Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tribute to Oscar Alemán

 Tributo a Oscar Alemán - Guillermo, José & Estanislao Iacona
The life's work of the late Guillermo Iacona published. 
Hans Koert

Last month José & Estanislao Iacona  published their father’s  life’s work, dedicated to the popular Argentine guitar player of the 1940s and 1950s, Oscar Alemán.  The 
book is entitled Tributo a Oscar Alemán and is published in the Spanish, English and French language by Whitefly.

Tributo a Oscar Alemán ( español)  - Tribute to Oscar Alemán (English) - Eerbetoon aan Oscar Alemán (Nederlands)

 Tributo a Oscar Alemán ( ISBN 978-987-23688-4-5)

The book has six chapters which cover Alemán’s musical career, starting as a kid singing and dancing in their family folk ensemble Los Moreira, his close cooperation with Gaston Bueno Lobo ( as Les Loups and Trio Victor); his European years with the Baker Boys and his return to Argentina, early 1940s, where he started a great career in Argentina, which ended late 1950s.

 That chapter is called Del estrellato al abismo ( =  From stardom to ruin ….). In chapter 5 the period of the two final decades of Alemán’s live a spotlighted, the period in which he “emerged from the ashes”  - renarces de las cenizas, as the authors label it – it is the period, in which Guillermo Iacona, who started to write down his memories, remembers Oscar Alemán best. Chapter 6 is fully dedicated to the period in which Guillermo and Oscar Alemán became friends and Guillermo took music lessons from Oscar …… He sent me copies of his notebook in which Oscar had made annotations.  The book ends with some recollections by Jorgelina Alemán, Oscar’s granddaughter, who followed in her grandfathers footsteps.  The book has a discography and a filmography.

 Guillermo Iaconna with his Repiso-guitar (Iacona archive)

Guillermo José Iaconna started this tribute to Oscar Alemán only a couple of years ago, although he was always excited in his letters and e-mails to me, about the time he had lessons by the great guitar player and entertainer Oscar Alemán and Guillermo had sweet memories to the three concerts in which he participated ( like in the Santa Maria del Buen Ayre theater in Buenos Aires).

 A young Oscar Alemán with his cavaquinho.

Making the book was his dream! When he started it, years ago, he informed me at set times about the process.  Alemán widow Carmen Vallejo describes Guillermo: El era música  (= He was all music). Jorgelina remembers Guillermo as ………… una persona de una gran calidad humana, quién de algún modo quedó cautivado por el artista y el ser, de una sensibilidad única, que era mi abuelo. ( = As a  wonderful human being, who was captivated by the artist and man of enormous sensibility who was my grandfather.) Guillermo passed away before he could finish the book, but due to his sons José and Estanislao the book, their father's lifework, could be published, with the kind support of the Governor of the province of Chaco where Oscar was born more than  a century ago. 

 Oscar Alemán

The book is well designed and especially the dozens of rare photographs make the book a must-have for all Oscar Alemán fans …….  The type page is in three columns, one in the Spanish -, one in the English - and one in the French language, which makes the book easily to handle for most jazz fans all over the world ………… a book which will find its place in both Europe as in Argentina ……

 Oscar Alemán in the 1970s.( Editorial Atlantico)

I hope to refer often to this book in blogs dedicated to Oscar Alemán's career and point you to untold stories and information which has been published now. This book is an important source, due to the fact that the info is also available in English for every student or jazz fan who studies the music and career of Oscar Alemán.

You can order the book at their website. The Oscar Aleman blog is dedicated to the musical and career of Oscar Alemán.

Hans Koert
The Keep (it) Swinging blog and the Oscar Aleman blog can be followed at Facebook or ask for its free monthly newsletter.

Guillermo Iacona met Oscar Alemán in the 1960s and took guitar lessons. He was invited to play with Oscar three times at venues like the Santa Maria del Buen Ayre Theatre in Buenos Aires. They became close friends. Guillermo's dream was, to publish a book about his idol, and to share his recollections about this legendary Argentine guitar player and entertainer with his friends. He informed me at set times about the process. He talked to Alemáns widow Carmen Vallejo and his granddaughter Jorgelina Alemán and people who had known Oscar well. Before the book was finished Guillermo passed aweay, but his sons José and Estamislao Iacona finished their fater's life's work and published it - The book contains dozens of unpublished black and white photos - a must have for all jazz fans who love to have Oscar in their bookcase. 

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