Edith Piaf – Les plus grands succés (1963)

FrontCover1Edith Piaf, byname of Edith Giovanna Gassion, (born December 19, 1915, Paris, France—died October 10, 1963, Plascassier, near Grasse [see Researcher’s Note]), French singer and actress whose interpretation of the chanson, or French ballad, made her internationally famous. Among her trademark songs were “Non, je ne regrette rien” (“No, I Don’t Regret Anything”) and “La Vie en rose” (literally “Life in Pink” [i.e., through “rose-coloured glasses,” from an optimistic point of view]).

Piaf’s songs and singing style seemed to reflect the tragedies of her own difficult life. Her mother, a café singer, abandoned her at birth, and she was taken in by her grandmother, who reared the girl in a brothel. Piaf reportedly became blind at age three as a complication of meningitis but recovered her sight four years later. A few years after that she joined her father, a circus acrobat, and accompanied him while he performed. She sang in the streets of Paris, earning a meagre living while often in the company of petty criminals. Piaf gave birth to a daughter in 1932, but the child died two years later from meningitis. In 1935 she was discovered by Louis Leplée, a cabaret owner, who gave her her first nightclub job. It was Leplée who began calling her “la môme piaf,” Parisian slang for “little sparrow,” in apparent reference to her diminutive size—under 5 feet (142 cm) tall and about 90 pounds (40 kg) in weight. She later adopted the name professionally. Her debut was acclaimed by the actor Maurice Chevalier, who was in the audience that night.

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In 1935 Piaf made her theatrical debut, and within a few years she was singing in the large music halls of Paris. Initially her material was standard music hall fare, but eventually she had songwriters such as Marguerite Monnot and Michel Emer writing songs specifically for her. In the mid-1940s she became a mentor to the young Yves Montand, and she worked with him in the film Étoile sans lumière (1946; “Star Without Light”). She had an affair with the middleweight boxer Marcel Cerdan, who died in a plane crash on his way to meet her. Her unhappy personal life and unadorned though dramatic style underlined her expressive voice, and she was able to move audiences with her passionate rendition of songs that were often about loss and love. In her later life, Piaf was involved in several serious car accidents, and she suffered from failing health, partly due to alcohol and drug abuse. She died at the age of 47, reportedly from liver cancer. Her death was mourned across France, and thousands lined the route of her funeral procession.

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In addition to singing, Piaf recorded her thoughts about her life in two books, Au bal de la chance (1958; “At the Ball of Fortune”; Eng. trans. The Wheel of Fortune) and the posthumously published Ma vie (1964; My Life). She was the subject of several biographies as well as plays and movies. (britannica.com)

And here´s a great sampler with songs recorded between 1949 and 1961 … a greates hits album of course.

Edith Piaf was one of the most important singers in France … emjoy her very special voice … enjoy all these chansons.

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Personnel:
Edith Piaf (vocals)
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Robert Chauvigny Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Les Trois Cloches (Villard) 4.06
02. Hymne À L’amour (Piaf/Monnot) 3.25
03. La Vie En Rose (Piaf/Louiguy) 3.07
04. Padam..Padam (Contet/Glanzberg) 3.15
05. La Goualante Du Pauvre Jean (Rouzaud/Monnot) 2.01
06. C’est A Hambourg (Delécluse/Senlis/Monnot) 2.57
07. Milord (Moustaki/Monnot) 4.27
08. C’est L’amour (Piaf/Monnot) 2.58
09. Cri Du Coeur (Prevert/Crolla) 2.34
10. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Vaucaire/Dumont) 2.20
11. Jerusalem (Chabrier/Moutet) 3.57
12. Exodus (Marnay/Gold) 3.27

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Edith Piaf03.jpgÉdith Piaf (19 December 1915 – 10 October 1963)

Lonnie Donegan – A Golden Age Of Donegan (1966)

FrontCover1.JPGAnthony James Donegan MBE (29 April 1931 – 3 November 2002), known as Lonnie Donegan, was a British skiffle singer, songwriter and musician, referred to as the “King of Skiffle”, who influenced 1960s British pop musicians.[1][2][3] Born in Scotland and raised in England, he was Britain’s most successful and influential recording artist before The Beatles.

