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.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Al Gran Horacio Salgán
Oscar Alemán admired the pianist, composer, arranger and orchestra leader Horacio Salgán, the photo above was shot at an occasion when Oscar and Carmen Vallejos met Salgán at a social event, probably some time in the early 1950s. In the 1950s both men had contract with Radio Belgrano and may have met eachother there. Unfortunately, we have not found available information about the relationship between Alemán and Horacio Salgán - a story yet to be told, before it's too late. However, as mentioned, we know that Alemán admired Salgán and he documented his admiration in his late career by recording a solo guitar piece titled "Al Gran Horacio Salgán". The composition is a reworking and extension of the intro part of Alemán's signature tune, "Hombre Mio", played as a tango. The tune was recorded by Alemán on his 'En Todas Los Ritmos' album for Redondel, September 1974, this version has been uploaded at YouTube and is inserted below
Horacio Adolfo Salgán (b. June 15, 1916, in Buenos Aires) 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. 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, the Konex Foundation from Argentina granted him the Diamond Konex Award, one of the most prestigious awards im Argentina. 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. [Info excerpted from Wikipedia article].
From a career profile and a published interview with Salgán at the Todotango web we learn that Salgán has had a wide range of music interest and influence in his own work spanning from not just the tango tradition of Argentina, but also covering the classical European masters, jazz and Brazilian popular music. In fact, as mentioned in the interview, Salgán's first composition and recording was a Brazilian choro titled 'Choro en Fa Sostenido'. Recently, a Brazilian pianist, Marcelo Caldi, has uploaded his version of this great composition by Salgán at YouTube, inserted below
To give you and impression of Salgán's virtuosity as a pianist and improviser, here's a TV performance with Salgán together with guitarist Ubaldo De Lio exchanging spontaneous ideas while playing the tango 'La Cumparsita'
As mentioned in the Wikipedia article, Salgán formated the Quinteto Real to create instrumental tangos designed for listening rather than dancing. This ensemble still performs the works in this genre by Salgán, and a couple of years ago the group was filmed at a tango festival. Salgán himself is taking the stool at the piano, 94 years old and still in full vigeur - enjoy this recorded sequence uploaded at YouTube
To return to the intro of this blog, it would be great to have Salgán's version of the relationship with Alemán, perhaps a journalist in Argentina already had the idea? We would certainly like to know, if this story already has been told, perhaps some of our readers can inform about this issue? Both Alemán and Salgán are important contributors to the music culture of Argentina and each of them great personalities in their chosen idiom.
Carmen Vallejo (1922- 2013), passed away, yesterday, the 20th of April, 2013 in Buenos Aires, Luis Contijoch told me …. The Argentine newspaper La Nacion headed: Murió a los 90 años la actriz Carmen Vallejo.
Oscar Alemán and Carmen Vallero in Punta del Este, Uruguay(photo: Carmen Vallejo archive)( source: Tributo a Oscar Alemán- Guillermo, José & Estanislao Iacona).
Carmen Valejo was an honored Argentine (comedy) actress and was married for more then ten years with guitarist Oscar Alemán, well known Argentine guitar player, vocalist and entertainer.
Oscar Alemán's first Quinteto de Swing (ca 1941) Oscar Alemán had returned to his homeland Argentina in 1940 when German Nazis has captured the French capital Paris …………. In Argentina he had to find a living as a musician and started his first Quinteto de Swing …… Volví a la Argentina el 24 de diciembre de 1940, con 84 pesos, pasándola fiero (= I returned to Argentina on the 24th of December, 1940, with 84 pesos .. having a very hard time ) ( source: Tributo a Oscar Alemán- Guillermo, José & Estanislao Iacona). He founded a quintet, featuring the (later) famous violin playerHernan Oliva, Dario Quaglia (rhythm guitar), Andres Alvarez bass and Ramon Caravaca on drums. With this quintet he performed in local clubs, like the Gong, a night club in Buenos Aires. Carmen Vallero with her relatives at Oscar's former appartement to unveil a plaque (June 2008) ( Photo courtesy Daniel Cossarini and Jorgelina Alemán ) During this period he must have met Carmen Vallejo, who was a young attractive actress. Carmen remembered her first meeting with Oscar at a Belgrano radio studio. Just before the program would start he came in with his guitar: ...... se presentó, pidió permiso y tomando el instrumento y apoyando un pie en una silla arrancó con "Falsa bahiana", que además cantó (= … introduced himself, asked for permission, held the instrument, put a foot on a chair and started to play and sing the song "Falsa bahiana.") ( source: Tributo a Oscar Alemán- Guillermo, José & Estanislao Iacona). He told Carmen that he would wait until the radio program had finished and so he did: Finalmente, al concluir el programa, resultó que me esperaba para llevarme a mi casa en bicicleta ( When the program had finished, he gave me a ride by bike to my house). ( source: Tributo a Oscar Alemán- Guillermo, José & Estanislao Iacona). Carmen even remembered that Oscar was wearing short pants and a waist-line jacket, not very common in those days. They fell in love and lived together for ten years. Carmen Vallejo (2008) ( Photo courtesy Daniel Cossarini and Jorgelina Alemán )
Their apartments were located in the same area and Oscar used to play Hombre mio under her window to wake her up ….. They would dine out at Sibarita …… a German restaurant in Suipacha Street. Nos divertíamos mucho porque Oscar era chaplinesco. Una mezcla de Chaplin con Danny Kaye. (= We had a lot of fun, because Oscar was really a funny guy, something between Charles Chaplin and Danny Kay) Carmen Vallejo told the Iacona’s who wrote Oscar’s biography; Tributo a Oscar Alemán.
