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English about jazz, jazz-related music, record collecting and other music projects that surprise me. | Een wekelijkse weblog in het
Engels en het Nederlands over jazz, jazz-verwante muziek, platenverzamelen en verrassende projecten met anderen wil delen.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Josephine Baker In Holland, December 1933
When Hans Koert, Theo v.d. Graaff and I presented theEl Redescubrimiento de Oscar Alemán/The Rediscovery of Oscar Alemán projectat the IAJRC Convention in Copenhagen July 2005,Hans Koerthad prepared a review of the career of Oscar Alemán based on the info available at the time. The review benefited from Hans Koert's own research as well as the documentaryVida con Swing (2002) byHernán Gaffet. During this first-time presentation of Alemán's career for an international audience, Hans Koert also had collected a couple of surprises to wet the teeth of hungry collectors of Alemán's recorded legacy. The review was accompanied by audio examples and a Power Point presentation to illustrate Alemán's career. One of the audio examples was a just recently discovered private recording of Josephine Bakermade at a performance during her tour of Holland in December 1933.
"Being part of the Baker Boys meant a lot of travelling around Europe and Northern Africa with the revue of Josephine Baker. These tours were tiresome; Oscar loved to be in Paris, where he could play with visiting jazz musicians, like Freddy Taylor, Danny Polo, Bill Coleman and Frank “Big Boy” Goudy. The Baker tours were a tough job, indeed; two concerts in the evening and sometimes one in the afternoon, too. In December 1933 the Baker company played in Holland, eleven concerts within six days (Concertgebouw - Amsterdam, Concertzaal - Haarlem, Kunstmin - Dordrecht, Musis Sacrum - Arnhem, De Groote Doelenzaal - Rotterdam and Gebouw voor K en W – The Hague.). However, the tour through Holland was cancelled in The Hague due to technical problems after the first evening concert, although other sources speak about Josephine Baker being ill. It is a fact that the critics characterized Josephine’s act as “weinig om het lijf hebbend”, which means in English that the audience considered her erotic acts to be of minor importance." (Hans Koert in: OSCAR ALEMAN in Copenhagen, p. 2 (2005))
I have not been able to confirm, if the recording was made at Kunstmin in Dordrecht, but the exact date of the recording is stated on the label shown above as 19 December 1933. The audio quality is not the best, however, this is nonetheless an interesting recording, as this is probably the only preserved live-recording ofJosephine Bakerwith her16 Baker BoysfeaturingOscar Alemánon guitar in the ensemble. The guitar is barely audible, but you can hear it behind Md. Baker's vocal throughout, if you pay attention to the accompanying music of the song. The audio has now been uploaded at YouTube and is inserted here to honor the magnificent work byHans Koertto initiate The Rediscovery of Oscar Alemán in this part of the world, and of course further to remind us that today 35 years have passed since Oscar Alemán left us on October 14th, 1980.