Donegan had 31 UK Top 30 single hits, 24 being successive and three at number one. He was the first British male singer with two US Top 10 hits. Donegan received an Ivor Novello lifetime achievement award in 1997 and in 2000 he was made an MBE.

Lonnie Donegan was born Anthony James Donegan in Bridgeton, Glasgow, Scotland, on 29 April 1931. He was the son of an Irish mother and a Scots father, a professional violinist who had played with the Scottish National Orchestra. In 1933, he moved with his family to East Ham in East London.[5] Donegan was evacuated to Cheshire to escape the Blitz in the Second World War and attended college in Altrincham.

Donegan married three times. He had two daughters (Fiona and Corrina) by his first wife, Maureen Tyler (divorced 1962), a son and a daughter (Anthony and Juanita) by his second wife, Jill Westlake (divorced 1971), and three sons (Peter, David and Andrew)[6] by his third wife, Sharon, whom he married in 1977. Peter Donegan is also a singer and a musician.

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Donegan died on 3 November 2002, at age 71, after a heart attack in Market Deeping, Lincolnshire mid-way through a UK tour, and before he was due to perform at a memorial concert for George Harrison with the Rolling Stones. He had had cardiac problems since the 1970s and had several heart attacks.

As a child growing up in the early 1940s Donegan listened mostly to swing jazz and vocal acts, and became interested in the guitar. Country & western and blues records, particularly by Frank Crumit and Josh White, attracted his interest and he bought his first guitar at 14 in 1945. He learned songs such as “Frankie and Johnny”, “Puttin’ On the Style”, and “The House of the Rising Sun” by listening to BBC radio broadcasts. By the end of the 1940s he was playing guitar around London and visiting small jazz clubs.

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Donegan first played in a major band after Chris Barber heard that he was a good banjo player and, on a train, asked him to audition. Donegan had never played the banjo but he bought one for the audition and succeeded more on personality than talent. His stint with Barber’s trad jazz band was interrupted when he was called up for National Service in 1949, but while in the army at Southampton, he was the drummer in Ken Grinyer’s Wolverines Jazz Band at a local pub. A posting to Vienna brought him into contact with American troops, and access to US records and the American Forces Network radio station.

In 1952 he formed the Tony Donegan Jazzband, which played around London. On 28 June 1952 at the Royal Festival Hall they opened for the blues musician Lonnie Johnson. Donegan adopted his first name as a tribute. He used the name at a concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 2 June 1952.

LonnieDonegan04In 1953 cornetist Ken Colyer was imprisoned in New Orleans for a visa problem. He returned to Britain and joined Chris Barber’s band. They changed the name to Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen and made its first public appearance on 11 April 1953 in Copenhagen. The following day, Chris Albertson recorded Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen and the Monty Sunshine Trio – Sunshine, Barber, and Donegan – for Storyville Records. These were Donegan’s first commercial recordings.

While in Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen with Chris Barber, Donegan sang and played guitar and banjo in their Dixieland set. He began playing with two other band members during the intervals, to provide what posters called a “skiffle” break, a name suggested by Ken Colyer’s brother, Bill, after the Dan Burley Skiffle Group of the 1930s. In 1954 Colyer left, and the band became Chris Barber’s Jazz Band.

With a washboard, tea-chest bass and a cheap Spanish guitar, Donegan played folk and blues songs by artists such as Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie. This proved popular and in July 1954 he recorded a fast version of Leadbelly’s “Rock Island Line”, featuring a washboard but not a tea-chest bass, with “John Henry” on the B-side. It was a hit in 1956 (which also later inspired the creation of a full album, An Englishman Sings American Folk Songs, released in America on the Mercury label in the early 1960s), but, because it was a band recording, Donegan made no money beyond his session fee. It was the first debut record to go gold in the UK, and it reached the Top Ten in the United States. This recording has proved greatly influential on musicians who heard it in their younger days and for whom it seems to have been a catalyst in their musical motivation and careers.