Love to share a fragment of an Argentine TV soap, the kind of programs, the the general public remembers Carmen Vallejo best ....
In April 1944 Selva was born and four years later India Morena. The young family moved to Lanús where they bought a house. Oscar was, in those days, at the top of his popularity – he had his own radio programs and was the star to sing in large dance halls all around Argentina. Carmen was a sought after actress and had to perform almost constantly ….. She became also a well known and popular actress, which Oscar didn’t like, because people recognized her on the streets, which made him jealous ... …..He wanted her to stop performing! Carmen Vallejo with her relatives (2008) ( Photo courtesy Daniel Cossarini and Jorgelina Alemán )
Owing to force of circumstances Oscar started to drink and their relations had to end ……. Carmen remembered him as a good and generous man … A Oscar lo salvó la música; era todo música, tanto que ni él mismo fue capaz de darse cuenta de lo que era ( = Oscar was saved by music, he was music, so much that he didn’t realized it himself) ….. Late 1950s they had to divorce.
Jorgelina Alemán in a concert,in a tribute to her grandfather (2009) ( Photo courtesy Daniel Cossarini and Jorgelina Alemán ) Oscar and Carmen’s daughter Selva became a well known actress and film star and his granddaughter would follow in her grandpa’s footsteps: Jorgelina - she would become a jazz vocalist, keeping Oscar’s heritage alive.
We hope, Selva, India, Jorgelina, Daniel and all their relatives, will accept our condolences on the death of their mother and grandmother Carmen Vallejo!
Hans Koert - Jørgen Larsen - editorsOscar Alemán blog
When Oscar Alemán founded his first Quinteto de Swing late 1940, the ensemble consisted of Alemán as leader, arranger and solo guitarist, Dario "El Johnny" Quaglia on rhythm guitar, Andrés Alvarez on string bass, Ramon M. Caravaca on drums, and Guillermo Hernán Oliva on violin - the only other member of the group to be given solo space besides Oscar. Between November 1941 and November 1942 the quintet recorded 10 sides for Odeon, and if you listen carefully to the solo spots given to the violin, you will recognise a talented improviser of the instrument. Hernán Oliva definitely belongs to the great swing violinists, and his recorded work with Alemán remains highlights of his career. Unfortunately, Oliva and Alemán stopped their cooporation in 1943 due to an incompatibility of temper, however, they recorded once more together in 1954 at a concert arranged by the Hot Club de Buenos Aires.
The Hot Club de Buenos Aires was founded in November 1948 and on 7 June 1954 the organisation had arranged a special concert performance at the Teatro La Mascara, which was recorded by Odeon. The concert indeed was a special event, as it for the first time in a decade reunited Alemán and Oliva together on stage. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find background information of this reunion - no details according this have been stated in available sources. Nevertheless, the saved music from the concert is a great document of the event, and it should definitly be reissued and available on CD, as this concert gives us an important impression of both Alemán and Oliva in a live-performance at the height of their careers.
