Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Time To Say Goodbye

Hans Koert 
Before Hans Koert (June 1st, 1951 - September 04, 2014) passed away on this date four years ago, I had promised him to keep some of his web domain updated, more precisely the keepitswinging blogspot, the oscar-aleman blogspot, the choromusic blogspot - all three blogs I have had access to as a co-editor and regular contributor of entries from the start of this part of Hans Koert's web activity. I made an agreement with Hans' widow to publish regular updates for four years and now the time has come to say goodbye. However, Hans' work will still be accessible in the version you find at the various sites assosiated with the keepitswinging domain which also applies for the online Oscar Alemán discography.

The Dutch Royal Library has saved a copy of everything accessible at Hans Koert's website and blogs, I'll quote from the message I had earlier this year:

"As part of the initiative of the Royal Library (KB) to save a selection of Dutch websites for future research, we also want to archive your site and keep them for the long term. It is the website and any subdomains that are accessible via the following URL (s): 
http://keepitswinging.blogspot.nl/ http://keepswinging.blogspot.nl/ 

As a national library, the KB is legally responsible for collecting, describing and storing in the Netherlands publications, electronic or not. The KB sees it as its task to keep websites durable and kept consulted for future generations and to preserve them for loss including technological obsolescence. (-) Therefore archive the KB websites which collections are representative of the Dutch culture, history and society on the Internet. (-) Your website will be archived and stored for this purpose durable. (-) The archive versions are to consult within our own building. They will also be made available to the general public via the KB website as soon as legally possible." 

For further information regarding the KB web archiving, please contact: 

Peter Bode, Web archiving KB 
PO Box 90407, 2509 LK Den Haag 

I thank readers and visitors of Hans Koert's webdomain for your support and I also thank Hans Koert's widow, Corrie Koert, and his brother Peter Koert for the opportunity to continue part of Hans' webactivity publishing new entries to keep the above mentioned blogs updated. Also a great thank you to friends and followers who have contributed with material and information published at the blogs I have had access to.

Update April 2019

The exclusion of the name of 'Hans Koert' as editor of the blog in the sidemenu is not a deliberate choice by the present editor (Jo), but is a result of the change of policy by Blogger and Google. From April 2019 the Google+ accounts and profiles have been disabled, Hans Koert's editorial account was associated a Google+ account and this means that his name no longer is visible in the sidemenu as editor of the blog. I have tried to fix the problem, but Blogger unfortunately denies to change 'unknown' into the name of 'Hans Koert'

Update February 2020

Unexpectedly the Google account used by Hans Koert as his administrator access to the uploaded weblogs containing material from his private collection of photos and illustrations a.o. has been deleted by accident. This means that photos, illustrations and videos uploaded by Hans are no longer accessible at this and other blogs. Moreover, some blogs which only Hans have had administrator rights to handle are also no longer accessible. However, readers and visitors of the sites and blogs uploaded by Hans have an opportunity to use the Wayback Machine (WM) facility to get access to material not visible/accessible using the normal procedure. Below I'll insert links to the latest saved version of material at WM.

The original Keep Swinging blog is accessible from Wayback Machine by using this link
The Keep(it)Swinging weblog at Wayback Machine is accessible here
The Oscar Alemán blogspot at Wayback Machine is accessible here 
The Choro Music blogspot at Wayback Machine is accessible here 
The Hit of the Week blogspot at Wayback Machine is accessible here
The Flexible Records blogspot at Wayback Machine is accessible here
The Keepitswinging Jazzlinks blogspot at Wayback Machine is accessible here
The Slik op de Weg blogspot in Dutch only is accessible at Wayback Machine here

I cannot guarantee that all internal as well as external links will work in the pages listed at WM, but this is the only available option that I can present as the current editor-in-charge. I hope this helps some of the problem of missing photos and blogs on Hans' uploaded pages.