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His next single for Decca, “Diggin’ My Potatoes”, was recorded at a concert at the Royal Festival Hall on 30 October 1954. Decca dropped Donegan thereafter, but within a month he was at the Abbey Road Studios in London recording for EMI’s Columbia label. He had left the Barber band, and by spring 1955, signed a recording contract with Pye. His next single “Lost John” reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart.

He appeared on television in the United States on the Perry Como Show and the Paul Winchell Show. Returning to the UK, he recorded his debut album, Lonnie Donegan Showcase, in summer 1956, with songs by Lead Belly and Leroy Carr, plus “I’m a Ramblin’ Man” and “Wabash Cannonball”. The LP sold hundreds of thousands. The skiffle style encouraged amateurs and one of many groups that followed was the Quarrymen, formed in March 1957 by John Lennon. Donegan’s “Gamblin’ Man”/”Puttin’ On the Style” single was number one in the UK in July 1957, when Lennon first met Paul McCartney.

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Donegan went on to successes such as “Cumberland Gap” and “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On the Bedpost Overnight?)”, his biggest hit in the U.S., on Dot. He turned to music hall style with “My Old Man’s a Dustman” which was not well received by skiffle fans and unsuccessful in America on Atlantic in 1960. But it reached number one in the UK. Donegan’s group had a flexible line-up, but was generally Denny Wright or Les Bennetts (of Les Hobeaux and Days of Skiffle, led by singer Dave George), playing lead guitar and singing harmony, Micky Ashman or Pete Huggett – later Steve Jones – on upright bass, Nick Nichols – later Pete Appleby, Mark Goodwin and Ken Rodway (now a Christian author and minister) on drums or percussion, and Donegan playing acoustic guitar or banjo and singing the lead.

He continued in the UK charts until 1962, before succumbing to The Beatles and beat music.

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Donegan recorded sporadically during the 1960s, including sessions at Hickory Records in Nashville, Tennessee, with Charlie McCoy, Floyd Cramer and the Jordanaires. After 1964, he was a record producer for most of the decade at Pye Records. Among those he worked with was Justin Hayward.

Donegan was unfashionable through the late 1960s and 1970s (although his “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” was recorded by Tom Jones in 1967 and Elvis Presley in 1976), and he began to play the American cabaret circuit. A departure from his normal style was an a cappella recording of “The Party’s Over”.

There was a reunion concert with the original Chris Barber band in Croydon in June 1975. A bomb scare meant that the recording had to be finished in the studio, after an impromptu concert in the car park.[citation needed] The release was entitled The Great Re-Union Album.

LonnieDonegan09

Georgie Fame, Lonnie Donnegan, Reg Presley (The Troggs) & Van Morrison, 1995

He had his first heart attack in 1976 while in the United States and had quadruple bypass surgery. He returned to attention in 1978 when he recorded his early songs with Rory Gallagher, Ringo Starr, Elton John and Brian May. The album was called Putting on the Style. A follow-up featuring Albert Lee saw Donegan in less familiar country and western vein. By 1980, he was making regular concert appearances again, and another album with Barber followed. In 1983 Donegan toured with Billie Jo Spears, and in 1984, he made his theatrical debut in a revival of the 1920 musical Mr Cinders. More concert tours followed, with a move from Florida to Spain. In 1992 he had further bypass surgery following another heart attack.

In 1994, the Chris Barber band celebrated 40 years with a tour with both bands. Pat Halcox was still on trumpet (a position he retained until July 2008). The reunion concert and the tour were on CD and DVD.

Donegan had a late renaissance when in 2000 he appeared on Van Morrison’s album The Skiffle Sessions – Live in Belfast 1998, an acclaimed album featuring him singing with Morrison and Chris Barber, with a guest appearance by Dr John. Donegan also played at Glastonbury Festival in 1999, and was made an MBE in 2000.

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Donegan also appeared at Fairport Convention’s annual music festival on 9 August 2001. His final CD was This Yere de Story.

