Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nagedachtenis - Hans Koert overleden

Hans Koert (1951-2014)
Nederland verliest een groot jazzkenner en een aimabel mens    

Op 4 september j.l. kwam het droeve bericht dat Hans Koert op 63-jarige leeftijd in zijn woonplaats Heinkenszand na een ernstige ziekte is overleden.

Zijn heengaan is een gevoelig verlies voor allen die serieus in jazz- en aanverwante muziek zijn geïnteresseerd. Want Hans was, naast zijn werk als docent, uiterst actief als een publicist/verzamelaar en als geen ander op de hoogte van wat er op jazzgebied omging.

Ik noem allereerst zijn passie voor gitarist Oscar Alemán, van wie hij de complete  verzameling opnamen bezat, alle details over diens leven kende en zelfs contact met zijn familie in Argentinië onderhield. Als hommage bracht Hans in 2002 een uitgebreide discografie van Oscar’s werk uit.

Voorts was er zijn “Hit of the Week” project (het digitaliseren van alle vroegere hits op Duriumplaten van de jaren 1930-32). Hij completeerde dit enorme project in 2011 waarbij al deze platen op vier dubbel-cd’s werden uitgebracht; een eerste volledige discografie.


Maar de grootste bekendheid verkreeg Hans door zijn weblogs die vanaf ca. 2006 uitkwamen onder de naam “Keep (it) Swinging" . Daarin publiceerde hij regelmatig gedetailleerde artikelen zoals bijvoorbeeld over Oscar Alemán, Choro Music en ‘Hits of the Week’. Deze werden gevolgd door frekwente publicaties over talloze jazzmusici en orkesten, zowel traditioneel als eigentijds en ook door verslagen van bijzondere jazzconcerten.

De blogs waren rijkelijk geïllustreerd met foto’s (veelal door hem zelf gemaakt) en bevatten vaak zeldzame audio-fragmenten van historische waarde. Door daarnaast Engelse versies uit te geven kreeg “Keep (it) Swinging” ook internationale aandacht en respons. In totaal verschenen er vanaf het begin zo’n 2000 blogs van zijn hand en men kan zich voorstellen wat een immens werk Hans daaraan moet hebben gehad. De laatste jaren bracht hij trouwens ook nog digitale ‘Nieuwsbrieven’ uit.

Ik werkte zelf met Hans samen voor mijn artikelen over de vooroorlogse Franse jazz en dat contact verliep steeds perfect en met humor. Op bezoek bij hem heb ik met bewondering zijn uitgebreide reeks naslagwerken bekeken. Samen waren wij in 2010 aanwezig bij het unieke concert in Dongen, ter gelegenheid van het 100e geboortejaar van Django Reinhardt.

Door mijn uitwisseling met Hans kwam ik vele jaren geleden in contact met Jorgen Larsen uit Denemarken, met wie ik veel uitwissel..Van hem werden niet alleen Engelstalige artikelen gepubliceerd, maar hij nam zelfs taken van Hans over (bijv. tijdens vakanties). Op verzoek van Hans zal Jorgen weblogs blijven verzorgen, zodat “Keep it Swinging” niet stopt.

Ik zal Hans missen, niet alleen vanwege zijn grote jazzkennis, maar ook als vriend en ik  wens zijn vrouw Corrie veel sterkte met dit verlies – Hans blijft zeker in ons aller gedachten.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Georg Lankester

Monday, September 15, 2014

In Memoriam Hans Koert - by Georg Lankester

Hans Koert (1951-2014)
Hans Koert  deceased   

Holland has lost a great jazz specialist and a warm person   

On September 4, 2014 the sad news arrived that Hans Koert, at the age of 63 years, passed away in his residence Heinkenszand (Holland) after a serious disease.

His decease is a sore loss for all those who are really interested in jazz and related music, because Hans – apart from his profession as a teacher – was a dynamic publicist/collector and always well-informed about both the historical and contemporary jazz.

First of all Hans’ great passion for guitarist Oscar Alemán should be mentioned. Not only did he possess the complete collection of Alemáns’ recordings, but he knew every detail about the artist and even maintained contact with his relatives in Argentina..

