Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Learn to play in the style of master swing guitarist Oscar Alemán! Includes 13 note-for-note transcriptions, tab & audio backing tracks
Learn to play in the style of master swing guitarist Oscar Alemán! Includes 13 note-for-note transcriptions, tab & audio backing tracks
Learn to play in the style of master swing guitarist Oscar Alemán! Includes 13 note-for-note transcriptions, tab & audio backing tracks
140 backers pledged $8,481 to help bring this project to life.

About

The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
  • Off
    • English

The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book

$8,481

140

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.

Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook Cover (draft) by John Hubbard
Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook Cover (draft) by John Hubbard

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:

Hombre Mio Sample (guitar)
Hombre Mio Sample (guitar)

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: 

  • Daphne 
  • Dedos Duros 
  • Diga Diga Doo 
  • Hombre Mio 
  • I Never Knew 
  • Joseph! Joseph! 
  • Melancolia 
  • Russian Lullaby 
  • Scartunas 
  • Stardust 
  • 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 

Musicians: 

  • Greg Ruby (guitars) 
  • Matt Weiner (bass) 
  • Eugene Bazhanov (violin)   

photos courtesy of Jose Iacona
photos courtesy of Jose Iacona

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"

This live recording captures the Greg Ruby 6's tribute to Oscar Alemán performance at the 2017 Lindy Focus.  Featuring an all-star lineup of Greg Ruby (lead guitar), Chloe Feoranzo (clarinet and tenor saxophone), Andrew Finn MacGill (violin), Jonathan Stout (rhythm guitar), Michael Gamble (bass) and Russ Wilson (drums).

Includes: Limehouse Blues, Sweet Sue, Joseph! Josesh!, Honeysuckle Rose and Russian Lullaby. 

Sample: Limehouse Blues

2 Song Lathe Cut 45 RPM Record 

A custom lathe cut of Limehouse Blues and Joseph! Jospeh! from "Live at Lindy Focus" will be placed directly to a clear 45 RPM record.  Lathe cut records are created by hand and only 50 of these will be available. 

Limehouse Blues - Score, Parts & Solo

I transcribed Oscar Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues and scored it in Finale. This package will include a PDF digital download of the conductor's score and parts for lead guitar, rhythm guitar, violin, saxophone and bass. Additionally, the trascription of Alemán's improvised guitar solo will be notated in both standard notation and guitar tab. 

Please note: this song will NOT be available in the Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook.

The Oscar Alemán Play Along Songbook 

You can pledge for this book at different levels to receive multiple copies, a hardcover version or an autographed version. Thank you for your support to make this book happen.

Read more about it above.

Skype Lesson

This is a good opportunity to work one-on-one with the author, Greg Ruby regarding questions about the guitar, The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook, composition or music theory.  A high speed internet connection and a Skype account is required. The lesson is one hour.

CD Package

The CD package includes all of the CD titles in the Greg Ruby catalog. This includes the 2010 Greg Ruby Quartet CD, Look Both Ways, which reached #1 on the Roots Music Review jazz charts, and the Greg Ruby & the Rhythm Runners CDs, Washington Hall Stomp and the 2017 NW Jazz Recording of the Year Syncopated Classic. You can listen to samples here. The CD package also includes the 5 song digital EP.

Composition

I will compose a song in your honor for my upcoming studio recording by the Greg Ruby 6. During the composition process, I will submit a series of questions that you will answer to inform the composition process. Your input will impact how the piece turns out. Additionally, I will name this song in your honor. You can hear samples of my other compositions here.


THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!


photo courtesy of Michael Dregni
photo courtesy of Michael Dregni


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.

Thank you for your support!!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 7 or more About US$ 7

    5 SONG DIGITAL DOWNLOAD EP

    Want to support this project but not interested in a music book? Pledge at this level and receive this limited edition (Kickstarter only) digital download of:

    The Greg Ruby 6 -Tribute to Oscar Alemán
    "Live at Lindy Focus" 5 song E.P.

    Limehouse Blues
    Russian Lullaby
    Joseph! Joseph!
    Honeysuckle Rose
    + one more!!

    In December of 2017, the Greg Ruby 6 performed a tribute night to Oscar Alemán at the 2 a.m. Balboa dance at Lindy Focus.

    With an all-star line-up, this limited edition recording will only be made available with this Kickstarter campaign.

    Featuring:
    Greg Ruby - guitar
    Chloe Feoranzo - reeds
    Andrew Finn MacGill - violin
    Jonathan Stout - rhythm guitar
    Michael Gamble - bass
    Russ Wilson - drums

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    13 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    DIGITAL EP + LIMEHOUSE BLUES ARR.

    Includes:

    -Limited Edition digital download EP, Greg Ruby 6, Tribute to Oscar Alemán "Live at Lindy Focus."

    - PDF score and parts of Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    - Transcribed solo in tab and standard notation to Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    LIMITED EDITION LATHE CUT 45 RPM RECORD

    Get this limited edition 2 song 45 RPM record of the Greg Ruby 6 - Tribute to Oscar Alemán "Live at Lindy Focus"

    In December of 2017, the Greg Ruby 6 performed a tribute night to Oscar Alemán at for the Balboa dance at Lindy Focus. Featuring an all star-line up, a very limited pressing of 50 records will only be made available with this Kickstarter campaign. Includes a digital download.

