Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Horacio Salgan

Horacio Salgan, pianist, leader, composer ( 1916) is one of the great Argentine musicians.

I found a brief biography of him: He was born in Buenos Aires. He initiated his professional work as musician at the age of 14 working in the Universal cinema of Devotee Villa (dumb cinema). He played as a piano player and played popular music, alone and in orchestras. He started his first orchestra in 1944, which lasted up to 1947. With this orchestra he discovered Edmundo Rivero who started with him as a professional singer. His second orchestra acted between 1950 and 1957. In 1980 when being fulfilled his 50 years with music, he participated as a piano player and became director of the Orchestra of the Tango of the City of Buenos Aires. In 1957 he allied musically with the guitarist Ubaldo De Li´o. In 1969 he formed a pair of pianos with Dante Amicarelli. He wrote near four hundred musical compositions. He accounts with a vast musical production, that partly still is unpublished. He received national and international prizes. The Secretariat of Culture of the Nation distinguished him as Emérita Personality of Argentinian Culture.

Enjoy some images Waldo Fonseca from Buenos Aires ( Argentina) sent me to share with you.

left to right: Horacio Salgan - Carmen Vallejos, Oscar's wife and Oscar Aleman.

Oscar Aleman and Horacio Salgan are both respected musicians. It inspirated Oscar to write a tango dedicated to the great master of tango, horacio Salgan. It is titled “AL GRAN HORACIO SALGAN ” and to be found in a Redondel album.

Horacio Salgan, Carmen Vallejos y Oscar Alemán, músicos quienes se profesaron mutuo respeto y admiración y a quien Oscar le dedicara el inspiradisimo tango "Al gran Horacio Salgán" que esta incluido en el álbum es "Oscar Alemán en todos los ritmos" editado en Buenos Aires por el sello Redondel.

From left to right: Waldo Fonseca, Horacio Salgan and the bandoneonplayer Alexander Szabo.

Photography taken after one of the presentations of the maestro with the celebrated Real Quinteto.

Fotografía tomada luego de una de las presentaciones del Maestro con el celebrado Quinteto Real. De izquierda a derecha el guitarrista Waldo Fonseca, el Maestro Horacio Salgán , y el bandoneonista Alejandro Szabó.

This blog was also published at my Keep swinging blog

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Les Loups - Harry Fleming

A composite picture of Harry Fleming's group for the Hansa Theatre in Hamburg.
Harry Fleming or Flemming ( both versions seem to exist) was a well known entertainer of the first half of the XXst century. We learned about him while researching the Oscar Aleman story. It was Harry Fleming, who invited the Les Loups duo (Gaston Bueno Lobo and Oscar Aleman) to join his revue. In 1928 they became a part of Harry Flemings group. In this group Oscar Aleman learned to improvise. Harry Fleming, living in Denmark but travelling all over the world saw the duo playing in one of the popular dance clubs in Buenos Aires. Harry Fleming, born from the Virgin Islands, then part of Denmark, was an entrepreneur, (tap) dancer, adventurer, gigolo and boxer and led a revue with a 15-piece band. Famous musicians that appeared for some time in this band were Tommy Ladnier (tp), Herb Flemming (tb) (not a relative), Roy Butler and Albert Wynn. tb

Another promo picture with Los Lobo in front and the 8 Fleming Girls.

In Feb. 1929 the Los Lobos duo visited with the Harry Fleming group Spain. They played all around Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Sevilla and Cádiz) until finally settling in Madrid. They also performed with Harry Fleming in other countries like Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands and Germany, but mainly on the Iberian Peninsula and were billed in the revue as the “Hawaiian Guitarists” in white clothes and with flower garlands. Due to a financial argument Lobo and Aleman left the group.

Program for a German performance with his Yazz-Orchester ( sic).
I found an article in Storyville nº 71 (June 1977)( by Peter Darke and Ralph Gulliver) about Roy Butler, who played with Harry Fleming and is on the picture as the man with the saxophone at the right and above in the orchestra second from the right. It is a composite picture of Harry Fleming's Bluebirds and artists ( The eight girls are the 8 Fleming Girls) at the Hansa Theatre in Hamburg (Germany). Another picture shows the same group with again Les Loup in front of the orchestra on a prominent place. Harry Fleming is on the left and Florence Miller, a solo dancer is on the right. Roy Butler is the saxophone player to the right of the sousaphone.

