Saturday, March 9, 2013

Oscar Alemán in Rio de Janeiro:1927

 Oscar Alemán earliest career recollected 
His 1927 Rio de Janeiro concerts
Jørgen Larsen

Oscar Aleman, the Argentine guitarist, who impressed the European jazz scene as part of Josephine Baker's Baker Boys, but also as a member of the Parisian jazzscene, has been spotlighted recently by the biography: Tribute to Oscar Aleman. But the years Oscar played in Brazil with Les Loups were underexposed .... Thanks to Jorge Carvalho de Mello we now know more about his earliest career in Brazil. In a previous blog I told you about the year 1926, today more about 1927, the year in which Oscar and Gaston returened to Buenos Aires and made their first records.

Oscar Alemán in Brazilië: Les Loups (1926) (Nederlands) - Oscar Alemán in Brazil: Les Loups (1926) (Engels) - Oscar Alemán in Brazilië: Les Loups (1927) (Nederlands) - Oscar Alemán in Brazil: Les Loups (1927) (English) - Oscar in Rio de Janeiro (1926-1927) ( English)

In a previous blog I told you about the year 1926, today more about 1927, the year in which Oscar and Gaston returned to Buenos Aires, after concerts in Rio de Janeiro and debuted on records.

 Rio de Janeiro -1920s (Collection Marcelo Almirante)

The year 1927 was a special year in Brazilian popular music; a sponsored national contest among Rio de Janeiro guitarists was mobilizing the public through intense propaganda, new names were taking the stage and already established musicians were challenged. In this intense atmosphere Les Loups duo continued to perform in movie theaters of Rio. The duo is presented on the 25th of January together with Companhia Juvenal Fontes. February and March of 1927 have no trace of Les Loups, but in April the duo is back, now presented at Cine Teatro Glória on the 18 th and 19th of April. The critics heaped praise on the duo's presentations according to de Mello's source, which quote (my English translation from the Portuguese): the duo " sparked endless applause from the audience, the songs performed on acoustic guitar [were] so really masterful for two rare performers". - The success with the Carioca public continued during the Portuguese week at Cine Odeon. The 24th of April Les Loups is present on stage, again with other artists, at this occasion performing Portuguese fado music gaining applause from the audience and praise from the critics, stating: (quote my English translation) "Les Loups, these extraordinary guitarists who are working with the Company Tangara, played several fados, charming".

 Cine Odeon - Rio de Janeiro ( 1920s)
  In July, a show was arranged as a tribute to the accomplishment of Brazilian aviation after the first plane had crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The show was presented on the 8th of July with the participation of various artists, among them were Les Loups. The ex-president of the Repulic attended the show that included a spectacle or play, which had gained success already during a theater performance the 21st of June, which also including Les Loups accompanying some of the participating actors/artists.

 Rio Branco - Rio de Janeiro (1920s)

In August, the duo returned to the Cine Theatro Central from the 2nd of August and stayed there throughout the month, again appearing with success on stage alongside other artists including acrobats, dancers and tap dancers.

On August 15th, Les Loups is taking part in another major event in Rio, where many artists were mobilized to produce a great spectacle whose income was allocated for the purchase of a bust of the impresario J.Stampa. Les Loups participated alongside several famous Brazilian popular guitarists of the time. - The last mentioning of Les Loups in 1927 was found in a notice announcing a party on September 29th, where the duo participated as part of the arranged performance.

 Hawayanita - Les Loups debut (Recorded ca. 10th of December 1927)

 Back in Buenos Aires they debuted on a 78rpm. recording for Victor records, a tango entitled Hawayanita and a walz Criolitta, as Les Loups - Dúo de Guitarras Hawaianas - the start of a productive period as a duo, with ten records in one and a half year - all for Victor.

More articles at the Oscar Alemán blog  and a great discography of Oscar Alemán at Oscar Aleman Discography

Jørgen Larsen
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But few information is available from the period that Oscar Alemán started his musical career as part of Les Loups,  Dúo de Guitarras Hawaianas. Thanks to Jorge Carvalho de Mello we now know more about his 1926 and 1927 years in Brazil, where he performed, before the duo left for Europe. 

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