Monday, February 27, 2006

Juvenile Gypsy Jazz

Boulou - With The Paris All Stars Barclay LP-80254 (Fra) 1964

The 13 Years Old Jazz Sensation From France!

Boulou Ferré was born of gypsy origin in Paris on the 24th of April 1951. At five years, Boulou sang all the solos of Dizzy Gillespie but started his musical studies at the age of seven with his father, Pierre Matelot Ferré, one of the main musicians in Django Reinhardt's and Stéphane Grappelli's Quintette du Hot Club de France. Along with jazz guitar he starts to study classical guitar with Francisco Gil and gives a first concert at the Guimet Museum at the age of eight.

At twelve, he accompanies Jean Ferrat who fell under his charm, it was then he signed with Barclay and recorded his first album in '63. In 1964 he plays during the first part of John Coltrane's concert at the Jazz festival of Juan les Pins. Boulou & les Paris All Stars is in fact his third album and features Pierre Michelot, Eddy Louiss, Kenny Clarke and Maurice Vander amongst other stars. This album was an homage to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and was given 4 stars from Down Beat Magazine.

At the beginning of the Seventies, he appears with the vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist Gunter Hampel, then with Steve Potts in company of Christian Escoudé and the Japanese pianist Takashi Kako. In 1974, it's with The Corporation Gypsy Orchestra, he grabs the attention of Carlos Santana and Frank Zappa et al.

Boulou went on to study harmony and composition with the french organist and composer Olivier Messiaen - and participate in a wide repertoire with several musicians such as Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, Wayne Marsh, Philly Joe Jones, Chet Baker, Stéphane Grappelli… He also composes music for movies and for television.

1) Mack The Knife
2) Groovin' High
3) Night & Day
4) Undecided
5) Blue'N Boogie
6) Salt Peanuts
7) A Night In Tunisia
8) Bluesette
9) I'll Never Smile Again
10) Ow
11) The Girl From Ipanema
12) Ascott

Thrill at the marvels of this thirteen year old. In his vocals you can hear he's but a boy but that's where the kiddiness ends! All this under the direction of Maestro Alain Goraguer. A treasure...don't you think so?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Big Band Explosion!

Gil Fuller-James Moody & The Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra - Night Flight Pacific Jazz ST-20101 (1966)

Coming on strong like Oliver Nelson or Lalo Schifrin, this filmic sounding orchestral blow-out is so good it hurts. Sax and flute player James Moody joins Gil (real name Walter) Fuller on this lesser known Monterey Jazz Orchestra outing without Dizzy Gillespie this time, but that doesn't affect the quality one bit - inspired performances all-round.

Fuller has regularly collaborated with all the greats including Ray Charles, Stan Kenton & the aforementioned and close buddy Dizzy Gillespie and is the bandleader's bandleader. He was one of the first to compose big band charts in the bebop style and later formed his own own publishing company, a natural outlet when he branched out into writing texts about his music, including an analytical discussion of his arrangement methods.

Not an average batch of cover versions this, Fuller and Moody inject exciting variations into well-known tunes and the orchestra are tight and monumentally swinging. Not a dud note to be heard...

01) Tin Tin Deo
02) I'm In The Mood For Love
03) Night Flight
04) Our Man Flint
05) Seesaw
06) Batucada Surgiu
07) 17 Mile Drive
08) A Patch Of Blue
09) Latin Lady
10) Blues For A Debutante
11) Sweets For My Sweet
12) Wild Chestnuts

A real eye-opener coming shortly in the form of a French guitarist and jazz-scat vocalist with a secret I am soon to reveal, one that I could barely believe myself

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Piri on Quartin

Piri - Vocês Querem Mate Quartin LP-RSQ3 (1970)

This release typifies the sound of Roberto Quartin's eponymous and short lived label. Dark, brooding jazz but always tight and groovy.

