Francisco Lomuto's is a name many of you may not have heard. It's a shame because his orchestra, even if does not truly belong to the first rank, was an important and popular dance orchestra in its day and left some wonderful recordings. You can get an idea of his popularity from the number of recordings that he left: over 950 titles between 1922 and his death in 1950. That's more than double what D'Arienzo managed in the same period.
Lomuto's career closely followed that of his friend and mentor Francisco Canaro. The orchestra he formed had a strong beat and can always be recognised by the characteristic ending of the tangos on a diminshed seventh cadence.
Despite the undisputed fact that Lomuto's final orchestra was technically his best, his music - like that of Donato and in way D'Arienzo - belongs much more to the rhythm of the 30s than it does to the lyricism of the 40s.
Francisco Lomuto on CD
There have been very few reissues of Francisco Lomuto and the tale is mostly one of deleted CDs.
The first Lomuto release on CD was way back in 1995 on the Argentine label Tango Maestro. You won't be surprised to hear that this excellent CD is deleted. It was actually remastered in Japan by JVC (the Japanese Victor Company). The highlights were the milongas Parque Patricios and No Hay Tierra Como La Mía, which have much more bite than Canaro's versions, and the tango Zorro Gris - perhaps the best interpretation on record.
Next came the Lomuto release on the RCA Club series. This was a short CD at only 14 tracks and, yes, also long gone.
In 2004, Euro Records released the first of two excellent Lomuto CDs on their Coleccíon 78rpm. The second followed in 2005. Unfortunately, Euro Records sold the rights to their catalogue in 2013 and then withdrew from CD production. You can get their releases as digital downloads, which will not satisfy many.
What can I actally get?!
Tango Collection - Francisco Lomuto
There is just one CD of Lomuto in print. It's excellent, but it may not be what you expect. This is not a selection of Lomuto's 1930s hits on RCA-Victor, but focusses on the years just before, 1929-1931. The fidelity is really good - someone has been hiding these 78s away somewhere.
All but four of the 22 tracks are from the neglected period on the Odeón label, which ends in the summer of 1931. The cumparsita is from 1936, and Criolla linda and Sentimiento gaucho from 1942. (The few dates below are for disambiguation, i.e. to clarify which recording is meant on those tangos which Lomuto recorded more than once).
There are two more tracks of Charlo singing with Lomuto on the Charlo CD on this label.
- Tango argentino
- Serpentina dobla
- Mi pibe
- Cuando despiertes
- Puerto nuevo (1929)
- Viejo amigo
- Como los nardos en flor
- Buenos Aires (1930)
- Cuentas claras
- Bigotito (1930)
- Sin clemencia
- Amor y celos vals
- Mar de fondo
- La cumparsita
- Cuando llora la milonga
- Criolla linda
- Sentimiento gaucho