Thursday, 7 February 2013

Swing along with Oscar

Because of Brooklyn Baby's love of guitar wizardry (which on this blog constitutes "overwhelming popular demand") it's time to revisit Oscar Alemán, last showcased here.

The producers of this excellent two-CD set have included in the booklet the above transcription of Alemán's solo on Sweet Sue, recorded in 1938 -- your chance to read along or play along or, if you're Annie Ross, sing along with Oscar. As interesting as it is to see the shape of his improvisation, a transcription conveys just a fraction of a great jazz performance. What you won't see in black-and-white is that wondrous Alemán sound, vibrato, and sense of swing.

Svend Asmussen

Alemán's playmates on this occasion were Svend Asmussen, violin; Henry Hageman, tenor sax; Helge Jacobsen, rhythm guitar; Alfred Rasmussen, bass; Bibi Miranda, drums. If ever there was proof that jazz is the quintessentially American music, this is it: an Argentinian guitarist, Danish violinist, Brazilian drummer, plus four other musicians of Scandinavian origin, recorded in Copenhagen.

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