Sunday, December 26, 2010

Oscar Aleman: some new reissues spotted

Last year, 2009, we commemorated the fact that Oscar Alemán was born 100 years ago. This year seems rather quiet, but that doesn't mean that there is no news for those visitors who collect or are interested in the musical heritage of the grand maestro. One of the last records released I learned about, was fully dedicated to the music of Oscar Alemán. The album Oscar Alemán - Ritmo Loco - El Rey de la Guitarra Swing was released by Saga Jazz and contains two dozen tracks all from his Argentine period ( 1941 - 1957) - a great compilation for those collectors who haven't heard Aleman during his post-war career. I mentioned this album in a previous blog. Saga Jazz also released some records in the series Jazz á la Gitane and both volume 2 ( Saga 59) and volume 3 ( Saga 63) has tracks by Oscar Aleman too. Are there more records in the Saga Jazz series that contain Oscar Alemán tracks?

I found some other albums, most compilations, which contain Oscar Aleman tracks, like the Properbox no. 9, entitled Hittin' On All Six, which I recently purchased ( it was released a couple of years ago) with a reissue of the standard Jeepers Creepers, a Swing record from May 1939 by his trio and an Argentine track from November 1942 recorded by his Quinteto de Swing: I Got Rhythm.

Last year a budget 2 cd-album was released, entitled Gypy Jazz which contains two tracks by Oscar. First of all you can find the solo record Whispering, played by Oscar Alemán in Copenhagen December 1938; a second track was Jeepers Creepers again, as to be found in the Properbox too.

One of the weirdest Oscar Alemán reissue I found, was on a 2cd album, entitled Theme Time Radio hour - season 3, which was released a month ago. Well, weird isn't actually an accurate word here, as the album contains the tune: Bye Bye Blues played by his Quinteto de Swing, originally recorded as Blues del adios, November 1942. It's the album that surprised me. The album, released by Ace Records, is the third one in a row of, up to now, three Theme Time Radio Hour compilations, each one with tunes played during the Theme Time Radio Hour, a radio program hosted by Bob Dylan.

Click on the photo to enlarge if you love to read this page.

This radio program Theme Time Radio Hour (TTRH) was a weekly, one-hour satellite radio show hosted by Bob Dylan which originally aired from May 2006 to April 2009, Wikipedia explains - Each episode was an eclectic, freeform mix of blues, folk, rockabilly, R&B, soul, bebop, rock-and-roll, country and pop music, centered around a theme. The record on this 2cd album were selected for the 3rd season, so they must have been on the air a few years ago. Thanks to sites like the Oscar Alemán blog, hosted by my friend
and one of the Alemaniacs, Jørgen, research and my online
Oscar Alemán discography information about this record could be listed on page 23 of the beautiful designed booklet ( Thanks ACE for this jewel!!) inserted, the producer informed the listeners about Oscar Alemán. The fact that they used ( with permission) a photo by Oscar from ca. 1930 ( the record used was more then 10 years younger) can be noted, but never mind - it's great that Oscar is to be heard on this great compilation. Isn't it great that the music of the old maestro is selected for this compilation of "pop" music, with artists like The 4 Deuces, Buddy Guy, The Crickets and Elvis Presley? In the liner notes Lavinia Freenlaw explains how these tunes were selected. Lavinia Greenlaw says: A song can be the sum of its circumstances. It happened to be playing when you first kissed or drove into that sunset or sat up all night with you infant child. Or it might mean nothing but persist in the memory like someone you passed in the street who still comes to mind long after you've forgotten where you were that day or why. Nothing was said or done and the encounter didn't seem important at the time. you cannot forget it ...........

Well - I'm sure - Oscar would have smiled ………

This contribution will be released in Dutch at the Keep Swinging blog.

Keep Swinging
Hans Koert


Blogger Jo said...

Thanks a lot, Hans, for up-dating current re-issue of Oscar Alemán on various compilations. The Bob Dylan 'Theme Time Hour' cd-set certainly belongs to the 'weird' category, anyway it's a thrill to see that the producer has used Jac Pet's photo of Oscar to promote 'Bye, Bye Blues'. The info stated in the liner notes is not quite correct all the way through, however.

12:20 PM  

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