Saturday, October 07, 2006

Romeu Silva


Daniella Thompson wrote an excellent article about the Brazilian bandleader and sax player Romeu Silva. I love to introduce you to that article. Daniella Thompson is the editor of the online Magazine of Brazilian Music & Culture ( click on the title bar). She also has an informative site about Brazilian music: Musica Brasiliensis


Romeu Silva travelled to Europe around 1926 (thanks Daniella for this addition) and became the director of the 16 Baker Boys, the band of Josephine Baker in Paris. Ean Wood writes about that in his biography The Josephine Baker Story: In the autumn of 1931, Paris Qui Remue closed. As Mistinguett was to be the star of the Casino's next revue, Josephine employed herself by setting off on tour with a band of jazz musicians. She named them The 16 Baker Boys.





On this 1931-1932 image from left to right: Han Driessen vo p, Oscar Aleman g, Josephine Baker, ?unknown ts, Jean Irace vo, ?unknown as


Their leader was tenor saxophonist Romeo (sic) Silva, and among them were trumpeter Léon Jacobs, who has been her bandleader at Chez Josephine, alto saxophonist Joe Hayman, who had come with her to Paris as part of the Claude Hopkins band for La Revue Negre, and the Argentinian guitarist and composer Oscar Aleman.


About Oscar Aleman Ean Wood says: Aleman was one of the most talented musicians with whom ahe would ever work. He had only arrived in Paris in that year ( 1931) and would stay until the advent of war in 1939, becoming as highly regarded in the French world of le Jazz Hot, as the Belgian gypsy Django Reinhardt. Indeed, the two became good friends. (Source: The Josephine Baker Story - Ean Wood ( 2000) p. 175)


I found an image of a 1931-1932 revue with the cast, and it wouldn't surprise me that the tenor player on Josephine's left side is Romeu Silva, in front as leader of the 15 Baker Boys.


I hope Daniella can confirm that to me !!


Daniella's information is to found in the comment of this blog. Thanks Daniella.


You can find the article at this site .


You can find some information about the Jean, Jac et Jo Trio, that was part of the Josephine Baker revue at the same time as Aleman and Silva were in the Baker Boys at this site



When you click on the title bar you can visit Daniella's excellent web blog about Brazilian culture.



This blog was re-posted, with another image at my Keep swinging blog

Thank you Daniella for your additions.

2 Comments:

Blogger Daniella Thompson said...

Romeu Silva is not in the photo with Josephine Baker. Nor do I see anyone else from his band in this picture.

Please note that Romeu Silva and his band traveled to Europe in January 1926, not around 1930 as you stated.

3:12 AM  
Anonymous yves francois said...

Hans, it seems that Oscar could stay in Josephine Baker's band longer than most, but it could not have been more than 5 years (it might of been less, seeing that he only recorded with her from 1931 to about 1933). It is also too bad that some sources list him and Romeu in the 1930 recordings, I do not believe Romeu is on them (I would agree that the sessions from the summer of 1931)and, for certain Aleman was in Spain in 1930 with Lobo. I am begining to believe that Edmond Mahieux was only the director for the June 1931 recording dates (I believe it was his band on the 1930 sessions), but let Romeu and Baker's band to record (with much better results, it must be added, espically the session with Johnny Dunn, too bad no jazz solos) but I believe Romeu drops off within a year or so (he was leading his own band with Booker Pittman in it in the summer of 1934 according to Chilton' entry on Pittman, but it could have been earlier, Pittman and Coleman were with Millinder in 1933 and unlike Coleman in 1933, Booker stayed in Paris and was with Freddy Johnson by the fall of 1933), will do more research for you and Daniella this week.
Off to some more data regarding Oscar Aleman, according to Bill Coleman in his autobiography Trumpet Story (page 112 English edition), he was playing with Aleman's combo from May to July 1938 at a dance hall on Rue Fountaine. It was mostly playing latin musics, something Oscar could do as well as the other Latin bandleaders in paris (Silva, Rico, Cureva, Barreto, Guido et all). Before that Oscar was (along with Bill Coleman) a member of the excellent Freddy Taylor combo, Aleman was already not a part of Baker's group in 1935 to play in Taylor's band (picture of Coleman and Aleman is in the book "Trumpet Story" have you read this book, let me know). I would presume that sometime in 1936 or 7 Oscar beacame a bandleader and considering the rage Cuban and Biguines rythyms had in Paris at that time, Oscar probably capitalized on it (as did Romeu Silva, considering that he went back to Paris even after he left in 1935). Hope this helps, Yves Francois

1:30 PM  

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