    Featuring:
    Greg Ruby - guitar
    Chloe Feoranzo - reeds
    Andrew Finn MacGill - violin
    Jonathan Stout - rhythm guitar
    Michael Gamble - bass
    Russ Wilson - drums

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE OSCAR ALEMÁN PLAY-ALONG BOOK VOL. 1

    The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1 is the first book dedicated to the music of Swing-era guitar master, Oscar Alemán.

    The book 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;

    - Transcriptions in both standard notation and tablature (guitar chord diagrams included);

    - Notation for guitar and violin parts;

    - Easy to read Real Book style format suitable for sight-reading on the gig;

    - Accompanying audio of 17 play-along tracks recorded accurately to both the original Alemán recordings and the transcriptions;

    - Four songs with both fast and slow play-along tracks;

    - PDF chord charts

    - 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

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    26 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    THE BOOK + DIGITAL EP

    Includes:

    -The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1

    - Limited Edition digital download EP, Greg Ruby 6, Tribute to Oscar Alemán "Live at Lindy Focus."

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    13 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    BOOK + LIMEHOUSE BLUES ARR.

    Includes:

    -The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1

    - PDF score and parts of Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    - Transcribed solo in tab and standard notation to Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    BOOK + DIGITAL EP + LIMEHOUSE BLUES ARR.

    Includes:

    -The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1

    - Limited Edition digital download EP, Greg Ruby 6, Tribute to Oscar Alemán "Live at Lindy Focus."

    - PDF score and parts of Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    - Transcribed solo in tab and standard notation to Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    26 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    THE GREG RUBY CD PACKAGE + DIGITAL EP

    You will receive the complete Greg Ruby CD catalog + the Limited Edition digital download 5 song EP, Greg Ruby 6, Tribute to Oscar Alemán "Live at Lindy Focus."

    CD package Includes:

    - "Look Both Ways," Greg Ruby Quartet

    - "Washington Hall Stomp" - Greg Ruby & the Rhythm Runners

    - "Syncopated Classic" - Greg Ruby & the Rhythm Runners

    - Limited Edition 5 song digital download EP, Greg Ruby 6, Tribute to Oscar Alemán "Live at Lindy Focus."

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    BOOK + LATHE CUT 45

    Includes:

    - The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook

    - Limited Edition 2 song Lathe Cut 45 RPM record of the Greg Ruby 6 - Tribute to Oscar Alemán "Live at Lindy Focus"

    - Digital Download 5 Song EP, The Greg Ruby 6 -
    "Live at Lindy Focus"

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    2 BOOKS

    Includes:

    Two copies of the The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    2 BOOKS + LIMEHOUSE BLUES ARRANGEMENT

    Includes:

    -Two copies of The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1

    - PDF score and parts of Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    - Transcribed solo in tab and standard notation to Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    BOOK + SKYPE LESSON

    Includes:

    - The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook

    - A one hour guitar lesson via Skype

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    BOOK + SKYPE LESSON + DIGITAL EP + ARR.

    Includes:

    - The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook

    - A one hour guitar lesson via Skype

    - Limited Edition digital download EP, Greg Ruby 6, Tribute to Oscar Alemán "Live at Lindy Focus."

    - PDF score and parts of Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    - Transcribed solo in tab and standard notation to Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    AUTOGRAPHED COLLECTION

    Includes:

    -One autographed copy of The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1

    -One unsigned copy of The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1

    - Thank you in your name in the book's credits

    - Limited Edition digital download EP, Greg Ruby 6, Tribute to Oscar Alemán "Live at Lindy Focus."

    - PDF score and parts of Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    - Transcribed solo in tab and standard notation to Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    LIMITED EDITION HARDCOVER PACKAGE

    Only 50 limited edition autographed hardcover versions of the The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1 will be made available. Pledging at this level includes:

    -Limited Edition autographed hardcover version of the The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1

    - A thank you in your name in the book's credits

    -One copy of the standard version of The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1

    - Limited Edition digital download EP, Greg Ruby 6, Tribute to Oscar Alemán "Live at Lindy Focus."

    - PDF score and parts of Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    - Transcribed solo in tab and standard notation to Alemán's 1938 recording of Limehouse Blues

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    HARDCOVER PACKAGE + SKYPE LESSON

    You will receive all the items of the Limited Edition Hardcover Package plus...

    We will meet on Skype for a one hour guitar lesson.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    HARDCOVER PACKAGE + TRANSCRIBED SOLO

    You will receive all the items of the Limited Edition Hardcover Package plus...

    I will transcribe an Oscar Alemán guitar solo of your choosing* and notate it in standard notation and tab.

    *solo limited to one single note guitar solo chorus of 32 measures

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    HARDCOVER PACKAGE + ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

    You will receive all the items of the Limited Edition Hardcover Package plus...

    I will create an original composition in consultation with you and make you a recording of it.

    During the process of composing, we will discuss compositional decisions by email. During this process I will submit a series of questions in which your answers will decide the direction of the composition. The end result will be a new composition and I will name it in your honor.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (28 days)