If you have comments or questions, please contact me at jrgnlarsen5@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Les Loups - Collectors' Invaluable Information

Les Loups, Victor Talking Company ad c. 1928 (courtesy Erik Host)

Today the music industry relies almost exclusively on digital streaming of music. One of the benefits is the enormous number of recordings instantly accessible at your computer or smart phone, if you have an account at one or more providers of music streaming service. However, an annoying disadvantage with most (- if not all) streaming service providers is the simple fact that no info about the provided recordings besides the name of artist/band and title of the song/album is available at the provider's site, not even year of the actual chosen recording is always precise. Well, then you have to look up info elsewhere, the world wide web is at your disposal, however, you have to know what to search for to get usable info. The result is most often that the average user of streaming music gives up spending time and effort looking up info and instead jumps to a new song among the millions provided. So, who cares? Serious collectors of music care about facts, because recorded music is not just consumable items but artistic artifacts with a history which is about to be forgotten, if your choice of music exclusively relies on providers of digital streaming. Thus, some of the true heros of music business are in fact collectors, who care about the sources and history of recorded music - whatever the medium: 78 rpm shellac disc, vinil or cd issue. Sometimes I consider if serious music collectors are a dying species, but sometimes I also have a hope that someone still takes the time and trouble to document the music that matters in an infinite sea of indifference. This hope was resurrected recently when I received information about some European releases of Les Loups from a true collector of original 78 rpm recordings on shellac (- pay a visit to Sergio del Rio Macias great blog in Spanish, here).

Ramona - Italian HMV, R 14125 (scan courtesy Sergio del Rio Macias)

This scan of the Italian HMV 78 rpm issue of Ramona by Les Loups originally released at Victor 80950 in Argentina documents that Les Loups were popular in Italy and considered worthy of a licensed re-issue by the local devision of HMV. The flip side of this Italian item contains the tune Qué Vachacé by Les Loups which was originally released on Victor 80936 according to the online Oscar Alemán discography. - The year of release of the Italian HMV 78 rpm disc is not available, but probably between late 1928 and 1930 (- the original Victors were recorded August 1928 in Buenos Aires).

Qué Vachacé - Italian HMV, R 14125 (scan courtesy Sergio del Rio Macias)

The inserted scans are valuable information for collectors of recordings by Les Loups, they are documents of the time when the duo toured and performed in Europe as part of Harry Fleming's troupe. Sergio del Rio Macias further supplied me info about some Spanish HMV re-issues of Les Loups and Trio Victor which supports the popularity of the duo at the time they visited Europe. The listing from the spanish Gramophone (HMV) discography compilated by Alan Kelly unfortunately does not have record numbers, only matrix info is stated with title of the recording.Click to have an enlarged view of the listings below.

Les Loups, Spanish gramofone listing of HMV release 
And here is additional info from the same listing
Les Loups, Spanish gramofone listing of HMV release
Even the recording of Mi Pobres Ilusiones by Rosita Quiroga featuring Les Loups was also re-released in Spain by the local devision of HMV (- note both matrix and record number is stated)
Rosita Quiroga feat. Les Loups on Spanish HMV
Les Loups were also re-issued in other European countries, i.e. the German release of Guitarra Que Llora and En Un Pueblito Español originally issued on Victor 80839 was released on the Electrola E.G.label with the catalogue number 1283 (see online disco, here)

Update September 2018
Ya Lo Sé_Les Loups_ Odeon (Sp) 183 104 a
The much searched after recording of Ya lo sé and El Carrerito recorded in Spain by Les Loups late 1930 or primo 1931 and issued at Spanish Odeon 183104 has sensationally just unearthed a couple of days ago in Barcelona and was acquired by Sergio del Rio Macias, who kindly shares a scan of the disc labels here. Previously this Spanish issue by Les Loups has only been known as a matrix and catalogue number in the online Alemán discography (see here), but now the scans document that the disc exists and the recorded music as well.
El Carrerito_Les Loups_Odeon (SP) 183 104 b
Such pices of information are invaluable for true collectors of Les Loups and the recorded legacy of Oscar Alemán.
Thanks to Sergio del Rio Macias for the forwarded scans and info.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Limehouse Blues - Alemán's 1938 Solo Transcribed

Original sheet (Wikipedia)
Limehouse Blues was composed 1922 by Philip Braham and had lyrics by Douglas Furber. The song soon became popular after having its debut in a 1924 Broadway show, countless artists and musicians have since added Limehouse Blues to their standard repertoire. The instrumental version of the song occurs to have been the most enduring, here I'll focus on Oscar Alemán's great recording of the tune December 1938 from the famous Danish jamsession featuring Henry Hagemann (cl,ts), Svend Asmussen (vln), Oscar Aleman (g solo), Helge Jacobsen (g) Alfred Rasmussen (b) Bibi Miranda (d) 

Recently the Seattle-based guitarist and composer Greg Ruby has initiated a project devoted to transcribing music recorded by Oscar Alemán. His first published transcription is the solo played by Alemán in the 1938 version of Limehouse Blues shown above. A video was recorded to show it played by Greg Ruby