Mark Knopfler released a tribute to Donegan entitled “Donegan’s Gone” on his 2004 album, Shangri-La, and said he was one of his greatest influences.[2] Donegan’s music formed a musical starring his two sons. Lonnie D – The Musical took its name from the Chas & Dave tribute song which started the show. Subsequently, Peter Donegan formed a band to perform his father’s material and has since linked with his father’s band from the last 30 years with newcomer Eddie Masters on bass. They made an album together in 2009 entitled “Here We Go Again”. Donegan’s eldest son, Anthony, also formed his own band, as Lonnie Donegan Jnr.

On his album A Beach Full of Shells, Al Stewart paid tribute to Donegan in the song “Katherine of Oregon”. In “Class of ’58” he describes a British entertainer who is either Donegan or a composite including him.

Peter Sellers recorded Puttin’ on the Smile featuring “Lenny Goonagain”, who travels to the “Deep South” of Brighton and finds an “obscure folk song hidden at the top of the American hit parade”, re-records it and reaches number one in the UK.

During the situation between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, pretending to try to remember Jimmy Fallon’s name, called him “Lonnie Donegan.” (by wikipedia)

And here´s a sampler with his most popular songs fromthe Fifites … a great collection, a great chance to discover a man, who influenced many of the British rock musicians from the Sixties.

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Personnel:

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Tracklist:
01. Have A Drink On Me (Lomax/Ledbetter/Donegan/Buchanan) 2.49
02. Nobody Loves Like An Irishman (Donegan) 2.41
03. Cumberland Gap (Donegan) 1.58
04. Seven Golden Daffodils (Mosley/Hayes) 3.02
05. Puttin’ On The Style (Cazden) 3.24
06. Battle Of New Orleans (Traditional 3.10
07. Rock O’ My Soul (Traditional) 2.31
08. Fort Worth Jail (Reinhardt) 2.13
09. Grand Coulee Dam (Donegan/Guthrie) 2.39
10. My Old Man’s A Dustman (Ballad Of A Refuse Disposal Officer) (Donegan/Buchanan) 3.21

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Lonnie Donegan (29 April 1931 – 3 November 2002)

Various Artists – European Jazz – Volume 05 – France (Part 2) (2012)

FrontCover1.jpgAt one time, the concept of “European Jazz” meant very little indeed. While jazz was developing in the USA in the 1920s, there was almost no European jazz to speak of. Some Americans – Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Sidney Bechet – came to Europe and made an impact there in the 1930s but it was not until the thirties that Europeans began to develop their own jazz significantly. Perhaps the most outstanding group was the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, formed in 1934, with its two virtuosos Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.

This group is not represented in this ten-CD boxed set, which suggests that the compilation is making no attempt at a historical survey. Indeed, it is difficult to know what this set is trying to do. It seems as if the compilers simply put together tracks to which they had access, and there is little attempt to provide a balanced view of European jazz. Nevertheless, this collection can be educative in opening our ears to some artists we may not have heard before. It also supplies a cross-section (albeit limited) of how Europeans developed jazz, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s.

This compilation makes it clear that European jazz was very much influenced by the Americans. For example, the tenorist on track 2 of the third CD sounds very like Stan Getz, while the altoist on the third track betrays the influence of Charlie Parker. And the Michael Naura Quintet on the eighth CD could be mistaken for the Modern Jazz Quartet.

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I can’t tell you who most of the individual musicians are, as detailed personnels are sadly not given. This is a nuisance, as I would like to be able to identify (for instance) the bongo Brandenburgplayer on track 9 of the fifth CD. However, one lesson of many tracks in this collection is that many Europeans learnt from the bebop pioneers – and from such groups as the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. As most of the tracks in this compilation come from the fifties and sixties, there is little individuality in the music from the different countries, as it was only later that they began to develop their own distinctive styles.

This CD is the second to be devoted to France, included Bernard Pfeiffer.  He is a world-class pianist and it is good to find him included here. Another is  Michel Legrand and he has always been a fine pianist. Michel’s clear lines and swinging style are a joy. He is followed by Stéphane Grappelli displaying his rhapsodic violin style but also playing the piano with delicacy. (musicweb-international.com)

Michel Legrand1

No, no, no … this compilation is not so weak, as we read above … it´s a great compilation with lots of rarities from the young European Jazz-Scene during the 50´and this time we hear great Jazz from France ! Excellent stuff !

