Friday, May 26, 2006

Blackie & her Boys - the answer

Thanks to Han E. the question about te Blackie & her Boys record seems to be solved.
The recording was made in Buenos Aires 18 Dec. 1934 when Oscar Aleman was not in Buenos Aires but in France.

He tells:

Par F-660 was auctioned on ebay ca 14 May this year. It was said to include Aleman.
I then checked Bruyninckx CD discography, which is copied below. No Aleman shown, but Alberto Barras-g.
Then I checked the Aleman disco, which did not list it and I got the impression that Oscar could not be in Argentina in 1935, and I assumed Aleman's presence was a trick to sell the record. And so I did not send Hans Koert a message about it.

Bruyninckx gives the following information about BLACKIE and het BOYS:

Paloma Efrom (vcl) acc. by Herodiades Mastrovicenzo (tp) Ken Hamilton (p) Emerito Sheppard (g,vln) Eduardo Costa, Roberto Van Hess (vln) Atilio Suva (vcl)
Recorded Buenos Aires, December 18, 1934
8025 Out for no good Od (Arg)
8026 Mood indigo

Blackie and her Boys : Blackie (vcl) Herodiades Mastrovicenzo (tp) Fred Jordan (p) Alberto Barros (g, scat vcl)
Recorded Buenos Aires, July 1935
8177 Unsophisticated Sue Od (Arg)5474
8178 St. James infirmary Od (Arg) 5474 - Parlophone F-660

poss. same or similar pers.
Buenos Aires, October 1935
8283 What about me Par (E)F660
8284 It's an old southern custom -
Buenos Aires, 1936
Moanin' for you (tp out) Par (E)
Vladimiro Alves (tp) Orosino da Souza (cl) Fred Jordan (p) Enrique Vialo (g) Aldo Nicolini (b) … Marinari (d)

Buenos Aires, August 1936
8725 Confessin' Par (E)R2354
8726 Someday sweetheart -
8727 I ain't got nobody (unissued?)

Thank you Han for your research. I hope it answers Ken's question !

Blackie & her Boys - question

Ken S. sent me a message that makes us Alemaniacs very excited.

I have a question regarding a record that I was told had Oscar on guitar on it. Can you tell if it is or is not as I cannot find it in my British or American discographies. The record is: BLACKIE & HER BOYS Parlophone F 660. mx # c 8283 and 8178. The little bit of solo work seems like his style but not strong enough to be more certain.


Ken S.

I found few information about Blackie & her Boys like a Parlophone in the New Swing Style Series ( Parl. R 2354) which has a Blackie & her Boys tune on one side ( Confessin', recorded in Argentina). And there seems to exist a recording of Blackie & her Boys recorded in Agentina ca. 1933 that must have been sold on eBay-UK ( although I can't find the item.)

Has someone more info about this record? I hope Ken will send us supplementary information.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oscar Alemán & Bueno Lobo - Afterword

My relections on the partnership Of Alemán & Lobo posted earlier and now accesable in toto at leave the reader with a feeling of cofusion, as I end up with taking focus away from the actual fate of Lobo after his returning to Brazil. I owe the readers of my article to admit that I have no new info regarding the subject of Lobo's fate. My conclusion that Alemán's comment on Lobo's supposed suicide reflects Oscar's thoughts about Lobo's artistic career as a musician is totatally my own and may be changed by availability of new and actual facts regarding the passing away of Bueno Lobo. Hope this will clear up the intention worked out in the article.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Oscar Alemán & Bueno Lobo - 2

