This weblog will give you information about the "El Redescubrimiento de Oscar Aleman" project, the "Rediscovering of Oscar Aleman" project.
Oscar Aleman ( 1909 - 1980 )was an Argentinean jazz guitar player, entertainer and showman, born in Argentina, lived in Europe (1930s)and returned to Argentina ( 1940 - 1980 ).
He was one of the best jazz guitar players of his time.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Rosita Quiroga & Les Loups - Victor Disc Labels
Some time ago the uncertainty regardingthe participation of Les Loupsin the May 2nd 1928 recording of Mis pobres ilusiones by Rosita Quirogafor Victor was ruled by audio documentation kindly forwarded by a keen record collector,Sr.Ramón Hernández Gutiérrez. Now another collector,Sr. Sergio del Río Macias, has kindly forwarded the scans of the original Victor 80840 disc as further evidence of the participation ofLes Loupsin Mis pobres ilusiones - the info at the label clearly informs that Rosita Quiroga is accompanied by Les Loups.
Victor 80840-A, Mis pobres ilusiones
The audio of Mis pobres ilusiones was uploaded at YouTube and is inserted below to fix previously missing links
The B-side of Victor 80840, recorded at the same session on May 2nd 1928, contains a composition by Luiz Viapiana and J.M. Gonzáles with lyrics by Enrique D. Cadicamo, a tango titled Mal rumbeada. The label of the original disc does not state the participation of Les Loups, just the common info used at the time: Solo con Guitarras. However, the audio of Mal rumbeada does not leave me doubt about the participation of Les Loups - Alemánprovides the elaborate obligato and solo spots whileGB Lobotakes care of the rhythm accompaniment. Both label and audio from YouTube video inserted below.
Victor 80840-B, Mal rumbeada
Here is the audio of Mal rumbeado from the uploaded YouTube video
Thanks to keen collectors of historically important records like the mentioned Victor disc 80840 by Rosita Quiroga the early recording career ofOscar Alemánhas now been further documented by solid facts. This is highly valuable information to avoid undocumented myths and falsification of history.
Horacio Salgán (photo by Silvina Frydlewsky for The Washington Post)
Today the sad news of the passing of Horacio Salgánon August 19 reached me. Horacio Adolfo Salgán (June 15, 1916 – August 19, 2016) was an Argentine tango pianist, composer and band leader from Buenos Aires. Some of Salgán's most well-known compositions include Del 1 al 5 (Días de pago) (1944), Don Agustín Bardi (1947), Entre tango y tango (1953), Grillito, La llamo silbando, Cortada de San Ignacio, and A fuego lento. - Salgán began studying piano at age six. At age 18 he joined the cast of Radio Belgrano as a soloist and back-up musician. At 20 he was discovered by orchestra leader Roberto Firpo, who hired Salgán for his orchestra. In late 1942 he made his first recording, and in 1944 he put together his own orchestra, which lasted until 1947. Salgán then devoted himself to composing and teaching and in 1950 returned with a new orchestra. 1960 saw the formation of the Quinteto Real, with Salgán on piano, Enrique Mario Francini on violin and Pedro Laurenz on bandoneón. The goal of the group was to create instrumental tangos designed for listening rather than dancing. In 1998 he appeared as himself in the Oscar-nominated Best Foreign Language Film Tango, no me dejes nunca as part of El Nuevo Quinteto Real, an incarnation of the original group. In 2005 Konex Foundation from Argentina granted him the Diamond Konex Award, one of the most prestigious awards in Argentina, as the most important personality in the Popular Music of his country in the last decade. (from Wikipedia profile).