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Tracklist:

Legrand:
01. Tired Blues (Pfeiffer) 2.39
02. Steeplechase (Parker) 2.49
03. Midday On The Champs-Elysées (Rocherolle) 2.49
04. Caravan (Mills/Tizol/Ellington) 3.10

Michel Legrand:
05. Sous les Ponts de Paris (Rodor/Scotto) 2.52
06. Paris In The Spring (Gordon/Revel) 3.31
07. Sous le Ciel de Paris (Giraud/Drejac) 1.50
08. Paris Canaille (Ferré) 2.03
09. Paris je t‘aime d‘amour (Bataille/Grey/Schertzinger) 4.23
10. I Love Paris (Porter) 2.51
11. La vie en Rose (Piaf/Louiguy) 3.08

Stéphane Grappelli:
12. Dans la Vie (Louiguy) 3.52
13. Vous Qui Passez Sans Me Voir (Hess/Misraki/Trénet) 3.54
14. Marno (Grappelli) 2.49
15. Crazy Blues (Grappelli) 2.46
16. Viens Au Creux De Mon Epaule (Aznavour) 2.55
17. Red-O-Rey (Grappelli) 2.52

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More from the “European Jazz” edition:

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Various Artists – European Jazz – Volume 04 – France (Part 1) (2012)

FrontCover1At one time, the concept of “European Jazz” meant very little indeed. While jazz was developing in the USA in the 1920s, there was almost no European jazz to speak of. Some Americans – Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Sidney Bechet – came to Europe and made an impact there in the 1930s but it was not until the thirties that Europeans began to develop their own jazz significantly. Perhaps the most outstanding group was the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, formed in 1934, with its two virtuosos Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.

This group is not represented in this ten-CD boxed set, which suggests that the compilation is making no attempt at a historical survey. Indeed, it is difficult to know what this set is trying to do. It seems as if the compilers simply put together tracks to which they had access, and there is little attempt to provide a balanced view of European jazz. Nevertheless, this collection can be educative in opening our ears to some artists we may not have heard before. It also supplies a cross-section (albeit limited) of how Europeans developed jazz, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s.

This compilation makes it clear that European jazz was very much influenced by the Americans. For example, the tenorist on track 2 of the third CD sounds very like Stan Getz, while the altoist on the third track betrays the influence of Charlie Parker. And the Michael Naura Quintet on the eighth CD could be mistaken for the Modern Jazz Quartet.

I can’t tell you who most of the individual musicians are, as detailed personnels are sadly not given. This is a nuisance, as I would like to be able to identify (for instance) the bongo Brandenburgplayer on track 9 of the fifth CD. However, one lesson of many tracks in this collection is that many Europeans learnt from the bebop pioneers – and from such groups as the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. As most of the tracks in this compilation come from the fifties and sixties, there is little individuality in the music from the different countries, as it was only later that they began to develop their own distinctive styles.

Le Jazz Groupe de Paris1

This CD is devoted to France. Le Jazz Groupe de Paris included saxist Bobby Jaspar and it played arrangements by André Hodeir. Martial Solal and Bernard Pfeiffer are world-class pianists and it is good to find them included here. Two other musicians who are perhaps better known outside jazz are Sacha Distel and Michel Legrand. Distel was an accomplished guitarist before he concentrated on singing, and Michel Legrand has always been a fine pianist (to hear on Part 2; coming soon) (musicweb-international.com)

Martial Solal1

No, no, no … this compilation is not so weak, as we read above … it´s a great compilation with lots of rarities from the young European Jazz-Scene during the 50´and this time we hear great Jazz from France ! Excellent stuff !

