Music by Enric Madriguera and His orchestra – Capitol Transcription D-13-14 – 1946 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Something a little different for a Sunday night. A 1946 session by Latin bandleader Enric Madriguera recorded by Capitol Records for their Transcription service.
The story behind all these transcription sessions is a history in and of itself. A lot of notable artists recorded these sessions strictly for radio airplay and not for commercial sale – some were recorded by notable artists under assumed names and some were recorded by notable artists whose work in this setting yielded considerably more output than their commercial releases. In short, a lot of interesting material that represented a slice of American music from the mid-1930s all the way to the mid-1950s.
Latin music was extremely popular in the late 1930s through the postwar years and a virtual who’s who of Latin artists are represented in these sessions.
This one comes by way of Enric Madriquera, a name that might not ring many bells of late.
Enric R. Madriguera (Barcelona, 17 February 1904 – 7 September 1973) was a violinist of Catalan origin who was playing concerts as a child before he studied at the Barcelona Conservatory. (The Castilian form of his name is Enrique, which he sometimes used on records.) While still in his twenties he was first-chair violinist for The Boston Symphony before becoming Principle associate conductor of the Cuban Philharmonic.
In the late 1920s Madriguera played in Ben Selvin’s studio orchestra at Columbia Records in New York, and served briefly as that company’s director of Latin music recording. In 1932 he began his own orchestra at the Biltmore Hotel, which recorded for Columbia until 1934. His music at this period was mostly Anglo-American dance or foxtrot, frequently jazz-inflected, although he had a modest hit with his rhumba rendition of Carioca (1934).
By the 1930s he was recording Latin American music almost exclusively. (His composition Adios became a national hit in 1931.) On his radio appearances, the band was billed as “Enric Madriguera and His Music of the Americas,” and Adios was its theme song. It was said that the ambassadors from all the South American countries declared Madriguera to be the “Ambassador of Music to all the Americas”. Madriguera appeared in a number of “musical shorts” including “Enric Madriguera and his Orchestra” (1946) where he performed a number of songs including the orchestra for his vocalist-wife Patricia Gilmore. A review of one of his appearances recorded how he “reflected the warmth of our neighbors to the south”.
He died in retirement in Danbury, Connecticut. His sister was pianist Paquita Madriguera, the second wife of Andres Segovia.
Now you know. Get comfy and hit the play button. Vocals are by Eddie Gomez and Patricia Gilmore.