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  • 10thfretBlues 4:09PM

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Anyone know about The Blue Strings?

b7everb7ever New
in Recording Posts: 23
I recently came across a full album from The Blue Strings, a band from Argentina from the 60s. Rubin Lopez Furst (guitar), Héctor López Furst (violin), Bernardo Birenbaum (guitar), Enrique Gutierrez de Leon (bass). I’ve posted the url to their one and only album, to my knowledge, below. To me this album is extraordinary with a very traditional, melodic approach. Thing is, I can’t find any information on them. I would really like to know where I can buy this album as well. Does anyone have any info on these guys? Thanks



  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    edited April 2018 Posts: 474
    $45 plus shipping

    And they apparently have at least one more LP:
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,013
    Interesting! The rhythm section sounds crummy, but the lead playing is pretty good. Argentina in the 60s - I'll bet they discovered this music via Oscar Aleman somehow, and there's probably a whole bunch of since forgotten bands and musicians that spun off from his success.
  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 265
    Louis Vola and Henri Salvador were in Argentina in the '40s. Vola had a Hot Club-style band that recorded some 78s there. Luis Silva was his main guitarist and Hernan Oliva played violin. There are a bunch of Hernan Oliva LPs on YouTube that are worth checking out.
    Wim Glenn
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 508
    Cuimean has the origins correct; Vola and Henri Salvador passed the war years in Argentina. Luis Silva was a fine guitarist, unfortunately I can't remember right now what ever happened to him.

    Los Blue Strings was a group started in the late 50s by the Furst brothers. Ruben "Baby" Furst went on the become a very famous jazz pianist and Hector Lopez Furst was still active into this century. Los Blue Strings was certainly one of the earliest and best of the gypsy swing groups in Argentina. As far as I know they made only the two LPs.

    All of these guys were superb musicians and there are any number of Argentinian guitarists worth a look - Oscar Aleman's student Eduardo Ravera is a favorite of mine. Walter Malosetti was another student of Aleman and is a terrific guitarist in many styles. His student Ricardo Pellican is also a fine guitarist and composer. The Furst brothers had long distinguished careers as professional musicians and you can find of both of them on you tube playing a variety of styles of music.

    The recordings of the Hernan Oliva quintet with Oliva on violin and Eduard Ravera (solo guitar) and Chachi Zaragoza on rhythm are important recordings with solid soloing and rhythm playing. Oliva's playing is witty and elegant, and Ravera's style is punchy and original, never straying too far from the melody and never copying.

    Most of the musicians mentioned here were professionals and played various styles of music. Ravera and others played Argentinian Sergio Repiso guitars, which sound pretty good to me.

    There is an excellent CD on Hot Club Records recorded in BA in the late 90s, lot's of great music on this one.

    As for the "crummy rhythm playing", this reminds me of the time someone here said Joseph Pouville played lousy rhythm. I suppose it just means they don't play it in a way that meets with the writer's approval.
  • b7everb7ever New
    Posts: 23
    I was really impressed with the guitar solo on first song on the LP I posted, Minor Swing. I’ve heard this song many times by many different artists but what caugh my ear on this recording was his expression, meaning his sense of melody, use of space/pause, phrasing, and how he uses the blue notes. It is a refreshing, unique and a more linear and less modern/outside version after hearing other versions packed with technical gymnastics(which also impresses me). This is probably due to the fact that it was recorded in the 60s. To me it sounds like his solo tells a story or is an expression instead of an automatic placement of premade mechanical runs of muscle memory , although you can hear repeated ideas through his playing. I’m trying to use less of the automatic runs in my own playing but it’s tough to get there.

    I love discovering old gems like this. As for the “crummy rhythm playing”, I’m with Scot. I think the rhythm is totally appropriate and sounds great. I feel there is a lot of great teaching material out there that gives guidance on rhythm to be short, dry, snappy and more muted and consistent than not and some of my favorite rhythm that I try to emulate is like this (ex. Gonzolo’s rhythm has a solid, ancillary drive and sounds fantastic), but at the end of the day, we are all making music, so the rules get thrown out of the window if it sounds good. So to Wim Glenn’s point, if it truly sounds crummy, then it is crummy to you.
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    edited April 2018 Posts: 1,013
    Ahem, to avoid offending any of the sensitive souls here, the rhythm section has a notably "different" sound to the traditional Hot Club flavour (as expected, 60's Argentina is not 30's Paris). If you don't like it, call it crummy, if you do like it, call it "refreshing" or whatever.

    Must we always prefix our preferences with "in my opinion" - it's already implied, isn't it?

    Anyway, the wartime link is interesting, I would not have guessed that Argentina had a buzzing GJ scene as early as the 40's. And it seems Argentina is musically linked to Paris in more ways than one with Piazzolla returning from his studies, inspired by jazz, and bringing home the seeds of nuevo tango.

    Found an interesting blog post about string jazz in Argentina where the Louis Vola & Henri Salvador connection is mentioned too, along with a bunch more names to check out! Be sure to give that Bailando el Ritmo Ágil tune a click, that's a fun one :)
  • b7everb7ever New
    Posts: 23
    Wim , feel free to call things crummy. I gave Hernán Oliva a listen and think his violin work is whinny. So much meaning is lost through text but I don’t think anyone is being sensitive. I like these opinionated discussion and everyone has their own opinion of what sounds good. That gives rise to variety. Nobody should be offended because someone else thought something sounded bad, that’s just ridiculous. Anyway, we’re all friends here.

    I’ve been checking out Oscar Alemán and Swing 39, both of which are great.
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 508
    Not offended. You don't like certain musicians, don't listen to them. I just don't see why someone would need to describe this as crummy. I usually reserve a word like that for things like Yugos or Trabants that really are crummy.

    Swing 39 was mostly Walter Malosetti's band, they made a number of recordings, all pretty good. I'll concede that Oliva's playing might be an acquired taste but do give Ravera a listen, he's really good in a kind of modest way. He never overplayed anything.

  • edited April 2018 Posts: 3,707
    Blame it on Oscar Aleman
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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