Whatever the actual reason for the break up of the Les Loups duo early 1931 Alemán had achieved a crucial experience from his partnership with Lobo. He had learned how to work out a varied accompaniment in interplay with another skilled musician, further he had experienced that the success of a musical arrangement depends on all involved in the performance. This may seem a basic fact, but the understanding of it forms the fundamental concept of actually playing and performing music in a consciensious way. – In an interview with Tómas Mooney late in life Alemán said regarding his formative musical background: “I always liked Brazilian music, but I think even then I liked American harmony better”. Mooney’s comment is crucial: “This experience is at the basis of Alemán’s style. The rhytmic looseness and kind of percussiveness in his jazz solos stems from Brazil (…) his alphabet was Brazilian. Allthough he kept playing Latin music up to the end, he never jazzed it, but was always very careful to maintain each genre’s authenticity” (quoted from Tómas Mooney’s article, Oscar Alemán: Swing Guitarist, printed in Jazz Journal International, Vol.35, No 4&5 (1982)). Mooney’s point of view is that Alemán’s musical alphabet is Brazilian, and this may seem obvious – though seldom mentioned or taken seriously – from the background of Alemán’s formative years in Santos, Brazil and from his partnership with Bueno Lobo. On the other hand, Alemán says in the quoted interview that he even then liked American harmony better, which points to his later involvment with jazz. There may seem to be a sudden tension between Brazil/Latin musical language and American harmony in Alemán’s own saying, and if this is a correct and liable interpretation of his quoted statement, this may help explaining why Alemán never had the possibility to record his own composition ‘OA 1926’ during his co-work with Lobo. This composition that Alemán had elaboreted as a solo piece for cavaquinho has a form of a ragtime piece more than i.e. a Brazilian choro, the musical form most often linked to the use of a cavaquinho. However, to support my point of view regarding a tension between Brazilian and American music tradition in Alemán’s concept, some sources mention that Lobo would prevent Oscar from exploring his beginning interest in jazz during their partnership. If this is true, then this may also help explaining the split between Alemán and Lobo in 1931. – When Alemán and Lobo parted, Alemán would soon be involved with jazz on the Parisian music scene at the same time he was keeping a job with Josephine Baker as a leading member of the Baker Boys, beeing a musical director of the band on her tours of Europe and North Africa and further left solo spots for showing off his abilities as both a musican and a showman. The shows with the Baker troupe may have been disciplined and planned in details, while Alemán’s meetings with the American jazz in Paris may have been on a less formal scale, giving him a chance to ‘cut loose’ and experience the possibilities of jazz harmony and improvisation. This helped him to find his own creative capacity as a musician and finally liberated him from the rigorous scheme of only playing planned and arranged music. If you listen to the later recordings by Bueno Lobo after the break up of the Les Loups, you’ll realize he continued to use the same concept in his remaining career in Brazil. Not so in Alemán’s case, he continued to explore new possibilities in his own musical language after joining the Parisian jazz scene, he went in another direction than the one imposed by Lobo. – Late in life Alemán was asked what became of Lobo after the break up of Les Loups. According to the taped interview that is beeing played as a kind of a coda to the story of Alemán in Hernan Gaffet’s documentary, ‘Una vida con Swing’ (2002), Alemán says that Lobo returned to Brazil, where he committed suicide in a public place. Alemán expresses a feeling of guilt and lets us know he sees himself as the cause of Lobo’s suicide, adding that he had been the cause of both his father’s and stepfather’s death. Leaving the obvious Freudian interpretation to the reader, you may also interpretate this statement as a comment to the career of Lobo after his returning to Brazil, where he would spend more years as a staff musician at radio – a public place, you may say. Beeing a studio musician at radio was a tough job, only leaving little place and time for improvisation and personal creativity outside the rigorous scales of planned work. Thus, Alemán was perhaps just saying that Lobo ‘comitted suicide’ as an artist and skilled music during his Brazilian career as a studio musician. Our suggestions and speculations about Lobo’s fate after his returning to Brazil may be less important in the light of such an explanation.


Una foto archivo

Una foto mas para su archivo, por si no la tenia saludos
Eduardo Barrera

Oscar Aleman Extraordinario músico.

Foto N° 1: Se observa a Oscar Aleman en un escenario mientras conversa y toma la mano de un señorita.

Archivo filmico de cine y television en 35mm y 16mm Fotografico, Hemeroteca, Radio y Posters

Gracias a Eduardo

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My * websites - 3

To our South American friends of Oscar Aleman:

In cooperation with the provider the two sites and are again available in your part of the world. Due to a wrong filter the sites have been inaccessible for some days. Sorry about that.

Amigos de Oscar Aleman,

Con la colaboración del proveedor, las dos páginas y están disponible
nuevamente en su región. Debido a un filtro erróneo estos sitios han estado
inaccesibles por algunos días. Lamento lo ocurrido.

Monday, May 15, 2006

My * websites - 2

It felt this weekend as if I became a participant in a Kafka movie.

The problems are not yet solved.

As far as I can see now most South American visitors of our Op Web site are unable to open your "el redescubrimiento de Oscar Aleman project" and the "Gaston Bueno Lobo " sites.

For some parts of the project you can still use the link above.

Thanks for your reply to my message.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Oscar Aleman website

Due to a problem with my provider I learned that my is no longer available in large parts of the world. Only readers from the West European countries seem to have access to it.

Of course I'm very angry about this partial decision of the provider and I'll keep in touch with you about that. I'm sure this is a temporary situation.