Again, a crack troop has been assembled here. Accompanying Piri's guitar and gentle vocals are Danilo Caymmi and Paulinho Jobim on flute, Jorge Marinho on bass, the ubiquitous Wilson Das Neves on drums and Juquinha on percussion. Tita also adds guest vocals.

Elements of bossa, psych, funk & folk are to be had on these 10 originals all composed by Piri himself.

1) Reza Brava
2) As Incríveis Peripécias De Danilo
3) O Som Do Roberto
4) Sombra Morta
5) Vocês Querem Mate?
6) Cupído Esculpido
7) Chão Vermelho
8) Lágrimas
9) Espiral
10) Porta Do Sol

More from Quartin's 60s incarnation 'Forma' Records coming soon...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Grupo Medusa

Grupo Medusa – Ferrovias Som Da Gente SDG 18-83 (1983)

Here’s a favourite of mine, the smoothest and most perfectly realised Brasilian fusion from supergroup Grupo Medusa. The much maligned term ‘fusion’ conveys their effortless blend of jazz, bossa and homegrown ‘Nordeste’ leanings to the blistering funk of the title cut!

Formed in 1980, Ferrovias or 'Railroads' is their second album and comprises such luminaries as Amilson Godoy formerly of the Bossa Jazz Trio on piano & fender rhodes; famed guitarist Olmir Stocker (Alemão) who was part of Breno Sauer’s outfit in the 60s and member of the mythical Brazilian Octopus in 1968; bassist Cláudio Bertrami (brother of Azimuth’s José Roberto); drummer Chico Medori and percussionist Théo da Cuíca.

All the tracks are original, self-penned instrumental compositions and are co-produced collectively by the group.

1) Aduba-Lé
2) Lamentos
3) Fantasia
4) Cheiro Verde
5) Nordestina
6) Picadeiro
7) Ferrovias
8) Beija-Flor
9) Pouso Em Congonhas

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Real Erlon Chaves

Orquestra St. Moritz directed by Erlon Chaves - Procura-Se Uma Virgem CID-14.025 (1971)

Composer, arranger and pianist Erlon Chaves was born in Sao Paulo and began studying music at seven years of age. After making a big name in the '50s as a "nightclub" pianist he soon began his career as bandleader and joined TV Excelsior of Sao Paulo.

In 1965 he relocated to Rio De Janeiro where he became musical director for TV Tupi and later TV Rio. It was shortly after this he accompanied Elis Regina on her Olympia excursion in Paris.

His bands always featured some of the best musicians around, and in the seventies his repertoire was a groovy melange of poppy international and Brasilian hits. Although saying this, his talents as arranger graced some of the most funky and hip recordings of the era.

This definitive soundtrack from the Brasilian comedy Procura-Se Uma Virgem was an almighty blend of soft-porn stylings with slinky organ lines, tight percussion and bass and sexy wordless vocals rivaling anything coming out of Cinecitta at the time. Seldom shows up and when it does goes for an arm & a leg!

What more could one ask?

01) Procura-Se Uma Virgem (Prefixo)
02) Procura-Se Uma Virgem - Valsa
03) Grilo
04) Os 3 Ladrões
05) Uma Velha Bossa
06) Vamos Nós
07) O Anjo E O Diabo
08) Tema De Amor
09) Ba Oba Oba
10) Procura-Se Uma Virgem (Sufixo)

Bossa De Jazz Moderno!

Sexteto De Jazz Moderno - Bossa Nova RCA Victor BBL-1222 (c1963)

OK... Here's a rare bossa set by Sexteto De Jazz Moderno featuring Jorginho on Alto sax, Aurino on Tenor, Fats Elpidio on Piano, José Menezes on Guitar with Ritmistas Plinio & Paulo completing the sextet.

All tracks are extended improvisations of some classic Brasilian evergreens.

01) Samba De Uma Nota Só
02) Barquinho
03) Samba Toff
04) Desafinado
05) Menina Feia
06) Lamento

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Romano Mussolini Dies!

