Saturday, July 29, 2006


Today I got this comment about our Oscar Aleman blog spot:

Es verdad, aunque usted no lo crea. El holandés Hans Koert lleva adelante desde el 2004 el Proyecto Redescubrimiento de Oscar Alemán, que consiste en la recopilación de todo tipo de material en torno al gran guitarrista. Fotos, grabaciones, notas periodísticas y ediciones discográficas van conformando una importantísima fuente de información que se encuentra disponible en su propio blog.Indispensable.
Berenice Corti

For those people who don't read Spanish, here's the translation:

Can you imagine? The Dutch Hans Koert created the 2004 Redescubrimiento Project de Oscar Alemán, who consists the compilation of all type of material around the great guitarist. Journalistic photos, recordings, notes and discográfical information are conforming a most important source of intelligence that is available in its own blog. Indispensable.
Berenici Corti

Thank you Berenici for your nice words.

The Oscar Aleman project ( El redescubrimiento de Oscar Aleman project) was born as a result of our common interest. We call ourselves the Alemaniacs: Jørgen Larsen ( from Denmark), Theo van der Graaff and myself, Hans Koert ( from The Netherlands).

We all admire the music of Oscar Aleman and want to share it with other collectors.

The results of this project are not only to find in our Oscar Aleman blog, but also in our website which contains a complete discography, unpublished pictures made by Theo during his 1979-1980 visit to Oscar and articles as results of research.

This website is to be found here ( part of:

This contribution has also been published at my Keep swinging blogspot.

Unissued Oscar Alemán - Jam Session (1971)

During a meeting of The Alemániacs earlier this month I had the pleasure together with Hans and Theo to enjoy listening to some unissued, private recordings of Oscar Alemán from 1971. These recordings are inserted in the online discography as Jam Session En Una Fiesta Particular (1971).
See online discography here, schroll down to the third entry.
However, the info on tunes played at this session listed in the discography differs from what actually can be heard on the recording. Here is the list of the tunes as I heard on the actual recording:
Oscar Alemán (solo-g)
1 - Yo No Sé -
OA (g); Guillermo Yaconna (g); Alberto "Tito"Mazza (b)
2 - Salón Rosado (Rose Room) -
3 - Qando los Santos Vienen Marchando (When The Saints Go Marching In)
same, but add Carlos Rivero Olazábal (tp); Patricio Coontad (tb)
4 - Alguno de Estas Dias (Some Of These Days)
5 - same (OA, solo cavaquinho)
6 - The Sheik Of Araby (OA plays cavaquinho)
7 - Baby, Won't You Please Come Home (OA, g,voc) (unknown, lead voc)
8 - Avalon (OA, g)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Jazzwereld Feest 2

On the 15th of July 1939 Oscar Alemán is one of the stars of the 7th Jazzwereld Feest in The Hague. The soirée with the performance of Oscar Alemán was moved one day, because the management of “Le Chantilly” didn’t allow Oscar to perform in Holland because of the 14th of July, the French Public Holiday.

He played as a soloist and in a jam session with musicians like Annie Xhofleer, a Dutch vocalist, Johnny Claes (an English Belgian trumpet player) and members of the Swing Papas (the forerunner of the well-known Dutch Swing College Band).

During an “after-party” in Scheveningen Oscar Alemán took part on a jam-session with musicians like Johnny Fresco, a Dutch tenor sax player from the Swing Aristocrats and, Maurice van Kleef, a Dutch drummer, known from his recordings with the Coleman Hawkins Trio the year before. During his performance he played Hombre Mio ( Man of Mine), that would become his signature tune, Susurrando( Whispering ), and Querida de Nadie ( Nobody’s Sweetheart ) two titles he recorded solo the year before.

It was a great success. The Dutch critics enjoyed his performance. The journal Het Vaderland wrote:

Oscar Aleman is a great guitar player. Especially his right hand is technically very amazing; the finger picking technique is so perfect, that we thought hearing the skills of Segovia. It was a great musical enjoyment with one minor point .. it was too short.

Oscar Aleman is een groot gitarist, ….. Technisch is vooral zijn rechterhand ontwikkeld; de onafhankelijkheid der vingers is zoo ten top gevoerd, dat wij meermalen moesten denken aan de vaardigheid van een Segovia, …. Het was een wonderlijk muzikaal genot, met één feilen: het was te kort !

In 1971 Oscar writes to the Dutch ‘Doctor Jazz Magazine” :

Most of the “Doctor Jazz” readers are too young to know, but older people might have told them I was a great success in Scheveningen. It was something unforgettable for me. It was the happiest moment in my live.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Jazzwereld Feest

Tonight I'll join the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam.

