Sunday, May 22, 2016

A New Online Discography

Hernán Oliva Quinteto 1970s-L-R: Eduardo "Zurdo" Ravera (g solo), Carlos Zaragoza (rh g),
 Hernán Oliva (v), Jorge Parera (b)  Guillermo Espinase (rh g)
Around 1970 violinist Hernán Oliva - renowned for his collaboration with Oscar Alemán in the latter's first Quinteto de Swing (1941-43) - formated his own string swing quintet featuring very competent sidemen. The quintet was a great vehicle for the leader's extraordinary swing violin playing in a both hot and sweet style inspired by pioneer jazz violinists like Joe Venuti and Stéphane Grappelli but no less very much his own. With this group Oliva gained success in his late career and he recorded some memorable albums for the Redondel label during the 1970s which still stand the test of time. When listening to these recordings by the Hernán Oliva Quinteto, the listener's attention, however, is not only concerned with Oliva's playing but is in fact also quickly caught by the very delicate contributions by the quintet's lefthanded lead guitarist, Eduardo Ravera (- knicknamed 'el Zurdo' thanks to his inverted playing position). Eduardo Ravera (1937 - 1996) was a disciple of Oscar Alemán and had played together with Alemán in public live presentations, and his guitar style was elaborated from the inspiration induced by the master, but also from studying the French 'Hot Club' contributions by the legendary Django Reinhardt - the result of this was a very personal style of single string soloing characterized by a clean and accurate picking technique and great improvisational skills never exaggerating the melodic terms of the played music but keeping things together with a cool and restrained passion. Now the recorded work of Eduardo Ravera with the Hernán Oliva Quinteto finally has gained some documented exposure in a new discography collected by Andrés 'Tito' Liber, who recently published the result at the web blog of Hot Club de Boedo, here  
Front page of Eduardo Ravera discography
Andrés 'Tito' Liber writes in the foreword (- my translation into English): "This is the first and only discography outline of the work of guitarist Eduardo Ravera (1937-1996). It includes recordings made by 'el Zurdo' with the legendary violinist Hernán Oliva's quintet. In this set is also highlighted the contributions on rhythm guitar by Carlos "Chachi" Zaragoza, renowned disciple and friend of Oscar Aleman. Basically the discograpy covers a series of 6 LPs recorded for Redondel published between 1973 and 1978 and 2 recordings of live performances. [...] While the intention is to provide the most complete information about the recordings made by Ravera with Oliva, it is likely that this short work may abound in errors or omissions, which will surely be corrected in future editions, thanks to obtaining new data [...]." 
Eduardo Ravera
If you look up audio featuring the Hernán Oliva Quinteto at YouTube, several examples from the Redondel series of LPs have been uploaded, here's an example also exposing the guitar playing of Eduardo Ravera

After Hernán Oliva's passing in 1988 Eduardo Ravera withdrew from public performance for a while, but was persuaded to return onto stage by Waldo Fonseca and friends resulting in the formation of the Eduardo Ravera Quarteto. Waldo Fonseca - founder and front figure of Hot Club de Boedo - writes an account of how this happened in his prologue to the mentioned discography (- my English translation): "In 1988 with my cousin Claudio Gomez, we met the [guitar] teacher Eduardo Ravera, at the time we made our first experiences in jazz and great was our excitement to be accepted as disciples by the former guitarist of Oscar Aleman and the soloist in the Quintet of Hernán Oliva. It was not long until the teacher, who according to his own words was removed from the [public] activity, gave in to our repeated requests to return to take his place on stage, this time leading his own group. It was then sponsored by the Hot Club of Buenos Aires and we made with the "Quartet Eduardo Ravera" our first presentation at the Cotton Club with Eduardo Ravera solo guitar, Matthew Giarrusso on drums, Claudio Gomez on bass and  myself on rhythm guitar. From that moment we participated in radio, television and theatre performances in jazz festivals both in Buenos Aires and throughout the country. I remember the next day of some important presentation, the phone of his apartment in Calle Venezuela would not stop ringing, calls to which the teacher invariably answered - "More or less it's the fault of the guys who took me out of the sarcophagus"

Waldo Fonseca and Hot Club de Boedo have kept the memory of Eduardo Ravera well alive by paying homage to his work and inspiration every year since 2000 by performing tribute concerts and publishing a weblog dedicated to the legacy of Eduardo Ravera, here. Among the posted blog entries there is a link to a live performance by Eduardo Ravera Quarteto recorded in 1993, click here or on the picture below to download this free contribution that reveals some great guitar playing by maestro Ravera

Waldo Fonseca and the bandmembers of Hot Club de Boedo have become an important institution in Buenos Aires aiming to keep the memory of Oscar Alemán and Eduardo Ravera alive and by continuing the tradition from these two legendary guitarists. The group has recently recorded a live-album from one of their frequent stage presentations. You have the opportunity to listen to and bye a cd-copy of this live performance by following this link or clicking the picture below 


Post a Comment

<< Home