[Dixielandjazz] Oscar Aleman Mystery Photo Indentified

Hans Koert koerthchkz at zeelandnet.nl
Mon Aug 11 08:24:47 PDT 2003

This summer is very hot in Europe, so the "Rediscovery of Oscar Aleman" had
to be slowed down a bit. But research continued in other parts of the world.
>From Gernot Vobis, an Argentinean record collector, I received an extensive
message about his research on one of the "mystery" images on the Oscar leman
Scrap book sites:
Thanks to his investigations one of the images could be identified as Freddy
Taylor and his Swing Men from Harlem. The well known ( other ) image of that
band (with Oscar Aleman sitting on Django Reinhardt's place in the band !!),
as published in my Oscar Aleman Tune-O-graphy- Listado de temas (a
discography - una discografia), has been cut off on all sides, but was made
in the same Parisian studio or club and on the same session (? March 1935)
as the "mystery" image. The extended image, published in Maurice J.
Summerfield "The Jazz Guitar. Its Evolution and its Players", Ashley Mark
Publishing Co., Newcastle (1978) learns that the trumpet player, standing on
the right side of the band is in fact the piano player, John Ferrier. And
thanks to the extended image the puzzle was completed, because the drummer
man (William Diemer)  (not on my reduced image) is also present on the
mystery image. Why John Ferrier has a trumpet in his hands is unknown; maybe
he took in Freddy Taylors place, because the leader was not (yet) in the
house to let the photographer make a test print? And if so, how did this
picture came into Aleman's own scrap book? We'll never know.

Fact is, that Gernot Vobis solved a part of the puzzle and identified the
musicians on the image.  Read it:

On that site of the 1920s-1930s scrap book is another image from an
orchestra with the initials JB. that needs some research. Josephine Baker
seems to have the best testimonials (although not on the image herself), but
who can identify the other members of the band?

... and if you have a liking for research there are some mystery "stills"
from OSCAR ALEMANs own scrap book that seems to be taken from films. Who can
identify these images?

Thank you, GERNOT, for your research !!

On my turntable now: Albert Ammons

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

Flexible Records Project

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list