A career profile in English byAdam Bernsteinin Washington Post is availablehere
An obituary in Spanish by Mauro Apicellain LA NACION can be reachedhere
Oscar Alemánadmired and was a friend of Horacio Salgán. Alemán composed a tango as a homage to Salgán, Al Gran Horacio Salgán which he recorded at his 1974 Redondel album En Todos Los Ritmos. I posted a short article about this issue earlier,here
To commemorate a great Argentine musician and personality, here is inserted a performance by Horacio Salgán and his orchestra of A Fuego Lento from the concert in 2005 when Salgán received the Diamond Konex Award
Horacio Adolfo Salgán(June 15, 1916 – August 19, 2016)RIP
Oscar Alemánwas well informed about various Brazilian music genres and recorded several examples of Brazilian tunes during his contract with Odeon and later. He composed and recorded three pieces in the genuine Brazilian choro style during his contract with Odeon, they are: Casi negro (Odeon, 7488b, B.A. Oct. 22, 1955), Casi bueno, Odeon 74292b, B.A. Nov. 20 or 22, 1955) and Dedos duros (Odeon, 74343a, B.A. June 17, 1957). Here I'll focus on the first mentioned,Casi negro, the audio of Odeon 7488b has been uploaded at YouTube and is inserted below
Alemán's version here of this choro is recorded as a magnificent guitar solo only supported by bass and percussion, the two-part piece is played on amplified guitar and repeated a couple of times, but no improvisation is heard or intended. Alemán never tried to improvise on Brazilian tunes, he respected the original form of the music genre, thus later days' conception of Brazilian music as a vehicle for jazz improvisation (- think of jazz-samba or bossa nova) was not the issue in Alemán's case. The only difference from a typical choro as played by Brazilian musicians is Alemán's choice of the rhythmic pattern which gets close to a 2/4 samba beat at medium tempo and further the double time sequence at the end of part B of the piece. Maybe these small details were the personal 'signature' which were added to convince the Odeon management and the record buying public that Alemán's version of the choro style could be transferred and executed convicingly by a popular Argentinian artist without spoiling the traditional Brazilian conception of the choro as a music genre incorporating endless ideas and the impact from many different musical sources within a fixed pattern? A more significant difference, however, is that Alemán performs this choro on an electrified instrument, choro is traditionally performed by acoustic instruments, but Alemán's performance of the piece on amplified guitar adds an updated version of choro at the time of the recording, which probably should appeal to the night life and dance halls of Buenos Aires. - Alemán only recorded Casi negroonce, but there exists a fragment of a home recording from the 1960s that has him performing the piece on acoustic guitar which is inserted below to show a more introspective version of the tune
Just recently I was thrilled to find out that an Argentinian choro ensemble named Mistura & Mandahas recorded their version ofChoro negroat the ensemble's latest CD titled Lloros. I wrote a review of the CDhere, and to end this I'll insert this version of Choro negro by Mistura & Manda which has been uploaded at YouTube as an audio video together with other examples of the tunes at the CD devoted to Argentinian composers of choros
Jorge Díaz And Eduardo Ravera & Trio In TV Performance 1994
Screen shot from TV Channel 9, 'La Noche' Oct. 14, 1994
Waldo FonsecaofHot Club de Boedo kindly forwarded a recorded video fragment uploaded at YouTube that I like to share here. The video presentsEduardo Raveraand his trio featuring the Argentine harmonica virtuosoJorge Díaz performing My Melancholy Baby/Mi melancólica nena. The video sequence is from a TV program titled 'La Noche' at Channel 9 hosted by Sr. Julio Lagosand aired on October 14, 1994. Featured musicians are:Eduardo Ravera(lead guitar),Jorge Diaz(harmonica),Waldo Fonseca(rhythm guitar),Claudio Gomez(el-bass guitar) andMatthew Giarrusso(drums) - Enjoy!
Oscar Alemán - Background Of An Updated 'Online Discography'
Georg Lankestergives his account of the background of a recently published new onlineOscar Alemándiscography.
news for jazzguitar fans – a publication by Andrés “Tito” Liber
Argentinian swing guitar legendOscar Alemán(1909 – 1980) was for a
long time a somewhat neglected figure and in jazz reference literature hardly
presented in printed standard discographies - most likely – because much of his
recorded output was unavailable or hard to find outside Argentina
However, it is worthwhile to mention that Alemán
made several recordings in Europe
during the 1930s joining European and American jazz musicians in Paris while he
stayed in France as a member of Josephine Baker’s orchestra. This
small recorded output by Alemán (playing with jazzmen such as Freddy Taylor,
Bill Coleman, Alix Combelle, Danny Polo and others) may be known by
well-informed jazz fans of the European swing era and the recordings also have
been available on various long playing albums and later in CD format.
Alemán only recorded a few sides in his own name during his European
stay. Four sides were recorded by the French “Swing” label, established and
promoted by the secretary of the Hot Club of France, Charles
latter was one of the leading persons within this jazz organisation and he
introduced American jazz musicians to a European audience. Moreover he was also
the single most important figure to promote the gypsy guitaristDjango
Reinhardt. In fact Delaunay was the originator of the famous “Quintette
du Hot Club de France” featuring Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli as star
soloists in a jazz setting formed by string instruments only. This was a
novelty jazz formation creating a hot swinging jazz sound never heard before and
the only original European pre-war contribution to the legacy of jazz in general.