If you want to reach the Aleman sites go to

This web blog has no relations with the Opweb provider and will be accesible for everyone.

This message has also been posted on my other web blogs.

Keep swinging


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Oscar Alemán & Bueno Lobo - 1.

When Lobo discovered Alemán in 1924 and they soon after started a partnership leading to the formation of the Les Loups duo it is said that Lobo would teach young Oscar the basics of playing the six string guitar. Further Lobo would take a role as a kind of a stepfather in his relationship with the former street urchin, thus applying a strong influence on the formation of Alemán's personality, at least from the perspective of his future role as a professional performer/musician - Lobo became Alemán's mentor and personal guide to coping the demands of a professional artist, that is. Deducing from this setting of their relationship it is not hard to believe that Lobo and Alemán tied a strong bond between them, mentally as well as practically - they became not only professional partners but depended on each others in all aspects of their common affairs. - If you listen carefully to the 16 sides recorded by the Les Loups duo from late 1927 to early 1929 on the Victor label you may have a clear view of how Lobo's and Alemán's relationship worked out professionally as performers. All recorded sessions have the same concept and setting: Lobo is playing the melody/theme in the Hawaiian slide mode (- only the B-side of their first recording, 'Criollita,' has Lobo playing the cavaquinho alternatively, probably a well considered choice of instrument, as this tune is a typical Brazilian choro). Alemán supplies the accompaniment on the six string guitar played conventionally. However, a closer listening to the interplay between Lobo and Alemán reveals the concept of music applied on the performances of the various tunes played. As mentioned Lobo is playing lead, which means he concentrates on the melody/theme repeated twice or more, while Alemán adds a very elaborate accompaniment mixing chords, bass lines and even counterpoint statements to the melody thus creating a varied and lively impression supporting the rhytmic and thematic structure of the music played. This concept of duo interplay is not at all usual in the tradition of performing music played by a Hawaiian slide guitar in a leading role accompanied by a secound guitar. Usually both melody and variation depend on the abilities and inventory of the musician playing the slide lead - in comparison just have a listen to recordings by early Hawaiian slide guitar players like i.e. Ben Hokea, Bennie Nawahi, Sam Ku West or Sol Hoopii, everything depends on the leader's capacity to yield a successfull impression upon the listener. Not so when listening to the recordings by Les Loups, the interplay between Lobo and Alemán is elaborate and complex, highly skilled and multidimensional thus creating an impression of a close dependence between the both of them. - This concept of interplay is not invented by Hawaiians but is an intrinsic element of Brazilian music to be noticed in numerous recordings by Brazilian choro-ensembles from the same time and even today. As a Brazilian Bueno Lobo probably had brought this concept with him and used it conscientiously, even in repertoire not usually connected with the Brazilian music tradition. He had created a niche for playing the Hawaiian slide guitar in his own way, supported by a young talented Alemán on secound guitar taking a role as a Brazilian choro-ensemble player in his elaborate accompaniment.
(to be continued -)


Friday, May 12, 2006

Gaston Bueno Lobo in the 1930s - 3

A few weeks ago Joergen Larsen told me that he had found some information about recordings made by Gaston Bueno Lobo, the companion in Los Lobos of Oscar Aleman.

If the above information was true it meant that the story Oscar Aleman told about the suicide of Gaston Bueno Lobo, dated early 1930s was wrong. So it was important to find out what year Lobo died.

Joergen started a research at internet and thanks to Daniella Thompson this week we found the year Lobo passed away.

Find all information at his new
Gaston Bueno Lobo website !

Congratulations Joergen and Daniella.

This message is also posted at my Keepswinging Blogspot

Monday, May 08, 2006

Gaston Bueno Lobo - 3. A summary of details.

