Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Recording Debut of Les Loups - A Discographical Conclusion

From the online discography of Oscar Alemán we only have an approximate date of the recording debut of Les Loups. The info stated in the online discography gives c. December 10th, 1927 as the date of the recording of the tango-milonga 'Hawayanita' and the waltz 'Criollita' by Les Loups, the recording debut by the duo for Victor, issued on Victor 79968. Another source, the online Discography of American Historic Recordings, states the recording date of Victor 79968 as 'Winter 1928' for the catalog numbers of the mentioned tunes, mx BAVE-1588 and BAVE-1589. Further info in the online AHR discograpy states that take 2 of both matrix number BAVE-1588 and BAVE-1589 were used as masters for the issued Victor 79968 disc.
Victor 79968-A
Last week I had a mail from Anthony Baldwin, who now can confirm the precise date of the recoding debut of Les Loups as December 6th 1927 and further has some interesting info that I like to share here. I quote Mr. Baldwin below by permission, the inserted scans are also forwarded by this observant collector.
HMV R14030 (scan courtesy Anthony Baldwin)
Anthony Baldwin writes: "I recently acquired HMV R14030, the Italian issue of Argentine Victor 79968: Hawayanita (BA1588) and Criollita (BA1589). Under the label of the Hawayanita side there is legible information scratched in the original wax by the engineer, notably the matrix number "BAVE 1588" and a precise recording date "Dec. 6..27".
Scan of original wax info at HMV R14030 (courtesy Anthony Baldwin)
"The "Hawayanita" side has legible matrix information scratched in the wax under the label, clearly dating the session to "Dec. 6. 27", whereas the date on the Oscar blog is "c. 10 December 1927". There is also a hand- inscribed "2" at 9 o'clock from the spindle hole, which would appear to confirm the die-stamped take number "2" in the wax run-off area. The flip side, "Criolitta", also bears the take number "2" in the run-off."
"In my view, c. 10 December 1927 was always a slightly dubious estimate, mainly because the 10th was a Saturday, a day when — in western culture, at least — musicians are usually busy working elsewhere. For similar reasons, the probably American engineer at Argentine Victor would have been used to the U.S. practice of working Monday to Friday: Saturday was for the racetrack or the golf course. Unless someone like Rachmaninov had been in town, I doubt that the engineer would have been amused to be dragged into the studio at the weekend — and certainly not for a couple of obscure guitarists!"
"It's interesting that the artist credit scratched in the wax is not to "Les Loups", but to Lobo-Morera [sic], presumably because Oscar was using his father's name, Moreira."
My comment regarding the last mentioned is that published sheet music from the period often credited Alemán by writing 'Oscar M. Alemán' - the 'M' could refer to his father's name, however, Oscar's middle name was another possibility. His full name actually read 'Oscar Marcelo Alemán'.
Sheet music front - Hawayanita
Mr. Baldwin adds another interesting detail regarding the Victor session on Dec. 6th, 1927:
"Interestingly, the two matrix numbers immediately preceding the "Hawayanita" session, BAVE 1586 ("Caxorro") and 1587 ("Ya...Ya"), are by the Elio Rietti Jazz Band, apparently also recorded on Dec. 6, 1927. These sides are also both take-2. One wonders whether there was any connection between the Rietti band and Les Loups, or whether they were simply booked into the studio on the same day."
If someone can supply enlightening information of a possible connection between Les Loups and the Elio Rietti Jazz Band - a very popular and pioneering jazz band in Argentina in the 1920s, I should like to learn more. Contact me by using the e-mail below. Or use the comment facility of the blog.
Thanks a lot to Mr. Anthony Baldwin for his very informative observations!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 Encuentro de Jazz de Cuerdas "Oscar Alemán" - Some Impressions

Program frontpage 
On October 14th it has been 35 years since Oscar Alemán passed away. To commemorate his legacy and his importance for contemporary fans and followers in Argentina and elsewhere, Hot Club de Boedo organized the Encuentro de Jazz de Cuerdas de "Oscar Alemán" on September 19th at the Salón José Pallares de la Asociación de Fomento y Biblioteca Popular Gral. Alvear, Buenos Aires. Luis 'Tito' Liber kindly forwarded his impressions from the event including the photos inserted below. The text accompanying the photos is by Luis Liber.
Program inside (click to enlarge)
Last Saturday a great meeting of friends, musicians and audience took place in Buenos Aires. They were gathered to play, listen to and enjoy the music once played by Oscar Alemán in his very particular style. As always, Maestro Waldo Fonseca of Hot Club de Boedo played guitar and directed the show. As highlights we had the pleasure of listening to the Swiss accordionist Olivier Forel, who provided his jazz-mussette touch to the songs, and further Mateo Giarrusso (drums), Mariana Gasloli (bass), Gustavo Villanueva (sax), Claudio Spirito and Héctor Corpus (guitars), Matías Bahillo (trumpet) ... and of course the other well known members of the  Hot Club de Boedo ensemble.
 Oliver Forel and Mateo Giarrusso  with Hot Club de Boedo
All musicians on stage
Hot Club de Boedo and guest musicians in full swing!
In the intermezzos, Tito Liber provided a lecture on what "swing" is all about and further pointed to the El Redescubrimiento de Oscar Alemán project including the Oscar Alemán blogspot on the internet, and Sr.Roman Romano recalled many Alemán anecdotes.
Oliver Forel, Waldo Fonseca and Luis 'Tito' Liber
The end of the show included a 'jam session' featuring all the participating musicians and the audience singing "When the Saints Go Marchin` In" as a bonus.

Congratulation to Waldo Fonseca, Hot Club de Boedo and everyone else who took part in a successfull implementation of the show!

Luis 'Tito' Liber