Delaunay’s promotion of Reinhardt and the
quintet made it almost impossible for other jazz guitarists in Paris to
establish reputation and make records. And that’s the reason why the average jazz audience was mostly unaware
of Alemán being another brilliant jazz guitarist in town at the same high level
Although Oscar was always overshadowed by
Reinhardt in the Parisian jazz scene, the
jazz criticLeonard Feather, who – in 1939 - wrote a much quoted review in the
“Melody Maker” on Oscar’s recordings, stressed that Alemán could ‘outswing’
Django and was a far superior jazzman .
Oscar Alemán in action - 1960s
enough Alemán and Reinhardt became friends with mutual respect for each other,
being ‘instrument brothers’ and they met from time to time. Late at night, when
each had finished work, muscians used to meet in certain Parisian places in
order to chat and play together. It is a fact that Django and Oscar
jammed together, but unfortunately those sessions were never recorded.
Jazz Solography, vol. 4
European Alemán recordings are included inBrian Rust’s well-known reference
work “Jazz Records 1897 – 1942”as
well as in other standard discographies. In the
Seventies, the Norwegian jazz critic Jan Evensmo made a fair review of
Alemán’s European jazz records in one of
his publications in the “Jazz Solography” series.
Evensmo, however, would resume his research of Alemán recordings and has
launched a new edition of his Alemán solography a few years ago which now
contains the Argentinian recorded output besides the European recordings,
available online, here
In the same decade (1970s) the TOM label
(“The Old Masters”) was launched in the US supported by enthousiastic jazz
collectors. Two LP albums were dedicated to Alemán, covering a selection of his recordings
Oscar Alemán - Frémeaux CD (1994)
recent (in 1994) an Alemán cd was issued by the French Frémeaux label which
includes recordings from 1928-1943 with detailed liner notes. Further was the
TOM selection with additional material reissued on a double CD disc in 1997 by
basis of a complete Alemán Discograpy
It wasHans Koert,an acknowledged Dutch
jazz specialist and collector, highly
fascinated by Alemán’s work, who laid the foundation of a Discography as
complete as possible. During several years of thorough research he traced several Alemán records made outside Europe and he
even contacted the family of the guitarist in order to obtain more relevant
Hans Koert's Tune-o-Graphy
2002 Hans published hisAlemán “Tune-o-Graphy” (a printed version in English
& Spanish) realised in cooperation withLuis Contijoch. He resumed his Discography
research in 2004 which was finished in 2009 with a web log publication in 2006. Hans continued his immense study and further
published his work in a comprehensive and free accessible internetonline Alemán Discographywhich he kept updated till he passed away in 2014.
On basis of the main data obtained by Hans
Koert, the Argentinian collector Andrés
‘Tito’ Liber- in cooperation with the present editor of Hans Koert’s website and blogs - added data and recently finished this update which is now
available on the Internet. An obstacle for the average visitor of Liber’s
online discography may be the Spanish
language, but serious users probably will cope with that.
This NEW online discographybyAndrés ‘Tito’
Liber is accessible by following the link in the sidebar at the weblog of
Hot Club de Boedo, here
this new online resource and discover more of the great swing guitarist Oscar Alemán
Around 1970 violinistHernán Oliva- renowned for his collaboration with Oscar Alemánin the latter's first Quinteto de Swing (1941-43) - formated his own string swing quintet featuring very competent sidemen. The quintet was a great vehicle for the leader's extraordinary swing violin playing in a both hot and sweet style inspired by pioneer jazz violinists like Joe Venuti and Stéphane Grappelli but no less very much his own. With this group Oliva gained success in his late career and he recorded some memorable albums for the Redondel label during the 1970s which still stand the test of time. When listening to these recordings by theHernán Oliva Quinteto, the listener's attention, however, is not only concerned with Oliva's playing but is in fact also quickly caught by the very delicate contributions by the quintet's lefthanded lead guitarist, Eduardo Ravera(- knicknamed 'el Zurdo' thanks to his inverted playing position).Eduardo Ravera(1937 - 1996) was a disciple of Oscar Alemán and had played together with Alemán in public live presentations, and his guitar style was elaborated from the inspiration induced by the master, but also from studying the French 'Hot Club' contributions by the legendary Django Reinhardt - the result of this was a very personal style of single string soloing characterized by a clean and accurate picking technique and great improvisational skills never exaggerating the melodic terms of the played music but keeping things together with a cool and restrained passion. Now the recorded work of Eduardo Ravera with the Hernán Oliva Quinteto finally has gained some documented exposure in a new discography collected by Andrés 'Tito' Liber, who recently published the result at the web blog of Hot Club de Boedo, here
Front page of Eduardo Ravera discography
Andrés 'Tito' Liberwrites in the foreword (- my translation into English): "This is the first and only discography outline of the work of guitarist Eduardo Ravera (1937-1996). It includes recordings made by 'el Zurdo' with the legendary violinist Hernán Oliva's quintet. In this set is also highlighted the contributions on rhythm guitar by Carlos "Chachi" Zaragoza, renowned disciple and friend of Oscar Aleman. Basically the discograpy covers a series of 6 LPs recorded for Redondel published between 1973 and 1978 and 2 recordings of live performances. [...] While the intention is to provide the most complete information about the recordings made by Ravera with Oliva, it is likely that this short work may abound in errors or omissions, which will surely be corrected in future editions, thanks to obtaining new data [...]."
