From the Record Shelves #220

Joseph, Joseph

CD Frémeaux FA020

Oscar Aleman was a versatile guitar player with a beautiful sound. On this CD we get to hear proof of that on recordings from 1928 until 1943, of which only a fraction can be considered jazz music. But on this swinging track from Paris in 1939, we can also hear some other good and interesting sounds.

The swinging clarinet player is one E. Bruner, and the bass is handled by M. Speileux. Those are names that don’t say anything to me, but the drummer is T. Benford. “T” stands for Tommy and he was with Jelly Roll Morton on classic recording sessions in the twenties.

The protagonist is accordion player Gus Viseur, one of the heroes in the French musette tradition, and the name of the group that plays this traditional song is accordingly called Orchestra Musette Victor.

Aleman (1909–1988) was born in Argentina and came to join Josephine Baker’s troupe in Paris in 1931. When World War II broke out, he returned to Buenos Aires. In the 1960s he was rediscovered and had a third career.