Sweet Georgia Brown – Oscar Aleman

A friend of mine (Gary Keenan) shared this video of Oscar Aleman’s rendition of Sweet Georgia Brown this morning on my Facebook page.

Yea,  I know how hot Django was back in the 30’s but….

Check out Oscar Aleman..

The tempo is a little slow but bear with it… the hotter double time stuff comes after the violin solo.

Due to recording limitations, anybody that played the guitar back then had to have a strong right hand in order to cut through.  Might have been a great relief for guitarist of the day to switch to a pickup, lighten up and cut through with ease but, the sound of the acoustic being played with that much force is so the part of the hard driving hot sound. Haven’t heard Oscar on an electric but, I would imagine if he did switch over it might sound similar to Django when he made the switch. Django was certainly great on the electric but, not the same in my opinion as his acoustic playing…

Share with your friends this new (old) hot guitarist.

Argentine musician Oscar Alemán (1909-1980)

Written by Gary Keenan:  “Oscar Aleman, the great Argentine guitarist, was in Paris in the 1930s, playing a Selmer or a metal body resonator (tricone) guitar in much the same general style as Django–swing jazz arrangements of pop songs. He lived to 1980. This clip is a version of Sweet Georgia Brown.
This version (recording) was recorded in Buenos Aires in 1942. Aleman went to Europe in 1929 and soon landed a gig leading Josephine Baker’s band in Paris in 1931, where he met many touring American jazz musicians. Duke Ellington wanted to hire him in 1933, but Baker outbid Duke. He led his own group at the Chantilly Club in Paris while Django was leading his quintet at the Hot Club of Paris. Aleman knew Django very well (“my best friend in France), and they talked a lot about music, but it seems Aleman thought the gypsy depended on too many tricks or gimmicks in his style. Aleman played with his fingers (although sometimes with a thumb pick), while Django used a flatpick. They jammed together in the gypsy’s trailer home a lot. I’d guess there was a lot of mutual influence and inspiration.”*

Thanks Gary for the great write-up!

*Drawn from the liner notes by Dexter Johnson for the double cd Swing Guitar Masterpieces 1938-57


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