Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oscar Alemán - New Publications

Recently José Iacona sent us an unknown picture from Oscar Alemán with the Argentine vocalist, lady crooner, jazz singer of the bossa nova, Egle Martin, which must have been taken in Buenos Aires during a concert. She was popular during the 1950s or 1960s and seems to be still active nowadays. As far as we know they never recorder together.
A young Oscar Alemán (photo courtesy: José Iacona)
José Iacona informed me that his father Guillermo Iacona, who played with Oscar Alemán during the 1970s, recently passed away. Guillermo, who was a guitar player too, had almost finished his lifework, a biography of Oscar Alemán, the legendary Argentine guitar player which he adored so much. José informed me that he and his brother Estanislao have finished the manuscript, which describes the life of Oscar Aleman in English, French and Spanish and he hopes to have it printed and distributed very soon. The book will be entitled:
Tributo a Oscar Alemán.
The guitars of Charlie Christian - Robert Normann - Oscar Alemán - Jan Evensmo (1976) ( collection: Jørgen Larsen)
Books about Oscar Alemán are rather rare and so was info about his life, especially for those who don't live in Argentina and not familiar with the Spanish language. One of the first books to be published in English was a book in the Jazz Solography Series of Jan Evensmo, a Norwegian record collector and jazz historian, a jazz archaeologist, as he labels himself. The small booklet contained a selected discography of
Charlie Christian, the bebop pioneer on the electric guitar, Robert Normann, the Norwegian Hot Club guitar player, world famous in Scandinavia (but fully neglected in the rest of the world) and Oscar Alemán. This solography contained a review of some of their recordings, available in Europe. This book, which was published in 1976, is out of print now. The chapter with the Oscar Alemán solos (BTW: no transcriptions!) was limited to the European part of his career, the 1930s, because Jan didn't had access to the musical heritage of Oscar in Argentina, made between 1941 up to his death in 1980. The Rediscovery of Oscar Alemán project, a research project by Hans Koert and Jørgen Larsen, finally opened the door for a "rediscovery" of Oscar Alemán's musical heritage both in Europe as in Argentina. The Oscar Alemán discography - Listatdo de temas - a discography - una discografia (2005) by Hans Koert finally made the info about all Oscar Alemán's recordings available and for the first time his life was told in English to the rest of the world. The Oscar Aleman weblog , you visit now, is a forum for all Oscar Alemán fans.
Oscar Aleman -late 1940s - early 1950s
The Oscar Alemán Discography is now available online and recently Jan Evensmo published a revisited version of his Solography about Oscar Alemán, which includes now a re-written biography by Hans Koert and Jørgen Larsen and reviews of Oscar's recordings both released in Europe and South America. You can find a link to this and more uploads at Jan Evensmo sites.

Hope to be able to review soon the Oscar Alemán Biography by the late Guillermo Iacona, finished by his sons José and Estanislao Iacona.

Hans Koert