The saved part of the concert was issued by Odeon on a 10 inch LP-disc (Odeon LDS 201), the disc contains three tunes and the performing ensemble, labeled Quinteto de Cuerdas del Hot Club de Buenos Aires, consists of Guillermo Hernan Oliva v, Oscar Alemán g, Walter Malosetti g, Mario Tejón g, Aldo “Nene” Nicolini b.. This ensemble presents three jazz standards: Limehouse Blues, Confessin' and Sweet Georgia Brown, and this is what is available from the concert. However, three more tunes were recorded with an all stars formation including Oliva and Alemán, but the masters were rejected by Odeon and never issued (- for detailed info, see the online discography, click here) . The first tune played by the Quinteto de Cuerdas del Hot Club de Buenos Aires was Limehouse Blues, and this take is now available in streaming audio from SoundCloud, inserted below
The second take from the concert has a performance of Confessin', which delivers great examples of Oliva's sweet tone and a certain tension between the two soloists, but also nice spots of musical humour immediately applaused by the audience. Fortunately, this track has also been uploaded on SoundCloud
It has puzzled me for a long time, why these recordings haven't been reissued on CD, but it would indeed be an obvious choice this year, which is the Centennial of Hernán Oliva. Both Oliva and Alemán deserves to be praised for their performance in this special 1954 reuinion concert. And, by the way, the music is a great treat to celebrate the 104th anniversary of Oscar Alemán as well! --- Jo
It is known that Les Loups went on tour in Brazil before arriving to Buenos Aires in 1927. The duo had its
professional debut in Rio de Janeiro 1926 performing as Hawaiian guitarists, but until recently the exact dates and locations of the duo's performance haven't been known, nor has the reception by the Brazilian public been mentioned before. However, thanks to the research by Jorge Carvalho de Mello we can now add some details about this matter.
A couple of years ago (September, 2010) de Mello published his first findings at his blog, which we referenced in a small entry here. Some months ago (August 2012) de Mello had a new entry at his blog adding more details in his article "A TEMPORADA DO DUO LES LOUPS NO RIO DE JANEIRO". However, in the meantime his blog has now been deleted, but I was fortunate to make a copy of the text (- in Portuguese) before the blog suddently had disappeared. I think it's appropiate to save this information - especially as it is not available elsewhere any longer and - as far as I know - has not been mentioned by other sources researching the early career of Oscar Alemán. Below I'll summarize the research by de Mello to have it available here at our blog, at least. --- The sources of de Mello's research of Les Loups in Rio are newspaper ads, reviews, theather programs and posters
from the years 1926-27.
- The first mentioning of Les Loups is dated 7. September, 1926 in the theater column of the 07/09/1926 Gazette, that has the headline 'Duo havaiano' and states - quote (my English translation:)" After showing in theaters in S Paulo and Santos, the duo Les Loups is currently in Rio.The two extraordinary guitarists are our native Gaston Bueno Lobo and Oscar Moreira. In S Paulo, where they were welcomed with sympathy by the public, the duo performed a show at the Apollo in favor of the Brazilian Press Association. They are shortly going to present themselves to the public in Rio." It's worth noticing that the duo is presented by the name Les Loups and apparently already had a successful performance in São Paulo before arriving in Rio de Janeiro - the duo is caracterized as 'extraordinary guitarists' and is 'velcomed with sympathy' by the attending public in the Apollo theater of São Paulo. Further research revealed according to de Mello, that Les Loups had been performing in São Paulo in the month of June between 3 and 18 with the Company Brandão / Palmeirim in the Apollo theater. After the performaces in São Paulo, de Mello adds, it seems likely that the duo also has been present in the city of Santos and then went to Rio de Janeiro.
In Rio, the duo is performing at the Cine Theatro Central sharing stage with other artists in October 1926. The
theater is a cinema with both live acts on stage and on-screen movie performance, common of the time . Les Loups are announced performing 12, 16 and 17 October together with vaudeville artists, acrobats, an opera singer and trained dogs (!). On the 15 October, the duo is mentioned in a program announcing live broadcast at Radio Club, a local radio station, which has a transmission of 'light music by Orchestra of the Radio Club and Les Loups, guitarristas hawayanos'. On the 20. October, the Radio Club has another transmission featuring Les Loups. The duo is back on stage at Cine Theatro Central on 26. October, this is the last presentation of Les Loups in Rio anno 1926 according to de Mello's research.
1927 was a special year in Brazilian popular music, a sponsored national contest among Rio de Janeiro guitarists
was mobilizing the public through intense propaganda, new names were taking the stage and already established
musicians were challenged. In this intense atmosphere the Les Loups duo continued to perform in movie theaters of
Rio. The duo is presented on 25. January together with Companhia Juvenal Fontes, February and March have no trace
of Les Loups, but in April the duo is back, now presented at Cine Teatro Glória on 18 and 19 April. The critics
heaped praise on the duo's presentations according to de Mello's source, quote (my English translation): the duo "
Sparked endless applause from the audience, the songs performed on acoustic guitar [were] so really masterful for
two rare performers". - The success with the Carioca public continued during the Portuguese week at Cine Odeon, on
the 24. April Les Loups are on stage, again with other artists, at this occasion performing Portuguese fado music
gaining applause from the audience and praise from the critics, stating: (quote my English translation) "Les Loups, these extraordinary guitarists who are working with the Company Tangara, played several fados, charming".