Romano Mussolini Trio - Mirage PDU Jazz A-6018 (Italy) 1974

I was intending to post some bossa stuff here today but before I do a quick word on Maestro Mussolini who passed away a couple days ago.

Romano Mussolini, jazz pianist and bandleader, the third and youngest son of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, was born on September 26, 1927 in Forlì in the Po valley and enjoyed a privileged childhood until the early years of the Second World War.

In 1943 he began experimenting with playing jazz on the piano, and was largely self-taught. After his father and his mistress, Carla Petacci, were shot while trying to escape to Switzerland in April 1945, Romano assumed a low profile, and after the war he launched his professional career as a pianist under the pseudonym “Romano Full”. By the mid-1950s, however, he had established a considerable national reputation under his own name, playing and recording with the trumpeter Nunzio Rotondo.

He led his own trio from the late 1950s onwards, the Romano Mussolini All Stars, and in 1959 supported a number of international guests, notably the Swedish baritone saxophonist Lars Gullin, the singer Helen Merrill and the American trumpeter Chet Baker, on visits to Italy. Baker was notorious for his drug dependency, and Mussolini remembered him as “dangerous to be around”, because of constant investigations by narcotics police. On the other hand, the pianist claimed not to remember the laid-back trumpeter’s first words to him, delivered in the hip tones of the ultra-cool jazzman: “Gee, it’s a drag about your old man.” They worked together at the Santa Tecla club in Milan, where, according to Baker’s biographer, James Gavin, “audiences flocked to see the younger Mussolini and a famous junkie on one stage”.

In 1963, leading his own band once more, Mussolini won the Italian critics’ album of the year prize for Jazz at Studio 7. At the same time, his style began to move from the cool West Coast modern jazz favoured by Gullin and Baker to more romantic fare, and by the following decade he was recording moody albums such as Mirage and Soft and Swing, leavened by his occasional high-octane jam sessions with the expatriate US clarinettist Tony Scott, who had settled in Rome.

By the 1980s, although his natural style on record had now developed further into one that drew heavily on Oscar Peterson’s playing, Mussolini began to play an even more traditional repertoire in public, recording with the guitarist Lino Patruno in his touring tribute to Louis Armstrong, as well as playing a very similar repertoire with the Austrian trumpeter Oscar Klein.
He was a favourite at Italian festivals throughout the 1990s and recently appeared as a guest at Europe’s biggest traditional jazz festival at Ascona in Switzerland with Patruno.

1) The Twitch
2) Omaggio A Oscar Peterson
3) Sweet Elisabeth
4) Hong Kong
5) Mirage
6) Blues For Alexandra
7) Rachel's Lullaby


Here's a real nice album cut by the maestro in 1974. It's fender rhodes all the way, both moody and groovy - a monster! ...might surprise a few of you!

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Bobby Cole's Point Of View

Bobby Cole - A Point Of View Concentric S-1000 (1964)

This much sought after and timeless LP features 12 original compositions that show off the man's great songwriting, piano and vocal skills. He's ably accompanied here by Ralf Rost, Arnold Wise and Kathy Kelly in a totally swinging trio session, I'm sure you'll agree.

Side A
1) Status Quo
2) The Name of the Game Is Trouble
3) Lover Boy
4) You Can't Build A Life On A Look
5) But It's Spring
6) Heat

Side B
1) You Could Hear A Pin Drop
2) A Change of Scene
3) A Perfect Day
4) Elegy For Eve
5) No Difference At All
6) I'm Growing Old

During his career, among his many accomplishments, he was the musical director for Judy Garland at her final Palace performance, recorded for Columbia and for years was the house band at Sinatra's legendary "watering hole", "Jilly's". It was there that he started to develop his cult following.

Bobby Cole died a tragic death in a New York gutter outside of the club at which he was performing on December 19, 1997. He apparently fell, cracking his head on the curb, where he lay motionless for some time until someone finally called "911".

Files are encoded @ 192Kbps.