As an homage Hans released an extensive discography on Oscars’ records in 2002..

Next  there was his “Hit of the Week” project (creation of a digital file of the old flexible ‘Durium’ records from the years 1930/32). Hans completed this huge project in 2011 whereby all recordings were issued on four double CDs.-  the first complete discography ever.
However, Hans’ activities became widely known when he started to release regulalrly weblogs from 2006 under the name “Keep (it) Swinging. These detailed blogs both in Dutch and English included info on Oscar Alemán, ‘Choro’ (Music from Brazil) and ‘Hits of the Week’.

Later these blogs were followed by interesting publications on jazz artists and bands, of both traditonal or contemparary origin and also reports on special concerts were released.
The blogs included many photos (Hans was also an excellent photographer and always had an eye for well chosen pictures to accompany the texts) and often rare audio fragments of historical value were inserted to complete the texts. By releasing English translations as well, “Keep (it) Swinging” received  international attention and feed-back. In total more than  2000 blogs were published and one can imagine how much work this must have represented. The last few years also digital Newsletters have been published.

I worked together with Hans for my publications on the pre-WW2  French jazz and our contact was always pleasant and full of humour. During a visit to his home it was impressive to find  so many reference books and records. I also remember that we both attended that unique concert which was given to celebrate the 100 years’ anniversary of Django Reinhardt’s birth.

Through my frequent exchange with Hans, I came into contact with Jorgen Larsen from Denmark.with whom I alo cooperate in jazz projects. Over the years Jorgen and Hans made and issued blogs together. That’s why Hans, prior to his passing away, asked Jorgen to continue his project, so fortunately “Keep (it) Swinging” will live on.

I shall miss Hans, not only beause of his great knowledge of jazz, but as a friend.and I wish his wife, Corrie, much strength in these difficult times. But with me, many others will always remember Hans with great respect.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Georg Lankester

Thursday, September 11, 2014

In Memory of Hans Koert, September 2014

Dear readers,

I have collected some of the notifications according Hans Koert's passing on September 4th, 2014. The following is a list of quotes from people who have reacted in forwarded e-mails or as comments on some of Hans' weblogs.

 e-mail: 
So sorry to hear of Hans’ passing. He was dedicated to bringing us all a little closer to the musicians we all have known and loved over the years. His enthusiasm was boundless and his seemingly endless supply of good humor came across, even in his writing. He will be missed. - Malcolm Rockwell 

Through the distance, my condolences for Hans` wife, his family and friends.- Luis ‘Tito’ Liber 

What sad news. Unfortunately, I never met Hans, but I admire the Oscar Alemán page. - Sincerely yours Sergio Pujol.

We are really sorry to hear this. Hans was the ultimate "alemaniac" as he always posted on the blog. He gave a lot to the memory of Oscar Aleman and many other artists on the Keep swinging blog. A lot of interesting information with a lot of love and passion were behind every post. He will be remembered. Our condolences to Corrie. - José Iacona 

Thank you for this sad information. Our condolences to you and to Corrie.Best wishes, Richard and Meagan Hennessey, Archeophone Records

My sincerest condolences on Hans Koert’s passing. - Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

I am really sorry to know about Hans Koert's passing, please give my condolences to his family.- Michele Ariodante

 blog comments:
Thank you for sharing this sad news with us, he will be missed. My condolences to friends and family. - http://juffrouwjo.wordpress.com/ 

It is a great loss and we will miss him a lot. - Jorgelina Alemán, Daniel Cossarini 

Hans, Your work and legacy will never stop swinging. - Lao Iacona.

Una muy lamentable noticia, siempre te recordaremos, nuestras condolencia a su familia. - Hot Club de Boedo 

Hans Koert did an incredible work to preserve the memory and career of Oscar Aleman. Thanks for everything Hans! Rest in peace. - José Iacona

 -

Thanks for your support!

My personal farewell in still footage and music. Thanks for everything, dear friend!