Up till now our inquery on details regarding Lobo's passing away and the circumstances according this issue is still open to definitive answers. However, we have received some correction and additional info regarding Lobo from the editor of The Magazine of Brazilian Music & Culture, Daniella Thompson. This will be summarized in this entry.
In our first entry on the subject in charge I (incorrectly) mentioned that Oscar and Lobo teamed as a duo and formed Les Loups in 1926. The correct year, however, is 1924, when Lobo met Oscar in Santos, Brazil, and started a co-work after hearing Oscar playing his cavaquinho at some taverna. Lobo became Oscar's mentor and secound father. - Les Loups made their professional debut in Rio de Jainero 1925, then toured a great part of Brazil and were at some
point engaged by the Argentine comedian Pablo Palitos, who would feature the duo in performances both in Brazil (Bahia and Pernambuco) and later in Buenos Aires at the prestigious Teatro Casino. After this engagement Les Loups would be featured on radio and started to record for the Victor label late 1927. During 1928 Harry Flemming's revue company was on tour in Argentina and Les Loups were hired as a special act and started a partnership with Flemming. This partnership brought Les Loups on tour to Europe in 1929, starting in Portugal and lasting until their breaking up with Flemming early 1931 in Spain. Les Loups quit Flemming's group because of financial disagreement, they tried for some time to find work as a duo in Spain, but they met hard times and no steady job. Some sources mention that Oscar and Lobo were constantly argueing about money and as a result of this they would split. Other sources, however, put it in this way: Lobo would discover he suffered an incurabe disease (probably cancer) and then decided to return to Brazil, where he committed suicide. - The story about Lobo going to Paris, France, to do audition for a job as a guitarist with the Josephine Baker orchestra is probably true. He had heard from Belgian trumpeter Robert de Kers that Baker needed a guitar player with the Baker Boys, but the musicians did not want Lobo after the audition. Instead they mentioned Oscar Alemán as another option, Josephine therefore sent for him - a telegram was sent to him in Madrid. Now the story goes that Oscar first declined Josephine's offer because of loyalty to Lobo, his mentor and stepfather. Anyway, we know for sure that Alemán in the end accepted the diva's offer, joined the Baker Boys and stayed with her until 1939. What became of Lobo after his beeing neglected by Baker's musicians is, however, still an open question. We know for sure he returned to Brazil and that he continued his career as a musician, the evidence is recordings made in 1932 and 1938.
According to discographical info available in the Funarte database of Brazilian recordings from 1902-64 at Lobo cut nine recordings during the 1930'ies, most of them in 1932, but also the two sides with Laurindo Almeida in 1938. Furthermore, the Brazilian musician and researcher, Jorge Mello, has informed that Lobo worked as a staff musician at Rádio Mayrink Veiga until the beginning of 1937. He played with Garoto, Laurindo Almeida (who joined Mayrink Veiga in 1936), and Aymoré, and formed the 'Conjuncto Hawaiano'. His co-work with Almeida is documented by the mentioned 78 rpm Odeon recording from 1938 and from their co-authorship on the composition "Se Recordar É Viver," which was recorded by Roberto Paiva in October 1939. This is, so far, what is known about Lobo's activities during the 1930'ies after returning to Brazil.

My web site dedicated to Gaston Bueno Lobo

Friday, May 05, 2006

Gaston Bueno Lobo 1932-1938 recordings - 2

Sustaining the suggestion that there has been a co-operation between Gaston Bueno Lobo and Laurindo Almeida during the late 1930s is a recording by vocalist Roberto Paiva, cut by Odeon in 1939 (Odeon, 11848), issued 1940. The A-side of this 78 rpm has a composition by GB Lobo & L Almeida, Se recordar é viver. - The recording is accessable online at the IMS web, the accompanying music of Paiva's vocal does not seem to feature stringed instruments besides a double bass; the vocalist is accompanied by brass, piano, clarinet, double bass and light percussion, so neither Almeida nor Lobo are participating in the recording,

I think. Anyway, it's interesting to know that Lobo and Almeida actually had a co-work as composers.

picture: Laurindo Almeida

Let's hope we can clear up this: what happened with Gaston Bueno Lobo early 1930s after he returned to Brasil !!

Visit my Keep swinging blog spot for additional information.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Argentine Swing 1936-1948 CD

In 1989 the Harlequin label released a LP album in the serie of 'Jazz & Hot Dance'-issues devoted to Argentine jazz in the 20'ies, 30'ies and 40'ies. This LP is no longer available, but some of the material and previously unissued acetates have been re-issued on a CD in 2000, still available in the Harlequin catalouge (HQ CD 152). I bought the LP in 1989, but lost it, thus I recently have aquired the cd to fill out a gab in my collection. - The main part of the 22 tracks on the cd puts focus on recordings made by reed player Booker Pitman in various settings, but you'll also hear samples of recordings by Harold Mickey y su Orchesta, Santa Paula Serenaders, D'Hellemmes'Stompers a.o.- I think this well restored compilation of Argentine Swing from 1936-48 is worth a listen, especially to people outside Argentina and with little knowledge of the jazz scene of Oscar Alemán's hayday it's a must, if you are keen on learning about the context of our hero. - If you are interested in extending your knowledge of Argentine jazz recordings from the golden era, I suggest you to have a look at the website of Virgil's Jazz, that has specialised in re-issueing Argentine jazz recordings. You can reach Virgil's Jazz here.