According to Greg Ruby's website, the Oscar Alemán project will be expanding "... to include more solos, more arrangements and everything Oscar Aleman for bandleaders, guitar players and music lovers to use and appreciate." Learn more and sign up for the newsletter at Greg's website, if this project has caught your interest. More info about The Oscar Alemán play-along book, here


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


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year 2018

I wish readers of the oscar aleman blogspot a Happy New Year 2018 and thank you for your interest and support in 2017. The blog and related blogs under the keepitswinging.domain will be discontinued in 2018 due to personal matters. However, a fixed date according this step has not yet been scheduled, I'll announce more precisely later. Till then, keep coming back to keep updated. Thank you for your understanding.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bye, Bye Blues - Blues del Adios

Original sheet music
Bye Bye Blues is a popular jazz standard written by Fred Hamm, Dave Bennett, Bert Lown, and Chauncey Gray and published in 1925. Bert Lown and his Hotel Biltmore Orchestra had a hit with the band's recording of the well known tune in 1930

Numerous bands and artists have recorded their versions of Bye, Bye Blues, here's Cab Calloway and his orchestra's recording from 1940

Oscar Alemán y su Quinteto de Swing recorded Bye, Bye Blues as Blues del Adios on November 4th, 1942 for Odeon in the last session featuring the original formation of Alemán's initial quintet: Aleman (ldr,g solo); Hernán Oliva (v); Andrés Álvarez (b); Ramón M. Caravaca (d); Darío Quaglia (rh g). The recording was issued on Odeon 45826 A (- NB! credits for composer(s) of Blues del Adios are mislabeled as Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields, Johnson at the original Odeon label and in the online OA discography)
Odeon 45826 A_Blues del Adios
Here's the audio of this recording from uploaded video at You Tube

Alemán had Bye, Bye Blues as part of his setlist when performing with his Cinco Caballeros in radio and TV live shows during the 1960s, here's an example from late 1965 in a live airshot from Radio el Mundo

As mentioned above, Bye, Bye Blues is a popular standard performed by numerous bands and artists. To end this small presentation of the tune on the date of Alemán's passing away 37 years ago, I'll insert yet another version of the music as performed by a trio named O Petit Swing


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

4° Encuentro Anual de Jazz de Cuerdas “Oscar Alemán”

For the fourth time, Hot Club de Boedo of Buenos Aires has arranged an encounter of musicians, friends and fans of Oscar Alemán's musical heritage. The show took place at the General Alvear Library, Buenos Aires on September 16 hosted by Waldo Fonseca, director and guitarist of HCdB. As in the previous three shows, the hot music of the histortical Argentinian string ensembles headed by Oscar Alemán, Hernán Oliva and Eduardo Ravera was recreated and once again attended by an enthusiastic audience. Participating musicians in the show included: Claudio Spirito (g), Claudio Daniel Crespino (g), Martin Gagliardi (g), Gustavo Villanueva (alt sax), Sandra Pisani (vocals), Andrés "Tito" Liber (cavaquinho), Matias Bahillo (tp), Ramiro Miranda (v) besides the members of the Hot Club de Boedo quintet: Waldo Fonseca (direction and 1st guitar), Heldo Fonseca (cl), Facundo López Goitía (rhythm guitar), Julián Pierángeli (electric bass), Juan Masculino (dr).
Below is inserted some photo shots from the event kindly forwarded by 'Tito' Liber to share with readers of this blog.
Waldo Fonseca, Claudio Spirito and  Gustavo Villanueva

Hot Club de Boedo with trumpeter Matias Bahillo

Violinist Ramiro Miranda with the Hot Club de Boedo
Some of the standards played were: Sweet Georgia Brown, Rosetta, Bye Bye Blues and Embreaceable You with vocal by Sandra Pisani
 Claudio Daniel Crespino, Martin Gagliardi and Sandra Pisani
Andrés 'Tito' Liber performed the baion O Vestido de Bolero and Ain't She Sweet on cavaquinho solo
'Tito' Liber with his cavaquinho
Like in the previous shows, When The Saints Go Marchin' In ended the successfull show as a sing-along with the audience.
Thank you to 'Tito' Liber for the forwarded info and of course a big thank you to Waldo Fonseca and the Hot Club de Boedo for keeping the musical legacy of Oscar Alemán well alive.