Sixty seven years ago, in 1939, there was also a large jazz festival organized in Holland, in The Hague (Scheveningen). The 7th Jazzwereld Feest. One of the stars was Oscar Alemán, the Argentine jazz guitar player living in Paris around that time and famous because of his swinging guitar. He worked at Le Chantily in Paris at that time and every night the club filled with enthusiast admirers. He was sceduled in Scheveningen as the main attraction for the 14th of July, but a few weeks before that they learned that it was impossible to get Aleman on that day to Holland as the 14th of July is a National Holiday. The Le Chantily should have been crowded then so Oscar wasn't allowed to have some days off. The organisation made some changes in the programs so Oscar's concert was moved to the next day.

He told later that he was very suprised that a complete festival scedule was changed because of him.

I'll tell tomorrow some more about Oscar's appearance at the Jazzwereld Feest in Scheveningen.

This blog has also been posted at the Keep swinging blog spot

Thursday, July 13, 2006

¡ Feliz cumpleaños, Theo !

¡ Feliz cumpleaños !

In 1964, at the age of 55, Oscar Alemán closed a period in which he lived retired, giving some guitar lessons to people who hadn't forgotten his fabulous guitar playing. He started to play again with a group called the Cinco Caballeros. He recorded with that group a year later. It was the beginning of a rebirth that lasted until his death in 1980.

Today Theo celebrates his birthday

Yesterday the Alemaniacs gathered to share their passion of good guitar music remembering their cooperation in Copenhagen July 2005

We love to wish Theo all the best and a lot of blue notes in future.

Hans and Jo Ergen

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Rediscovery of Oscar Alemán

I discovered the music of Oscar Alemán around 1980, when I had a cassette copy of 'The Guitar of Oscar Alemán 1938-1944' (TOM #31) from a friend. Already then I knew that I finally had found the music I will keep listening to for the rest of my life. There are so many aspects and subtleties involved in Alemán's music and lifestory that it will reach for years ahead. Anyway, there was a long dry spell in my growing interest to find out more about Alemán and his music, as it seemed next to impossible to have access to his recordings, at least at my spot of the Globe.
Thanks to an American mail-order company, however, I succeeded in collecting most of the material then available on LP: the remaining releases on TOM, the Argentine Redondel and Impacto issues and not to forget the two volumes of 'El increible Swing' on Argentine EMI/Odeon. At one point I joined the IAJRC as a member to increase chances to get into contact with other collectors of Alemán's music, this way I extended my collection of recordings with (cassette-)copies of 78 rpm Odeons not already re-issued in the LP-format.
However, it was not until I discovered the first issue of Hans' web dedicated to Alemán in 2002 that things really turned serious. Here was a guy, who had collected all available info on issued recordings by OA and furthermore had a list of un-issued stuff, true collectors' items to search for. I contacted Hans and we exchanged different material according his project on collecting a discography of Alemán, this lead to further co-work regarding the "El Redescubrimiento de Oscar Aleman" project resulting in the presentation of this tremenduos and great work by Hans last summer in Copenhagen at the IAJRC convention.
While planning this presentation Theo van de Graaff was involved and persuaded to do a small performance during our presentation demonstrating the guitar style of OA. Theo is one of few guitarists having knowledge about Alemán's guitar tecnique and actually learned it from the maestro himself during visits at Alemán's apartement in Buenos Aires Dec 1979/Jan 1980.
The peak point of our presentation in Copenhagen was the presence of violinist Svend Asmussen, who kindly agreed to share his remembrance of OA with us and the audience. I point the reader to Hans' extensive article for further info regarding this meeting with Asmussen.
I sincerelly hope the presentation in Copenhagen last summer and the continueing work of collecting info by the Alemániacs as well as others interested in the project will increase our knowledge to be shared here and elsewhere to the benefit of The Rediscovery of Oscar Alemán.
You may have a listen to all tracks on 'Alemán '72', if you have RealPlayer installed. These recordings initiated the rediscovery of OA. Just follow this link or click on picture.

Oscar Aleman in Copenhagen

A year ago, at the annual convention of the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors ( IAJRC), we were asked to give a presentation about Oscar Alemán and his 1938 recordings in Copenhagen.

We were very honoured with the presence of the then 89 years old Svend Asmussen, member of the recording group and friend-in-music of Oscar aleman, who made this presentation an unforgettable experience.

Find some more images on this site

You can download an article with more information about Oscar Aleman

More about our musical experiences in Copenhagen.

Christina von Bülow

Jacob Fischer

Putte Wickman

String Swing