In July, there was arranged a show as a tribute to the accomplishment of Brazilian aviation after the first plane had crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The show was presented on 8. July with the participation of a variety of artists, among them were Les Loups. The ex-president of the Repulic attended the show that included a spectacle or play, which had gained success already during a theater performance on June 21 also including Les Loups accompanying some of the participating actors/artists.
In August, the duo is back at Cine Theatro Central from 2. August and stays there throughout the month, again appearing with success onstage alongside other artists including acrobats, dancers and tap dancers.
On August 15th, Les Loups are taking part in another major event in Rio, where many artists were mobilized to produce a great spectacle whose income was allocated for the purchase of a bust of the impresario J.Stampa. Les Loups participated alongside several famous Brazilian popular guitarists of the time. - The last mentioning of Les Loups in 1927 was found in a notice announcing a party on September 29th, where the duo participated as part of the arranged performance. --- Thanks to the reseach by Jorge Carvalho de Mello we may now conclude that Les Loups had success in Rio de Janeiro from September 1926 to September 1927, a year when several performances and public events in Rio exposed various artists but also left a significant impression of the remarkable artistry of the Les Loups duo on the Carioca public and critics. As a previously untold story of the early career of Oscar Alemán, this information is crucial in understanding the later success of Les Loups in both Buenos Aires and Europe. --- Jo
Presence and concentration, adding broadcasting hours (Archivo Iacona)( Tributo a Oscar Alemán) Last month José and Estanislao Iacona published their father’s life’s work, dedicated to the popular Argentine guitar player of the 1940s and 1950s. The book is entitled Tributo a Oscar Alemán and is published in the Spanish, English and French language by Whitefly.
The book Tributo a Oscar Alemán(ISBN: 978-987-23688-4-5) The book has six chapters which cover Alemán’s musical career, starting as a kid singing and dancing in their family folk ensemble Los Moreira, his close cooperation with Gaston Bueno Lobo ( as Les Loups and Trio Victor); his European years with the Baker Boys and his return to Argentina, early 1940s, where he started a great career, which ended late 1950s. That chapter is called Del estrellato al abismo ( = From stardom to ruin ….). In Chapter 5 the period of the two last decades of Alemán’s live, in which he “emerged from the ashes” renarces de las cenizas, as the authors label it; it is the period, Guillermo Iacona, who started to write down his memories, remembers Oscar Alemán best. Chapter 6 is fully dedicated to the period in which Guillermo met Oscar Alemán and took music lessons from him …… The book ends with some recollections by Jorgelina Alemán, Oscar’s granddaughter, who followed in her grandfathers footsteps. The book ends with a discography and a filmography.
Guillermo José Iacona and his Repiso guitar( Archivo Iacona) Guillermo José Iaconna started this tribute to Oscar Alemán only a couple of years ago, although I remember that he has been always excited in his letters and emails to me, about the time he had lessons by the great guitar player and entertainer Oscar Alemán and the three concerts he participated. Making the book was his dream! When he started it, years ago, he informed us at set times about the process. Alemán widow Carmen Vallejo remembers Guillermo: El era música (= He was all music). Jorgelina tells about Guillermo as ………… .una persona de una gran calidad humana, quién de algún modo quedó cautivado por el artista y el ser, de una sensibilidad única, que era mi abuelo. ( = As a wonderful human being, who was captivated by the artist and man of enormous sensibility who was my grandfather.)
Guillermo passed away before he could finish the book, but due to his sons José and Estanislao the book, the life work of their father, could be published, with the kind support of the Governor of the province of Chaco where Oscar was born more than a century ago. The book is well designed and especially the dozens of rare photographs make the book a must-have for all Oscar Alemán fans ……. The type page is in three columns, one in the Spanish -, one in the English - and one in the French language, which makes the book easy to handle for most jazz fans all over the world ………… a book which will find its place in both Europe as in Argentina …….
Oscar Alemán in the 1970s( Edítorial Atlántico)
I hope to refer often to this book in blogs dedicated to El Negro, Oscar Alemán and point you to untold stories and information which has been published now. This book is an important source, due to the fact that the info is also available in English for all student or jazz fan which study the music and career of Oscar Alemán.
