with Rodríguez - you usually wait in vain for the last beat, so that a lot of final poses end up in the nothing.


The lyrical Rodriguez 1944 to 1946

Looking back, one is amazed how quickly the tango music changed, how quickly it evolved even within a few months. Following the uptempo D'Arienzo years, many orchestras returned to a calmer, more lyrical style by 1942 at the latest. Rodríguez joined the trend relatively late, only in 1943; the recordings now radiate more calm. But in 1944, the king of foxtrot dared a courageous new beginning: he dismissed his pianist Eusebio Giorno, who had formed the centre of the orchestra for many years and allegedly never touched a piano again after this disappointment. Instead Rodiguez hired three new, outstanding musicians and arrangers: Roberto Garza (bandoneon) and Armando Cupo (piano) and the bassist Omar Murtagh, who also stroked the cello in between.

Thanks to them sensitive, subtle and demanding tangos were produced such as Naranja en flor, Éste es tu Tango or Luna llena. The arrangements were now full of countermelodies, syncopated rhythms and more complicated melodic lines and previously unusual solos, which need not hide from numbers by Troilo or Calo. After Armando Moreno left the orchestra together with Roberto Garza at the beginning of 1946 in order to start a less sustainable solo career - and probably also because the audience did not appreciate the turn towards the sophisticated - Rodríguez returned to his old style.

However, the recordings after 1945 lack the musical class of the competing combos on the one hand, and the wit of the early years on the other. Rodríguez continued to visit the recording studio regularly until 1971, however, the majority of the recordings were otros ritmos.


The composer

Rodríguez was also very successful as a composer, in collaboration with the great lyricists of those years. His biggest sales success was the somewhat silly vals Tengo mil novias, a really funny and for the genre untypically ironic piece of music. But on the other hand he composed and interpreted wonderful tangos such as Son cosas del bandoneón, Amigos de ayer, En la buena y en la mala, Iré, Llorar por una mujer or Lagrimitas de mi corazón. Incidentally, as a composer Enrique preferred to work with the lyricist Enrique Cadícamo, with whom he was good friends.


Strong voices

The workload for Rodríguez' singers was gigantic. Unlike most other orchestras, Rodríguez had just one singer. Moreover the Orquesta de todos los ritmos performed at dance parties alone instead of sharing the stage with a 'jazz' or 'tropical' combo. What is impressive is the nonchalance and naturalness with which Flores and even more so Moreno were able to interpret the most diverse genres and moods, sometimes exuberantly cheerful, sometimes lyrically soulful.


Roberto 'Chato' Flores (The snub nose)

(1907 - 1981)

For the first few years, Domingo Patti, his birth name, made his way in equal parts as an actor and a singer. It was only after the now 30-year-old was discovered by Rodríguez in 1937 that he developed into a superstar. By the end of 1939, they had made 35 recordings together, many of which - especially Tengo mil novias and Son cosas del bandoneón - became big hits. But then RCA Victor succeeded in poaching the popular singer in order to successfully establish Flores as a solo artist for RCA. As such, 'El Chato' remained in the business for the next two decades and completed numerous tours through the province as well as the neighbouring countries of South America, but he could no longer match the successes of the late 1930s with Rodríguez. He spent the last years of his life in Colombia, where he died in 1981.


Armando Moreno (Armando Bassi)

(1921 - 1990)
El niño y muñeco' (the child and the doll), as he was called because of his childlike features, embodies the sound of this orchestra with his characteristic voice like no other singer.

After his debut in 1939, the 18-year-old quickly became an absolute darling of the audience and a heartthrob. It is reported that he was sometimes given telephone numbers by female guests, to whom he would then call depending on his mood. The collaboration with Rodríguez from 1939 to 1945 is undoubtedly the high point of this singer's career, and all the tangos, valses and foxtrots that we love as dancers come from these years.

