The Oscar Aleman Play-Along Songbook is the first ever music book solely dedicated to learning the style of swing-era guitar master, Oscar Aleman.
The campaign goal of $6,500 is to cover the costs of designing and printing The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook. The book is finished: written and edited, the copyrights obtained and paid, and the play-along tracks recorded and mixed. Your support will cover the costs for these last and crucial steps into the world. In exchange, you will receive copies of the book months before it becomes available for sale to the general public, in addition to many other pledge reward options. Most importantly, your support will ensure that that Oscar Alemán's music will be made accessible to musicians and music lovers around the world.
This will be my second Kickstarter project. My first, SYNCOPATED CLASSIC – The lost work of a 1920s jazz composer, resulted in releasing a CD and vinyl record that was awarded the 2017 NW Recording of the Year by Earshot Jazz Magazine. I am excited to see where this project leads!
When I first started learning to play swing guitar, I was equally obsessed with both Django Reinhardt and Oscar Alemán. While there are many books dedicated to learning Django’s music, not a single one has ever existed to learn Aleman’s music. To learn his music, I listened to his classic recordings and note by note wrote down his beautiful guitar work. The transcriptions turned out so well, I decided I couldn’t keep them just for myself and now, years later, I am ready to release the Oscar Aleman Play Along Book!
This songbook contains Oscar Alemán compositions and swing standards for all instrumentalists of any skill level. The easy-to-read standard notation, guitar tablature and chord diagrams will allow beginning students to quickly learn Alemán’s repertoire. More advanced students will benefit from the carefully notated intro and outros, melodic embellishments, advanced chord voicings and harmony parts.
Sample of Hombre Mio:
The accompanying play-along audio has the melodies at the beginning and end as well as a rhythm section throughout. This will allow you to practice the melodies along side an accurate performance of the transcription and also practice your improvised solo to the backing tracks. This is a fun and interactive way to develop this repertoire.
Sample of the Play-Along track for Russian Lullaby:
The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook Vol.1 includes:
- Thirteen accurate transcriptions of melodies, harmonies and chords as played by Oscar Alemán from his recorded repertoire
- Three original Oscar Alemán compositions
- Three arranged out-choruses and one vamp interlude transcribed for guitar and violin
- Four songs with both fast and slow play-along tracks Transcriptions in both standard notation and tablature (guitar chord diagrams included)
- Notation for guitar and violin Easy to read Real Book style format suitable for sight-reading on the gig
- Accompanying audio (digital download) with 17 play-along tracks recorded accurately to both the original Alemán recordings and the transcriptions
- PDF chord charts for all the songs for easy use in the practice room or bandstand
- A biography of Oscar Alemán written by Michael Dregni, author of Django, The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend (Oxford University Press 2004);
- Rare photographs of Oscar Alemán
The repertoire includes:
- Dedos Duros
- Diga Diga Doo
- Hombre Mio
- I Never Knew
- Joseph! Joseph!
- Russian Lullaby
- Sweet Georgia Brown
- Twelfth Street Rag
- You Made Me Love You
The songs Diga Diga Doo, Joseph! Joseph!, Russian Lullaby and Scartunas have both fast and slow tracks.
Recorded at Greenbelt Studios & Sophia Hat Studios
Mixed at David Land Studios
- Greg Ruby (guitars)
- Matt Weiner (bass)
- Eugene Bazhanov (violin)
While Oscar Alemán may have never gained the same notoriety as his friend and rival, Django Reinhardt, the two were both stars of the jazz world of 1930’s Paris. With Django leading the Quintette of the Hot Club of France and Alemán leading Josephine Baker’s orchestra as well as bands of his own, these two were captivating audiences across Europe with their Hot Jazz guitar improvisations. Their talents were so great, they sometimes became the subject of debate amongst music critics, with British Jazz journalist Leonard Feather once saying, “If anyone ever mentions Django Reinhardt to me again, I shall stare coldly. Alemán has more swing than any other guitarist on the continent." Aleman’s musicianship was held in such high esteem that in 1933, Duke Ellington offered him the guitar chair in the Ellington Orchestra. Aleman declined the offer (at Josephine Baker’s urging) and continued working the finest venues in Paris. With the onset of World War II, he was forced to flee the country and returned to his homeland of Argentina and rebuilt his career to become one of the biggest stars in Buenos Aires. Both in Europe and Argentina, Aleman made hundreds of recordings pioneering his unique and personal approach to Hot Club Jazz.
Seattle-based guitarist and composer Greg Ruby plays diverse styles of vintage jazz. Described as “truly hot jazz” by Vintage Guitar Magazine, his CD, Look Both Ways, celebrating the 100th birthday of guitarist Django Reinhardt and featuring 12 original compositions, reached #1 on the Roots Music Review jazz chart. Greg newest project is to perform the compositions and arrangements of 1930’s swing guitarist, Oscar Aléman. Greg additionally leads The Greg Ruby Quartet, a Hot Club jazz group dedicated to all-original compositions; performs and records prohibition-eradance music in Greg Ruby & the Rhythm Runners and plays Valse musette and European café jazz with the Bric-a-brac Trio.
Greg plays at swing dances, concert hall and festivals including: the French Quarter Festival, Lindy Focus, the Earshot Jazz Festival and the Django Reinhardt Festival. As a respected music instructor, he teaches at schools, camps and clinics and has authored the Pearl Django Play-Along Book Vol.1, and Frank D. Waldron: Seattle’ Syncopated Classic. His latest record and accompanying book, Syncopated Classic, unearths, records and celebrates the lost compositions from 1924 by the eminent Seattle jazz icon Frank D. Waldron. The record was awarded Northwest recording of the Year in 2017 but Earshot Jazz Magazine. Greg holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA
The pledge tiers include the below items either as single rewards or in combination:
5 songs "Live from Lindy Focus"
2 Song Lathe Cut 45 RPM Record
Limehouse Blues - Score, Parts & Solo
The Oscar Alemán Play Along Songbook
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!
Risks and challenges
There is very little risk in supporting this project. The transcriptions are complete, edited & notated. The cover art is in its final draft. The play-along audio has been recorded. Oscar's biography has been written and edited. I am only seeking support to cover the costs of design and printing.
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- (28 days)