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Tracklist:

Le Jazz Groupe de Paris:
01. On A Scale (Hodeir) 4.23
02. Bicinium (Hodeir) 3.14
03. Evanescence (Hodeir) 4.06
04. Tension Detente (Hodeir) 3.32
05. Paradoxe (Hodeir) 2.08
06. Triads (Hodeir) 5.23
07. Milano (Hodeir) 4.16

Martial Solal et Les Kentonians;
08. Blues Martial (Solal) 7.44
09. Jive At Five (Basie) 7.14
10. Why Not? (Hefti) 7.08

Sacha Distel:
11. On Serait Des Chats (Byers) 3.04
12. No. 1 For Sacha (Byers) 2.59
13. Avec Ces Yeux-La (Legrand) 4.12
14. A Piece Of Pizza (Byers) 3.20
15. Half Nelson (Davis) 4.47

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More from the “European Jazz” edition:

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Various Artists – European Jazz – Volume 03 – Italy (2012)

FrontCover1.jpgAt one time, the concept of “European Jazz” meant very little indeed. While jazz was developing in the USA in the 1920s, there was almost no European jazz to speak of. Some Americans – Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Sidney Bechet – came to Europe and made an impact there in the 1930s but it was not until the thirties that Europeans began to develop their own jazz significantly. Perhaps the most outstanding group was the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, formed in 1934, with its two virtuosos Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.

This group is not represented in this ten-CD boxed set, which suggests that the compilation is making no attempt at a historical survey. Indeed, it is difficult to know what this set is trying to do. It seems as if the compilers simply put together tracks to which they had access, and there is little attempt to provide a balanced view of European jazz. Nevertheless, this collection can be educative in opening our ears to some artists we may not have heard before. It also supplies a cross-section (albeit limited) of how Europeans developed jazz, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s.

This compilation makes it clear that European jazz was very much influenced by the Americans. For example, the tenorist on track 2 of the third CD sounds very like Stan Getz, while the altoist on the third track betrays the influence of Charlie Parker. And the Michael Naura Quintet on the eighth CD could be mistaken for the Modern Jazz Quartet.

I can’t tell you who most of the individual musicians are, as detailed personnels are sadly not given. This is a nuisance, as I would like to be able to identify (for instance) the bongo Brandenburgplayer on track 9 of the fifth CD. However, one lesson of many tracks in this collection is that many Europeans learnt from the bebop pioneers – and from such groups as the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. As most of the tracks in this compilation come from the fifties and sixties, there is little individuality in the music from the different countries, as it was only later that they began to develop their own distinctive styles.

Quintetto Basso-Valdambrini2

I shall not attempt to describe the music in detail but will simply pick out tracks, artists or groups of note. Most discs are devoted to particular countries …

… Another weakness of these selections is that they are often chosen from a narrow range of bands. Thus the second CD illustrates Scandinavian jazz with 15 tracks, of which ten are by The Swedish Modern Jazz Group, all taken from the same 1960 LP. At least it included Lasse Gullin and Nils Lindberg – two of Sweden’s best-known jazzmen.

Franco Cerri2

The third CD with the theme of Italy includes at least one musician who is still very active today. Enrico Rava. He was in his teens when his quartet recorded the three tracks here, although he doesn’t appear on Tema for Franco. His playing is clear although a little uncertain. The recording quality is remarkably good on these three tracks. (by musicweb-international.com)

Enrico Rava 4tet2

No, no, no … this compilation is not so weak, as we read above … it´s a great compilation with lots of rarities from the young European Jazz-Scene during the 50´and this time we hear great Jazz from Italy ! Excellent stuff !

Modern Jazz Gang2

Tracklist:
01. Quintetto Basso-Valdambrini: Lotar (Basso) 3.18

Franco Cerri:
02. Flavio‘s Blues (Ambrosetti) 4.06
03. Just One Of Those Things (Porter)

Piana, Mondini, Donadio, Azzolini:
04. Bag‘s Groove (Jackson) 5.23
05. All The Things You Are (Kern) 2.43
06. There Will Never Ne Another You (Warren) 2.13

Enrico Rava 4tet:
07. Tema For Franco (Lama) 2.45
08. Line For Lyons (Mulligan) 3.25
09. Fine And Dandy (Swist/James) 4.19

