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Oscar Aleman

trumbologytrumbology San FranciscoNew
edited November 2005 in History Posts: 124
Since no thread exists for Oscar, I'll start one.

Seems that as far as the reissuing of his output goes, he's kind of where Django was ten years ago. One has to do a lot of tedious cross comparisons of various CDs, and recording dates and backing musicians aren't necessarily given, so one doesn't know which of multiple versions of a song one might be buying.

Obviously, the "tune-o-graphy" posted here is a big help:

http://people.zeelandnet.nl/koerthchkz/ ... graphy.htm

I bet if most folks have any CDs of Oscar, they have the Swing Guitar Masterpieces collection on Grisman's Acoustic Disc label. That's my situation, anyway.

I noticed recently that several imports seem to be more or less available. As the Acoustic Disc compilation gives standard English song titles, and the mostly EMI issued imports stick to Spanish, one has to do a little conversion. I've uploaded a Word Document with the track listings of the Aleman CDs I've found online, with translations as best as I could manage. (Edit: I already found a mistake, re: "Murmullo de Pájaros" being "Lullaby of Birdland," not "Murmuring of the Birds" as I had it)

I've put titles that appear on the Acoustic Disc compilation in bold print (though I'm not sure in all cases that the same versions are being used on the imports).

Feedback on Aleman collecting more than welcome. My second CD purchase of Oscar came in yesterday, the "Y Los 5 Caballeros" compilation, which it turns out was recorded in 1965. It's not that different from some of the stuff I've heard from 2nd generation gypsy-style players who were recording at that time. There's some ring-a-ding ding Rat Pack horns in places, and it's pretty mainstream throughout. But there is some cool guitar work, more robust than just a studio cat playing mellow licks over an easy listening orchestral arrangement. Playing time is very short, which is a bit annoying. A companion volume "Grabaciones Recuperadas" suffers from this as well; they really chinzed on these. But, they ain't makin' anymore Oscar Aleman sessions, so whada'ya gonna do?

Also, check out Oscar's guitar in the attached pic. Not only is the large soundhole not D-shaped, but he's also got a funky pickup mounted on the thing which seems to have big old 60s style clear plastic volume and tone controls mounted over near the tailpiece.

Neil

Comments

  • trumbologytrumbology San FranciscoNew
    Posts: 124
    Groovy, Ted. Thanks.

    I had no idea that Sergio Repiso existed until just now.

    Google led me to

    http://www.guitarseminars.com/ubb/Forum ... 05121.html

    which reproduces Scot W.'s comments on Repiso from March '04.

    I guess if Oscar played it, it was a decent instrument. Was Respiso the Favino of South America?

    Cheers,

    Neil
  • Colin PerryColin Perry Montreal, QCNew
    Posts: 115
    I just picked up a compilation of Hawaiian music, that has one track of Les Loups: a duo with Aleman and a steel guitarist. The steel plays all the lead, but Aleman's accompaniment is beautiful, and very reminescent of his solo recordings. Does anyone know if these sides have been reissued? I think they recorded over twenty sides.
  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 270
    It's interesting to compare Aleman's '30's recordings with those '60's sessions. He was playing amplified, but other than that, I hear very little concession to the prevailing jazz trends of the day. By contrast, Django seemed to be very interested in bebop as early as the late '40's and had incorporated much of it into his playing. I suppose you can take that comparison how you will. Maybe Oscar was a moldy fig, but I'm sure glad to have at least a few more recordings of his extremely charming playing around.

    By the way, can anyone tell me what the hell is going on in the version of "Diga Diga Do" on Swing Guitar Masterpieces? There's this insane and incredible breakdown in the middle of the song where the rhythm changes and Aleman starts singing in what sounds like Arabic. Was this a nod to the connections between France and North Africa? Or maybe just a goof on Ellington's "Caravan"? Any ideas?
  • criminelcriminel buenos aires✭✭✭
    Posts: 71
    Hi there,
    For those of you that can speak/read spanish there's a brand new bio book coming out:
    http://www.cuspide.com/9789504945628/Oscar+Aleman/
    MichaelHorowitz
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