---
Jo
keepitswinging.domain@gmail.com

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hans Koert (1951 - 2014)

Hans Koert (1951-2014)
Dear readers,

I had the sad news this afternoon that Hans Koert passed away this morning. Hans Koert died from complications caused by a lung cancer that has kept him inactive at his website and blogs for some months. I have lost a dear friend, however, my thoughts and condolences in this difficult hour I forward to Corrie, Hans' wife, 

If you wish to express your compassion or send a condolence notification, I will state Corrie's postal address below. You may also state your message by notifying me at the e-mail address below, then I'll forward your message to Corrie. As always, you can also use the comment facility at the blog, if you prefer this solution.

Hans Koert was the founder and main editor of the Keep Swinging website including under-webs and blogs. Before it was too late, I promised Hans to continue his work the best I can. If you have questions or comments regarding this, please feel free to contact me in an e-mail.

Here is the postal address of Corrie Koert:

Ms. Corrie Koert
Torenvalkstee 8
NL-4451 CM Heinkenszand
The Netherlands

The e-mail address to send condolence notification or questions, please use this:

keepitswinging.domain@gmail.com

Thank you for your support!

Jørgen Larsen

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ukulele Magic - Sweet Hollywaiians

CD front, Sweet Strings Rec. R-1360463
According to several sources, in his later career Oscar Alemán always had his cavaquinho with him in his live stage shows and played his "O.A. 1926" as a solo piece as part of the show. Some unissued Argentine recordings of his live-performance of this tune have been saved, here's the best and most elaborte arrangement from a radio broadcast c. 1955



The "O.A.1926" was recorded as a magnificient solo piece for ukulele by the Dutch string wizard, Ton Van Bergeyk, in 1976 for the Kicking Mule label titled 'Anno 1926', his version is close to the inserted, broadcasted take by Alemán himself. If you look up other versions of the tune at YouTube, you'll discover other versions by uke-players, one of best and most swinging is by a Japanese uke-wizard, Mario Takada, in a solo performance inserted below



Mario Takada is a member of the Sweet Hollywaiians string quartet from Osaka, Japan, specializing in 1920s and 1930s Hawaiian, swing, calypso, Italian instrumentals etc. and having released four CDs since 2008. A website introducing more info about this fabulous ensemble is available here - and the recordings are available from Amazon or/and CDBaby.

Sweet Hollywaiians
Last year the Sweet Hollywaiians has released a new short CD solely devoted to ukulele tunes, Magic Ukulele Waltz - containing most enjoyable playing and great tunes. The CD has an ensemble-version of "O.A. 1926" and a great version of GB Lobo's waltz "Criollita" plus five more excellently played tunes.

Magic Ukulele Waltz, Sweet Strings Rec., R-1360463
The CD is available for purchase here.  - As mentioned, the waltz "Criollita" by Gastón Bueno Lobo is also featured on the CD, a YouTube video by Mario Takada has the tune in a similar version, although a bit short, anyway, here it is


The title track of the CD, "Magic Ukulele Waltz", was originally composed by Roy Smeck and recorded at his Magic Ukulele LP album, since re-issued on CD. To end this small presentation of the mentioned ukulele CD by Sweet Hollywaiians, here is Mario Takada's version of the Magic Ukulele Waltz - enjoy!


---
Jo
keepitswinging.domain@gmail.com


If you are a fan of the Japanese string ensemble, Sweet Hollywaiians, then the latest CD with the title Magic Ukulele Waltz definitly should be a part of your collection of great music. The CD has seven tracks of excellently played tunes with the ukulele in front backed by the ensemble, the repertoire has new versions of classic swing tunes and a couple of waltzes - every track is a sheer joy to be listening to. - Highly recommended!