If you look up audio featuring the Hernán Oliva Quinteto at YouTube, several examples from the Redondel series of LPs have been uploaded, here's an example also exposing the guitar playing of Eduardo Ravera
After Hernán Oliva's passing in 1988 Eduardo Ravera withdrew from public performance for a while, but was persuaded to return onto stage by Waldo Fonseca and friends resulting in the formation of theEduardo Ravera Quarteto.Waldo Fonseca - founder and front figure of Hot Club de Boedo - writes an account of how this happened in his prologue to the mentioned discography (- my English translation): "In 1988 with my cousin Claudio Gomez, we met the [guitar] teacher Eduardo Ravera, at the time we made our first experiences in jazz and great was our excitement to be accepted as disciples by the former guitarist of Oscar Aleman and the soloist in the Quintet of Hernán Oliva. It was not long until the teacher, who according to his own words was removed from the [public] activity, gave in to our repeated requests to return to take his place on stage, this time leading his own group. It was then sponsored by the Hot Club of Buenos Aires and we made with the "Quartet Eduardo Ravera" our first presentation at the Cotton Club with Eduardo Ravera solo guitar, Matthew Giarrusso on drums, Claudio Gomez on bass and myself on rhythm guitar. From that moment we participated in radio, television and theatre performances in jazz festivals both in Buenos Aires and throughout the country. I remember the next day of some important presentation, the phone of his apartment in Calle Venezuela would not stop ringing, calls to which the teacher invariably answered - "More or less it's the fault of the guys who took me out of the sarcophagus".
Waldo FonsecaandHot Club de Boedohave kept the memory of Eduardo Ravera well alive by paying homage to his work and inspiration every year since 2000 by performing tribute concerts and publishing a weblog dedicated to the legacy of Eduardo Ravera,here. Among the posted blog entries there is a link to a live performance by Eduardo Ravera Quarteto recorded in 1993, click hereor on the picture below to download this free contribution that reveals some great guitar playing by maestro Ravera
Waldo Fonseca and the bandmembers of Hot Club de Boedo have become an important institution in Buenos Aires aiming to keep the memory of Oscar Alemán and Eduardo Ravera alive and by continuing the tradition from these two legendary guitarists. The group has recently recorded a live-album from one of their frequent stage presentations. You have the opportunity to listen to and bye a cd-copy of this live performance by following thislinkor clicking the picture below
A couple of days ago I found out that the account for the Oscar Alemán website including Hans Koert's original OAonline dicopgraphy a.o. hosted at opweb.nl is suspended (see previous blog entry). Unfortunately, I have not access to this account, thus, a renewal is out of my hands. Things are a bit complicated, as Hans Koert did not provide me with info how to handle a situation like this, and I now regret that I never asked, before it was too late. However, Hans Koert had a back-up of the online OA Discography uploaded at a local net-server, fortunately this version of the discography still works at my computer. Here is the link.
I cannot assure that the link works outside Europe/EUC and I would appreciate to have feed-back from readers of other regions/countries to clarify, if the mentioned link is accessible at their locations.
Visitors can contact me by using the e-mail stated below.
Until I have worked out an updated version of Hans Koert's online Oscar Alemán Discography, which may take some time, researchers of Alemán's recorded legacy have access to the latest updated info by visiting the recently published OA discography by Andrés 'Tito' Liber hosted at the weblog of Hot Club de Boedo, here