It is true that in the mid-1940s Moreno endeavoured to pursue a solo career together with Roberto Garza, and after 1950 he worked successfully in Domingo Federico's orchestra, where he was able to sing more demanding tangos. He repeatedly returned to his discoverer in the following decades and, especially in the 'dark' years of tango after 1960, successfully toured South America several times with the well known programme of Todos los ritmos. Finally, he settled in Bogatá/Colombia, where both Rodríguez and Moreno were revered like idols. There Moreno died of pneumonia in 1990, still active as a singer.

The music

Snappy tangos with Roberto 'El Chato' Flores

Déjame ser así (1938), Con permiso señorita (1939), Te quiero ver escopeta (1939) or the super hit Son cosas del bandoneón (1939) start with driving quarters and eighths, while Mi verdad (1938), ¿Vendrás alguna vez? (1938) or Un copetín (1939) give the melody a little more space. Mosterio (1939), with its funny background croak, lives more from stupidity than musicality.


Classics with Armando Moreno

Dozens of successful, similar tangos were arranged between 1939 and 1942, including Cómo se pinta la vida (1940), Contigo, pan y cebolla (1940, with a laughing chorus and squeaky voice), Suerte Loca (1941), El Encopao (1942), Marinero (1943, with a nice question-and-answer game) and La Gayola (1943). The few


instrumental recordings

such as La Torcacita (1940), Jueves (1941) or Florida (1941) make it clear how much the music lives from Moreno's voice. "Where's the singing", I ask myself every time listening to these tangos. Without vocals the numbers seem a bit naked, but on the other hand they are full of rhythm, as the performance by German Cuestas & Eva Lehrmann on "El Morochito" perfectly shows.

Danza Maligna - 1940 - Moreno
von Javier y Noelia - Seoul - 2013


El Morochito - 1941 - Instrumental
German Cuestas & Eva Lehrmann - Buenos Aires 2017


Sensitive tangos

Rodríguez Tangos became slower after 1942, as numbers like Iré (1943) or Que Lo Sepa El Mundo Entero (1943) show. But they do not achieve the refinement and delicacy in texture as, for example, Traje de novia, La vi llegar, Tu íntimo secreto or Tú!.... El cielo y tú! of 1945. With sensitive violin solos, countermelodies and emotional vocals, they show melancholy mood that is otherwise quite unusual for Rodriguez, and still they are perfect for dancing.


Que lente corre el tren
Carlitos Espinoza & Noelia Hurtado - 2012 - Mêze


Yo No Se Porque Razon
"Murat and Michelle - 2014



Surprisingly, milongas are not at the top of the list for this dance orchestra, but why should they be, Rodríguez was the king of the foxtrot after all - and you can dance a good-humoured milonga to the slower ones. The biggest of these hits are often based on hit songs of other genres: La Colegiala (1938, Flores) is actually a classic of cumbia, Para mé eres divina (1938, Flores) is based on the old Jewish song Bei mir bist du schein. Also very popular were and are Amor en Budapest (1940), Noches de Hungría and Suavemente (both 1942), sung by Moreno, or the tearjerker Zapatos rotos (1955, Ernesto Falcón), often chosen by show dance couples. And of course Enrique could also do candombe: El tucu-tun (1943, Moreno).


Zapatos rotos
Mariano Otero y Alejandra Heredia - Leipzig - 2010


Valses between fairground sway and carousel rides

Tengo mil novias (1939, Flores) was Rodríguez's biggest hit and is full of cheerfulness, but it also contains everything Rodriguez was criticised for: a simple compás, little musicality, simple melodies, silly chorus interjections. Fru Fru (1939, Flores), Solita y sola or Los Gitanos (both 1942, Moreno) are similarly structured, and if you actually dance to the music, you can only end up swaying wildly.

La Maja Aristocrática (1938, Flores), Salud, Dinero, Amor, Los Piconeros (both 1939, Flores), Con tu mirar (1941, Moreno), En El Volga Yo Te Espero (1943, Moreno), on the other hand, can be combined into wonderfully lively tandas.


Maja Petrovic und Marko Miljevic - 2011