  Retrospect Keep Swinging (old) Oscar Aleman Choro Music Flexible Records Hit of the Week-Durium Friends of the Keep Swinging blog Keep Swinging Contributions

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Record Debut of Laurindo Almeida

Laurindo Almeida
Choro, samba and other popular music genres of Brazil often seem to be categorized as 'Latin', when you browse through career profiles of artists in various sources available at the web or in short articles in printed books designated to give an overview of the musical background of a certain artist. This procedure seems to be the norm regarding musicians having their main career in jazz or popular music in the USA, however, the word 'Latin' does not state the tradition of the various musical sources supposed to be contained in the concept - in short, the 'Latin'-word is unclear and without a precise meaning, making the word easy to use by journalistst and writers appealing to a public more interested in the colour of the underwear of the artist than the musical background.

I was reminded of this, when I tried to look up information in English about the early career of Laurindo Almeida (1917-1995), the well-known Brazilian guitarist having his main career in the USA. In the general comprehension, Almeida is known as a 'Latin' guitar player, who had his breakthrough in the USA late 1940s as a member of Stan Kenton's big band, later in the 1950s he would be the first to inspire jazzmusicans to be interested in Brazilian music styles through a co-operation with Bud Shank, with whom Almeida made some now famous recordings in 1951,introducing 'jazz samba' to an American public. When Almeida moved permanently to the USA mid-1950s, his career spanned both jazz, classical and popular music - his work as a composer, arranger and guitarist during his American career is impressive, he made more than 800 compositions and participated in a great number of recordings - info about this chapter of his career is easily found in articles written in English. Anyway, here I like to put some focus on his early career in Brazil by pointing to his first recording under his own name, made 1938.

Laurindo Almeida (1917-1995)
Laurindo de Almeida was born 1917 in a small town in the state of São Paulo as a member of a large musical family. His father held an occupation as a railroad worker, but spent his leisure time as an amateur musician participating in serestas (- in English: serenade sessions). His mother was an amateur pianist, who taught Laurindo the basics of music, and a sister taught him to play the guitar in secret, an instrument he was attracted to already as a kid. At the age of 12 he would accompany his father and brothers in the serestas, by 15 he moved to São Paulo to seek his fortune as a musician and to take part in the political riots of the city. In 1932, he met and got aquainted with Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha) while staying at a hospital, and they would later become partners, when Laurindo moved to Rio de Jainero and in 1936 joined as a staff musician at Rádio Mayrink Veiga. Garoto and Laurindo worked together as studio musicians accompanying various popular artist of the time, i.e. Carmen Miranda, and they also recorded together as a duo accompanying other vocalists and instrumentalists.

Laurindo Almeida and Garoto in Rádio Mayrink Veiga studio, c.1936-37
(photo courtesy by Jorge Carvalho de Mello)
Together with guitarist Gastón Bueno Lobo and Garoto Laurindo had success with programs at Rádio Mayrink Veiga performing as Conjunto Hawaiano for some time, displaying a string ensemble influenced by the Hawaiian way of playing the (slide) guitar, probably inspired by the experience of Gastón Bueno Lobo, who had had success playing the Hawaiian slide guitar with Oscar Alemán in Argentina and Europe some years earlier in the Les Loups duo. In 1938, Laurindo and GB Lobo had a co-work as composers of the choro Inspiracão, which was recorded for Odeon on a 78 rpm with GB Lobo playing the lead on Hawaiian guitar accompanied by Laurindo on guitar and Tute, seven string guitar. 



The flip-side of this record (Odeon, 11649-A) contains the first recorded solo by Laurindo Almeida under his own name of his composition Saudade que passa, a waltz that reflects the tradition of choro as the background of Laurindo Almeida's musical language.



The inspiration from choro is also very significant in Almeida's later work, here's an example of a solo version of his composition Braziliance to end this intro to Almeida's mostly unknown record debut in Brazil - enjoy!



---
Jo
keepitswinging.domain@gmail.com


Laurindo Almeida is a well known Brazilian guitarist who had his main career in USA both as a composer, jazz guitarist and as a performer of classical guitar music. However, in general reference literature in English there is generally not much information about his early career in Brazil. This entry sets focus on his debut recording under his own name made 1938 in Brazil.


