In memory of the legendary tango singer Ikuo Abo (20 April 1937 - 1 September 2021).
Today I invite you to listen to the tango En Esta Tarde Gris (in this grey afternoon) played by Orquesta Típica Masaichi Sakamoto with singer Ikuo Abo, recorded in the 60's.
Ikuo Abo did not speak Spanish. He learnt all the lyrics of the tango phonetically. His pronounciation is amazing, and his phrasing is impressive. Phrasing in tango singing is one of the most difficult aspects, and also one of the most important. The orchestra also plays impeccable, their timing and phrasing, their accents, the play with volume is wonderful.
Ikuo-san was born in Hirosaki, Aomori City, northern Japan. He began his career as a tango singer with his teachers, the Argentine musicians Ricardo Francia and Fernando Tell. Ikuo's breakthrough in Japan was in 1961, when he performed for Japanese national tv. Three years, in 1964, he went on succesful tour in Argentina. Ikuo won an award instituted by the Argentine Society of Authors and Composers (SADAIC).
After his succes in Argentina he had many international tours, and performed and recorded in many countries in South America, North America and Europe. He sang in many tv shows and films, both Argentine and Japanes.
In 1975 he started singing new genres (folklore, choro and fado). He has recording the impressive amount of 120 albums. In his late carreer he focussed mainly on teaching.
Ikuo Abo san passed away 1 September 2021 after a very successful international carreer. He had a great contribution to the Argentine tango culture. I hope you enjoy his work. To conclude this blog, let's listen to another performances of Ikuo-san with la Orquesta Tipica de Tokio.