Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Honeysuckle Rose - Rosa Madreselva

Original sheet music front
Honeysuckle Rose was introduced as a dance number in the 1929 revue, Load of Coal, at Connie’s Inn in Harlem by its composer, Thomas “Fats” Waller. Honeysuckle Rose and Ain’t Misbehavin’, also written that year for the musical revue Hot Chocolates, would become the two most enduring compositions born of the longtime collaboration of Waller and lyricist Andy Razaf.
Fats Waller at the keyboard
Fats Waller recorded Honeysuckle Rose with his Rhythm in 1934 and as a solo piano piece without singing in 1937, in 1941 a Minoco Production soundie also featured Fats Waller's performance of the tune - inserted below from YouTube


During the 1930s and 1940s Honeysuckle Rose became part of the standard repertoire of both jazz orchestras and popular artists and further one of the most often recorded tunes. On this day - the 109th birthday of Oscar Alemán - I'll focus on three recorded versions by El Maestro.

Odeon 46013 A (1946)
Alemán recorded his first version of Honeysuckle Rose/Rosa Madreselva with his 2nd Quinteto de Swing on October 26, 1944 for Odeon in Buenos Aires issued at the disc shown above. The tune was recorded at the same session as the orchestra's version of Stardust (Polvo de estrallas), personnel in both tunes included  Oscar Aleman (g solo); Manuel Gavinovich (vln); Charles Wilson (p); Guillermo Barbieri (g); Luis Gavinovich (b) and Ramon M. Caravaca (d). The recording of Honeysuckle Rose from this session is a great example of Alemán and his bandmembers inspired and swinging issue of hot jazz at its best, I think


Alemán kept Honeysuckle Rose/Rosa Madreselva as part of his repertoire throughout his career, several unissued recordings of radio performances by Alemán and his Cinco Caballeros from the 1960s include versions of the tune - an example from c. 1965, probably an airshot from a program at Radio el Mundo in Buenos Aires is inserted below to illustrate a slightly different rendition of the tune compared to the 1944 take


Alemán recorded Honeysuckle Rose/Rosa Madreselva again in 1972 for the LP album Alemán '72 released by the Redondel label (Redondel, SL-10508). Another commercial issue recorded c. 1965 and released on the Impacto IMP-14014 LP has a quintet version of the tune, but without Alemán (!) (- a somewhat strange choice by the producer of the album, indeed).

Alemán '72, Redondel SL-10508 (1972)
The Alemán '72 LP album was recorded September-October 1972 in Buenos Aires and featured the following personnel in Rosa Madresalva: Oscar Alemán (g solo), Dario “Johnny” Quaglia (rh g) , Walter Malosetti (rh g)  Anibal Fuentes (rh g), Jorge González (b) , Noberto Nestor Astarita (dm). The recording is the first tune at side A of the album and introduces an intimate and relaxed atmosphere presenting Alemán at his best - the album became a victorious start of his late career documenting that he had not lost any of his chops as a great guitarist. To end this, enjoy the 1972 recording of Rosa Madreselva below

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Jo
keepitswinging.domain@gmail.com

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