Retrospect Keep Swinging (old) Oscar Aleman Choro Music Flexible Records Hit of the Week-Durium Friends of the Keep Swinging blog Keep Swinging Contributions

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

In Memory of Jacob do Bandolim (1918 - 1969)

Jacob do Bandolim
Jacob Pick Bittencourt - better known as Jacob do Bandolim - was born February 14, 1918, in Rio de Janeiro and passed away August 13, 1969, Rio de Janeiro. Jacob do Bandolim is one of the most important figures in Brazilian choro, and he has left a legacy of recordings and more than 100 compositions which will secure him a place among the best and most respected Brazilian musicians forever. He had his nickname after the instrument he devoted his musical skills - the bandolim is the Brazilian issue of the mandolin, - and he was the originator of a way of playing the bandolim, which has been adopted by countless other bandolinistas in Brazil and elsewhere. Jacob do Bandolim had a profound impact on generations of choro musicians - not only through his work as a musician and composer, but also as a researcher of choro and as a radio and TV host of programs devoted to choro and live performance by both amateurs and professional musicians excelling in this kind of music and related genres. Further, Jacob do Bandolim also arranged informal choro gatherings ( - rodas de choro) at his home and invited special guests to participate and help refining, sharing and evolving musical ideas, a tireless and demanding effort that at times would last for days and nights. All this work was a full time job, nevertheless Jacob do Bandolim had to support his financial income through a 'day job' as an insurance agent or street vendor until the State Govenment secured him employment as a civil servant with a steady income towards the end of his life. Jacob do Bandolim was a victim of a heart attack on August 13, 1969, he died on his way home from a visit to Pixinguinha's house where he had discussed and planned new musicial projects with his mentor and friend. - A more detailed profile of Jacob do Bandolim's career is available here and the official website in Portuguese devoted to everything regarding Jacob do Bandolim can be reached here.

Jacob do Bandolim, c. 1950
Jacob do Bandolim recorded his first session featuring César Faria e seu conjunto in October 1947, only two sides were recorded and released on a 78 rpm disc. A choro by Jacob, Treme-treme, was on the A-side



In 1951 Jacob do Bandolim started recording for RCA and was backed by musicians, who had been members of flutist Benedito Lacerda's ensemble, now lead by the cavaquinho player of the grounp called Regional do Canhoto

Jacob and Regional do Canhoto, 1950s
In 1951 Jacob recorded his choro Doce de coco with Regional do Canhoto, a composition that since has been part of the standard choro repertoire



Jacob recorded several sessions with Regional do Canhoto from 1951 to 1961, in 1957 he recorded the choro Noites Cariocas, an all-time hit since then associated with Jacob and the nightlife of Rio



In 1965 Jacob formated his most famous group, Epoca de Ouro, featuring members that had backed him since start of the 1960s under other names such as Jacob e seus chorões and Jacob e seu regional

Jacob and Epoca de Ouro, 1960s
Jacob and Epoca de Ouro had their greatest success with the 1967 recording of the RCA LP-album titled Vibrações, the title track of this album is another choro by Jacob, which forever is associated with him and the spirit of Brazilian choro



After Jacob do Bandolim's untimely death in 1969 the Epoca de Ouro ensemble dissolved, but the group reunited in 1973 and had a profound impact on the revival of choro in Brazil during the 1970s. The Epoca de Ouro is still an active choro ensemble today with new members in the group taking over and continuing a tradition and reliving a body of musical works associated with Jacob do Bandolim and his legacy.

---
Jo
keepitswinging.domain@gmail.com

Jacob do Bandolim is a name and figure in Brazilian popular music, who is closely associated with his instrument and the choro music tradition. Jacob do Bandolim sat new standards both regarding the consept of playing  the bandolim and in choro music history. It is now 45 years since Jacob's untimely death, but his legacy lives on and is taken good care of by countless followers of the tradition he initiated, not only in Brazil but worldwide. This entry gives a short view of some of Jacob do Bandolim's recorded musical highlights through his career.




Retrospect Keep Swinging (old) Oscar Aleman Choro Music Flexible Records Hit of the Week-Durium Friends of the Keep Swinging blog Keep Swinging Contributions