Sunday, January 31, 2016

OSCAR ALEMÁN and RAFAEL MEDINA

Rafael Medina (1906 - 1978)
In the revised and updated Oscar Alemán Discography by Andrés 'Tito' Liber there is an interesting entry in the published part 2 (- scroll down to page 19) concerning Oscar Alemán's collaboration with the Spanish singer Rafael Medina They both participated in the (partly lost) movie Trois Argentins à Montmartre (1940) by André Hugon together with actor George Rigaud and dancer Paloma Sandoval and possibly also recorded a few sides for the Pathé label in 1940. - Below I'll publish 'Tito' Liber's considerations about this issue, which he kindly forwarded in English to share with the readers of this blog. 
Original film poster
In the André Hugon film Trois Argentins à Montmartre (filmed in France between January and April 1940, premiered January 14th 1941) with George Rigaud, Paloma Sandoval and singer Rafael Medina, we can see Oscar Alemán playing two or more songs. Oscar plays the guitar in a scene in which he talks with Rigaud in a small room, some chords of “Pobre mi madre querida” (tango) + Jazz improvisation. The scene is available in Hernán Gaffet's documentary 'Vida con Swing' (2002) and has also been uploaded at YouTube


In another scene, which has been saved (- without audio) and available in Hernán Gaffet's documentary, Oscar participates as a guitarist with the singer Rafael Medina and dancer Paloma Sandoval in a nightclub/cabaret setting, a still shot from this scene is inserted here
Still shot from Trois Argentins à Montmartre
It is funny to see Oscar dressed as a gaucho… but playing a modern Gibson L4 guitar! This song could be one of the Argentine songs Rafael Medina recorded in Paris in 1940 for Pathé, accompanied by guitars, but the singer´s discography doesn´t give us any data about it. Further, we know that Alemán almost never recorded with another guitarist. So, strictly talking, we cannot confirm the participation of OA in those registers, but I think it is highly probable. In the inserted still shot, the way Oscar plays the guitar seems like a typical “rasgueo” of an Argentine creole valtz.

Rafael Medina recorded the following sides for French Pathé in 1940

El Rosal Florido (unknown composer) vals criollo (Rafael Medina, Vol.1 1931-1942. Remastered. Dec 01, 2000. Discos Marfer / Discos Lollipop, S.L.track 6) (Rafael Medina. Obra Completa 1931-1942. Jul 12, 2011. C.R. Digital Contents. CD1 track 6) Rafael Medina (vo) + 2 guitars. A creole valtz, maybe the one played in “Trois argentins a Montmartre” movie?

Taconeando (P. Maffia) tango (Rafael Medina, Vol.1 1931-1942. Remastered. Dec 01, 2000. Discos Marfer / Discos Lollipop, S.L.track 9) (Rafael Medina. Obra Completa 1931-1942. Jul 12, 2011. C.R. Digital Contents. CD1 track 9) Rafael Medina (vo) + 2 guitars. It is interesting to say that Alemán would play this tango in 1965, at Radio El Mundo, with the 5 Caballeros.

Yo sé por qué (unknown composer) bolero foxtrot (Rafael Medina, Vol.1 1931-1942. Remastered. Dec 01, 2000. Discos Marfer / Discos Lollipop, S.L.track 20) (Rafael Medina. Obra Completa 1931-1942. Jul 12, 2011. C.R. Digital Contents. CD2 track 20) Rafael Medina (vo) + unknown (g), unknown (acc). A dancing theme with a musette tingue given by an accordeon and a brief jazzy guitar solo.

Norwegian Jazz archeologist Jan Evensmo had this comment regarding Alemán's possible participation in the mentioned recordings: " "El Rosal Florido" and "Taconeando" seem to be recorded at the same session (same 78?). This guitar player could very well be OA, although I am not 100% sure. (...) "Yo Se Por Que", a delightful solo on this one! Although I hesitate in stating that this 100% sure is OA, it is quite likely"

'Tito' Liber
---
Jo
keepitswinging.domain@gmail.com


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