Modern Jazz Gang:
10. The Drum Is A Tramp (Santacci/Scappa/Bronollini) 3.15
11. Polimnia (Scappa/Santucci/Metallo) 3.42
12. Blue Mirria (Brugnolini) 3.30
13. Carme For J (Metallo) 3.16

Sestetto Bebop Gilberto Cuppini:
14. Esophagus (Spotti) 2.57
15. Perdido (Tizol) 6.19

16. Nunzio Rotondo and The Sextet Of Hot Club Of Rome: The Man I Love (Gershwin) 3.04

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Gilberto Cuppini2

More from the “European Jazz” edition:

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Various Artists – European Jazz – Volume 02 – Scandinavia (2012)

FrontCover1At one time, the concept of “European Jazz” meant very little indeed. While jazz was developing in the USA in the 1920s, there was almost no European jazz to speak of. Some Americans – Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Sidney Bechet – came to Europe and made an impact there in the 1930s but it was not until the thirties that Europeans began to develop their own jazz significantly. Perhaps the most outstanding group was the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, formed in 1934, with its two virtuosos Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.

This group is not represented in this ten-CD boxed set, which suggests that the compilation is making no attempt at a historical survey. Indeed, it is difficult to know what this set is trying to do. It seems as if the compilers simply put together tracks to which they had access, and there is little attempt to provide a balanced view of European jazz. Nevertheless, this collection can be educative in opening our ears to some artists we may not have heard before. It also supplies a cross-section (albeit limited) of how Europeans developed jazz, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s.

Lasse Gullin

This compilation makes it clear that European jazz was very much influenced by the Americans. For example, the tenorist on track 2 of the third CD sounds very like Stan Getz, while the altoist on the third track betrays the influence of Charlie Parker. And the Michael Naura Quintet on the eighth CD could be mistaken for the Modern Jazz Quartet.

I can’t tell you who most of the individual musicians are, as detailed personnels are sadly not given. This is a nuisance, as I would like to be able to identify (for instance) the bongo Brandenburgplayer on track 9 of the fifth CD. However, one lesson of many tracks in this collection is that many Europeans learnt from the bebop pioneers – and from such groups as the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. As most of the tracks in this compilation come from the fifties and sixties, there is little individuality in the music from the different countries, as it was only later that they began to develop their own distinctive styles.

I shall not attempt to describe the music in detail but will simply pick out tracks, artists or groups of note. Most discs are devoted to particular countries …

SWJG_FC+BC

… Another weakness of these selections is that they are often chosen from a narrow range of bands. Thus the second CD illustrates Scandinavian jazz with 15 tracks, of which ten are by The Swedish Modern Jazz Group, all taken from the same 1960 LP. At least it included Lasse Gullin and Nils Lindberg – two of Sweden’s best-known jazzmen. (by musicweb-international.com)

Nils Lindberg

No, no, no … this compilation is not so weak, as we read above … it´s a great compilation with lots of rarities from the young European Jazz-Scene during the 50´and this time we hear great Jazz from Scandinavia ! Excellent stuff !

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Personnel:

The Swedish Modern Jazz Group:
Harry Bäcklund (saxophone)
Rolf Billberg (saxophone)
Lars Gullin (saxophone)
Nils Lindberg (piano)
Allan Lundström (saxophone)
Sture Nordin (bass)
Conny Svensson (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Lasse Gullin: Lotus Corniculatis (Gullin) 5.32
02. Max Brüel Quartet: Maxisme (Brüel) 3.27
03. Ake Persson: Nassi Goreng (Persson) 3.00
04. Lars Gullin Sextet: Half Nelson (Davis) 5.40
05. Rolf Billberg: Tautology (Billberg) 4.22

The Swedish Modern Jazz Group:
06. Birdland (Roland/Ventura) 5.32
07. Blues For Bill (Lindberg) 5.23
08. Brand New (Lindberg) 3.11
09. Cotton Tail (Ellington) 2.41
10. Curbits (Lindberg) 5.05
11. Just A Take Gullin (Billberg) 5.27
12. Moonlight In Vermont (Suessdorf/Blackburn) 3.06
13. Play For Love (Lindberg) 4.21
14. Taboo (Lecuona) 3.37
15. Zodiac (Lindberg) 4.30