He said: There ( = Paris), I joined Harry Fleming's Revue. He was an American from the Virgin Isles and he formed a large stage band with chorus, plus various name artists to assist. We played the Hansa Theater in Hamburg, the Circo de Precie Teatro in Madrid, to name a few. We went all over Spain, some dates in Holland, Belgium, France and Italy." The Defender, 26 October 1929, lists Harry Fleming's Blue Birds in Spain as Tommy Ladnier, trumpet, Herb Flemming, trombone, Roy Butler, Wilson Townes, saxes, Frank Ethridge, piano, 'Strappy' Jones, drums.

Harry Fleming promo picture on a flyer for a performance at the TeatroArriage in Bilbao ( Spain) ca. 1930

"Off and on I was with Fleming for about three years." Roy said. "Personally, he wasn't a bad fellow, just a bit unwise. >
He was always overspending money he didn't have. He'd hire a show into a city without having enough to get them there. The personnel of the band changed many times during the years I was with him. So did the artists. There was a British arranger with us, Bobby Wolly. I can't recall ever having made records with him but I don't rule it out because things were so hectic then with Fleming. We never knew if he was going to get enough money to get us to the next theatre or not! He went as far as he could and eventually nobody would hire him any more. He died very pitifully in Paris

Herb Flemming, not a releative of Harry Fleming, reorganized his International Rhythm Aces to tour in much the same fashion as Harry Fleming had done.Thanks to this article we also found a programme of Harry Fleming's 16 Bluebirds Revue for August 1930.

The bill is made for a performing of Flemings revue in the Teatro de 18 Julio in Montevideo ( Uruguay ) on Thursday the 24th of January. Les Loups is part of the appearance too. It might be possible that some of the artists mentioned on the bill are visible on the publicity picture.

This blog is also posted at my Keep Swinging blogspot ( http://keepswinging.blogspot.com/2006/09/harry-fleming.html ), both in English and in Dutch.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Oscar Aleman Odeons

The 1950s were a period of great successes for Oscar Aleman. He stopped playing in small groups, like his Quinteto de Swing, but formed larger orchestras. He performed as the major artist in front of his orchestra. He was a popular artist in radio programs and in dance halls.

Carlos Araujo told me some years ago his remembrances about these dance nights. Each dance night started around ten o’clock in the evening and ran until three o’clock at night. Oscar played four times for half hour. Between these acts a jazz and a tango orchestra performed. Most people who attended these evenings wanted to dance, so the music Oscar played was danceable music. However, in the middle of the program he also would play some excellent swing versions like Rose Madreselva (Honeysuckle Rose) or Tea for Two. His tune “Improvisation on Boogie Woogie” was a smash hit during these dance nights. Oscar tried to dance, to play and to sing at the same time, shaking his body and playing his guitar on his back. He also played the guitar, standing, without using a strap. Tapping the rhythm with his foot in a special way. He also pushed his guitar for a second intending that he would throw it into the audience.

One of his first records in this period is Odeon 55240 as Oscar Aleman y su Conjunta de Jazz. He plays Rio Swanee and Cabeza Hinchada. Enjoy the labels. Mind there is a minor difference between the two versions of the labels and I'd love to know which one was first published.

OSCAR ALEMAN y su Conjunto de Jazz ( Odeon 55240) : Mario Felix cl, Carlin Traversa v, Julio Graña v, Raúl Casanova v, Alberto A. Barbera p, Oscar Alemán g vo, Alberto Ramos g, Aldo “Néne” Nicolini b, Arminio Raguza dm
Recorded Buenos Aires, 16 May 1951
18012 - RIO SWANEE ( SWANEE RIVER ) Fox- Trot (Stephen Foster)
( Odeon 55240 )
18013 - CABEZA HINCHADA – Baiao (Hervé Cordovil) - Oscar Aleman vo
(Odeon 55240)

Listen to Cabeza Hinchada

This blog is also published at my Keep swinging blog: http:/keepswinging.blogspot.com/2006/09/oscar-aleman-odeons.html