El Perrito de Oscar
The description above reflects the struggle and frustration shared by many collectors of Alemán's recorded output, I know. However, in my case the struggle paid off - I had my copy of the wanted LP. The process of searching the record may have been a frustrating affair, but like a dog searching his master, I found my way home as described. - The music on the record may also be considered Oscar's home during his last years. We have three jazz standards from his repertoire - 'China Boy', 'Whispering' and 'Joe Louis', here performed in a quartet setting leaving Alemán the chance to show off genuine solos and ensemble interplay. There is also an ensemble rendition of Pixinguinha's 'Carinhoso' - the Brasilian choro anthem (- in fact, I have read somewhere that another choro, Alemán's own 'Casi Bueno', also was planned and recorded during this session, but never released by Redondel - can somebody confirm?). However, highlights of the tunes released on Redondel L-809 are the five solo recordings of guitar artistry by the master alone in the studio. We have a version of 'Oscar Blues', a reading of an Argentine folkloric dance tune titled 'El Chama', the re-working of the first part of Alemán's signature tune 'Hombre Mio' into a tango dedicated to Horacio Salgan, ' Al Gran Horacio Salgan'. And of course we also have Alemán's incredible solo rendition of the tango par excellence, 'La Cumparsita' - the definitive version for solo guitar leaving countless other versions miles behind; it's a well chosen composition to end the record, there's nothing more to say after this version!
The last solo tune not yet mentioned is a composition by Alemán titled 'El Perrito de Oscar' (- meaning ' Oscar's dog' in English). This tune reflects the Argentine roots of Alemán's guitarplaying technique incorporating tricks and licks used by gauchos accompanying the traditional malambo dance. Probably Alemán always remembered that he had won a malambo dancing contest as a kid of six years of age, at least the rhythm and spirit of malambo is recognizable throughout the tune.
To end this, I insert a video performance of a malambo played by solo guitarist Cacho Tirao
On October the 14th it is 28 years since Oscar Alemán passed away.