The book can be ordered at its website Tributo a Oscar Alemán This blog is also available in the Spanish and Dutch language Hans Koert email@example.com
Estampa y concentración, sumando horas de aire (Archivo Iacona)( Tributo a Oscar Alemán) El último mes José y Estanislao Iacona publicaron el trabajo de su padre Guillermo, la obra de su vida dedicada al popular guitarrista argentino de los 40s y 50s. El libro se titula "Tributo a Oscar Alemán" y está publicado en español, inglés y francés por Whitefly. Tributo a Oscar Aleman( español)- Tribute to Oscar Alemán (English) - Eerbetoon aan Oscar Alemán (Nederlands)
El libro(ISBN: 978-987-23688-4-5) El libro contiene seis capítulos que abarcan la carrera musical de Alemán, comenzando cuando era un niño cantando y bailando en el conjunto folklórico de su familia Los Moreira, su vínculo cercano con Gastón Bueno Lobo (como Les Loups y Trio Victor): sus años en Europa con los Baker Boys y su regreso a la Argentina en los comienzos de los años 40, donde comenzó una gran carrera, que finalizó a finales de los años 50. Ese capítulo se titula "Del estrellato al abismo". En el capítulo 5 se analiza el período que abarca dos décadas de la vida de Alemán en la cual "emergió de las cenizas", como lo definió el escritor Guillermo Iacona, que comenzó a escribir sus memorias en la época que mejor recuerda. El capítulo 6 está dedicado a la época en la cual Guillermo conoció a Oscar Alemán y tomó lecciones de música de él..... El libro finaliza com algunos recuerdos de Jorgelina Aleman, la nieta de Oscar, que siguió los pasos de sus abuelos. El libro finaliza con una discografía y filmografía de Oscar Alemán.
Guillermo José Iacona y su guitarra Repiso( Archivo Iacona) Guillermo José Iacona comienza este tributo a Oscar Alemán un par de años atrás, aunque recuerdo que siempre estuvo entusiasmado en sus cartas y correos electrónicos que me mandaba, acerca de la época en que tomó lecciones del gran guitarrista y animador Oscar Alemán y los tres conciertos en que participó. Hacer el libro fué un sueño, cuando lo comenzó, años atrás, nos tenía al tanto acerca de su evolución. La esposa de Alemán Carmen Vallejo recuerda a Guillermo: El era todo música. Jorgelina recuerda a Guillermo como "...una persona de una gran calidad humana, quién de algún modo quedó cautivado por el artista y el ser, de una sensibilidad única, que era mi abuelo.
Guillermo falleció antes que pudiera terminar el libro, pero debido a sus hijos José y Estanislao, el libro, la obra de su vida, pudo finalizarse. El libro pudo publicarse gracias a la colaboración de la gobernación del Chaco, provincia donde Oscar nació más de 100 años atrás. El libro está bien diseñado y especialmente las docenas de raras fotografías hacen a este libro imprescindible para todos los fanáticos de Oscar. El texto está encolumnado en español, ingles y francés, lo que lo hace sumamente sencillo para ser leído por los seguidores de Oscar en todo el mundo... un libro que será bien recibido en Europa y Argentina.
Oscar Alemán: en la decade del 70( Edítorial Atlántico)
Espero continuar refiriéndome mas adelante al libro, en varios blogs que están dedicados a Oscar Alemán, a medida que nuevas anécdotas y nueva información se publique, importante para todos aquellos seguidores que estudian la música y carrera de Oscar Alemán. Este libro puede ser comprado en suwebsite Tributo a Oscar Alemán This blog will be published in English as Tribute a Oscar Alemán .. en in het Nederlands als Eerbetoon aan Oscar Alemán Hans Koert traducción Luis Contijoch firstname.lastname@example.org
The editors of the OA blog wish our readersA Happy New Year 2013 and want to share two examples of the reason why our passion for the musical legacy of Oscar Alemán keeps us going on - also in 2013!
- The first uploaded video is a live-recording from a radioperformance at Radio El Mundo, B.A., it was recorded on acetate during one of Alemán's live presentations in the "Ritmos de Juventud" program on L.R.1, c.1955. The tune played is the incomparable cavaquinho solo of 'O.A 1926' - enjoy!
- The second video has the audio of Alemán's magnificent solo performance of Schoenberger's 'Whispering', recoded in Copenhagen, Dec. 5th, 1938 - enjoy!
--- A Happy New Year/Un feliz año nuevo 2013! The Alemaniacs Hans Koert - Jorgen Larsen