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MaxBruellQuartet

Various Artists – European Jazz – Volume 01 – Vocalists (2012)

FrontCover1.jpgAt one time, the concept of “European Jazz” meant very little indeed. While jazz was developing in the USA in the 1920s, there was almost no European jazz to speak of. Some Americans – Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Sidney Bechet – came to Europe and made an impact there in the 1930s but it was not until the thirties that Europeans began to develop their own jazz significantly. Perhaps the most outstanding group was the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, formed in 1934, with its two virtuosos Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.

This group is not represented in this ten-CD boxed set, which suggests that the compilation is making no attempt at a historical survey. Indeed, it is difficult to know what this set is trying to do. It seems as if the compilers simply put together tracks to which they had access, and there is little attempt to provide a balanced view of European jazz. Nevertheless, this collection can be educative in opening our ears to some artists we may not have heard before. It also supplies a cross-section (albeit limited) of how Europeans developed jazz, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s.

Monica Zetterlund1

This compilation makes it clear that European jazz was very much influenced by the Americans. For example, the tenorist on track 2 of the third CD sounds very like Stan Getz, while the altoist on the third track betrays the influence of Charlie Parker. And the Michael Naura Quintet on the eighth CD could be mistaken for the Modern Jazz Quartet.

I can’t tell you who most of the individual musicians are, as detailed personnels are sadly not given. This is a nuisance, as I would like to be able to identify (for instance) the bongo Brandenburgplayer on track 9 of the fifth CD. However, one lesson of many tracks in this collection is that many Europeans learnt from the bebop pioneers – and from such groups as the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. As most of the tracks in this compilation come from the fifties and sixties, there is little individuality in the music from the different countries, as it was only later that they began to develop their own distinctive styles.

I shall not attempt to describe the music in detail but will simply pick out tracks, artists or groups of note. Most discs are devoted to particular countries but the first CD concentrates on vocalists or (in the case of Les Double Six and the Polka Dots) vocal groups. Britain’s own Annie Ross opens the first disc in style. The French group Les Double Six was a sextet which got its name from its practice of double-tracking the voices. Lita Roza wasn’t really a jazz singer but Cleo Laine was – and still is. The weakness of this selection is that all the tracks were recorded during the comparatively brief period of 1955 to 1960. (by musicweb-international.com)

Les Double Six

No, no, no … this compilation is not so weak, as we read above … it´s a great compilation with lots of rarities from the young European Jazz-Scene during the 50´!

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Tracklist:
01. Annie Ross: – I‘m Just A Lucky So And So (Ellington) 4.49uncaZetterlund
02. Zetter: Deep In A Dream (v.Heusen/Delange) 2.28
03. Les Double Six: Stockholm Sweetnin‘ (Jones) 5.39
04. Cleo Laine: Sugar (Pinkard) 3.15
05. Jula De Palma: Pennies From Heaven (Burke/Johnston) 2.14
06. Inge Brandenburg: What A Difference A Day Made (Graver/Adams) 2.57
07. Lita Roza: That Old Black Magic (Arlen/Mercer) 2.58
08. Cleo Laine: April In Paris (Duke) 2.30
09. Rita Reys: Zon In Scheveningen (Reys/Jacobs) 3.25
10. Alice Babs: Many Tears Ago (Winfield) 3.02
11. Monica Zetterlund: Detour Ahead (Carter/Ellis/Frigo) 2.49
12. Lita Roza: Guilty (Kahn) 3.26
13. The Polka Dots: Monday Date (Hines) 2.05
14. Cleo Laine: April Age (Wilder) 3.05
15. Jula De Palma: Just One Of Those Things (Porter) 3.20
16. Inge Brandenburg: It‘s Alright With Me (Porter) 3.50
17. Les Double Six: Il y a fort longtemps (Evening In Paris) (Jones/Prerrin) 4.22

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The Polka Dots

 

More European Jazz will come in the next weeks:

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