Saturday, April 11, 2015

André Ekyan (1907 – 1972) – A French Saxophone Player, Part 2 (1940s)

Georg Lankester, expert in pre-WW II French jazz history, continues in this entry the story of André Ekyans career, this time focusing on the war and post-war years – the 1940s.

First part of the story (1930s) is available following this link, here 

André Ekyan, a ‘sought after’ musician

In the first year of the war (1940) our alto-sax player formed a new group named “Swingtette” in which we find guitarist ‘Matlo’Ferret. This formation played frequently in the “Moulin Rouge” and moreover made various fine records for “Odéon”.

Due to the fact that the relationship between André and Django was quite good and their musical feelings also matched, a series of new recordings was organised in February. André’s fine sax playing, accompanied by Django, was now completed with guitarist Pierre Ferret and bass player Emmanuel Soudieux, also ‘masters of strings’.They recorded swinging versions of ‘Margie’ and ‘ Rosetta’, as well as ‘Sugar’ and ‘A pretty girl is like a melody’.Those records, supervised by Delaunay, were released by “Swing” (Sw 98 & 194).

André was also the leader of a small formation  called “Kit Cat” which performed in a luxary place at the Champs Elyssées, an illustration of his popularity.

Swing, Sw 127
One year later, in September 1941 two more records with the new Hot Club quintet followed viz. the titles ‘De nulle part’ (‘Out of Nowhere’) and the exciting ‘Hugaria’ in wich sometimes  influences of Hawkins in André’s playing are noticable.These two  tracks for “swing’were released as Sw 127

Outside Paris

Shortly afterwards Ekyan remained in Switzerland because he now joined the popular Ray Ventura orchestra. This French band which had firstly toured through the South of France, went to Switzerland in order to escape from th German occupation. At the end of 1941 Ventura even left Europe to settle in South America till the war was over.

Django Reinhardt, Andre Ekyan, Ralph Schecroun, Alf Masselier and Roger Paraboschi in Rome (1950)
Back in France, André now became the leader of a formation in Baulieu, where he would remain till 1950 when Django invited him to join his new quintet which was going to play in  Italy. In April and May of that particular year this quintet performed in Rome where also several recordings were made. 

 Note: in  those  sessions André was alternating alto-sax with clarinet and….these  were historical sessions because it was the last time that  the two men played together. Django died in May 1953 !

In the Fifties, André performed often in ‘Maxim’s”, however, the music performed there  gradually had a somewhat lower level. Therefore he decided to travel through Europe and so it happened.

André Ekyan's orchestra at 'Maxim's'
He then played in a lot of  countries, but often in Spain. Unfortunately it was in the town of Alicante that he died on 9 August 1972 because of a tragic traffic accident.

André Ekyan (1907-1972)

Considering André Ekyan’s impressive activities and successes one can certainly speak of an important jazz musician, not only for France, but in general since he also played with a lot of great American jazzmen. 

Worthwhile to mention is that he produced a soft tone on clarinet which created a sometimes  melancholy atmosphere, fitting in so well with a musician like e.g. Django Reinhardt. In his alto-sax playing one can hear some influences from the Chicago jazz (Frank Trumbauer) and – later – from Benny Carter. Producing a warm tone, sometimes calm, in other moments excuberant and fast, he could inspire other jazz musicians. Because of his technique and creativity, this artist belongs to the best European saxophonists of last century.

Some recommended records: China Boy ‘French Hot Boys’(1932),Crazy Rhythm, ‘Coleman Hawkins All Stars (1937), Margie with Django Reinhardt (1940)

Georg Lankester

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

André Ekyan (1907 – 1972) – A French Saxophone Player, Part 1 (1930s)

Georg Lankester, expert in pre-WW II French jazz history, introduces in this entry André Ekyan's pre-war career,  the 1930s.

The post war years of André Ekyan will be discussed in another entry, here

André Ekyan (1907-1972)
This highly talented musician was born in Meudon. Who could suspect that he would become one of the pioneers of the French pre-war jazz and play an important role in it as a soloist?  Here is the story of his career:

Non- French parents
André’s mother was of Hungarian origin, while his father was born in Armenia – the official family name was Echkyan. His parents emigrated to France and it was there  that the young André in 1907 was born and further grew up. Already as a boy he started to play alto-sax. André first started to follow a medical study in order to become a dentist. During his study he saved money to buy a clarinet which took quite some time. Finally he got the instrument and it seems that he could play a bit on it within a few weeks. By the end of the Twenties, however, he stopped his dental study and chose for a professional career in music. Soon he joined the orchestra of Perroquet which played in Paris; furthermore he was working continuously to improve his technique.

Cabaret performances and orchestra sideman
From 1930-32 he was active with a small formation under his own name and appeared frequently  in the cabaret “La croix du Sud”, where – according to Charles Delaunay – also Django Reinhardt came to listen to him.

Ekyan and Django
André also joined various big bands. In 1931 he became member of the well-known  English ‘Jack Hylton Orchestra’ and somewhat later he played in the band of Fred Astaire. Our active reed man could – in 1933 – be found playing with “Grégor & ses Grégoriens” which was quite popular in Paris those days. Also Stéphane Grappelli joined this orchestra, as we can see in some old film fragments!  In ’34 and ’35 André was playing in  Le Jazz du poste parisien”.

It should be mentioned that starting from 1932 Ekyan also arranged and supervised studio recordings e.g. in parts of “Jazz symphonique Salabert” and in two recordings of his own group called “the French Hot Boys”. They recorded: ‘St. Louis Blues’ and ‘Moonglow’.

André Ekyan, saxophonist and clarinetist
In 1935 André, as a band leader, played an important role in the famous cabaret “Boeuf sur le Toit” where many excellent musicians regularly met. Under his supervision several  recordings were made in his name, released by “Ultraphone”.

After lots of activities in France André then travelled to the USA where he played with stars like trombonist ‘Tommy Dorsey & the piano giants Joe Turner”and “Fats Waller”.
Once back in France he opened a cabaret called ‘Swing Time” where he showed his own new orchestra. This was the place where terrific ‘jam sessions’ (in French: ‘de Boeufs’) took place, so remembered tenor saxophonist Alix Combelle. André could there also be heard with the piano players Léo Chauliac & George Manion, in addition to his own band.

Paris was in those times a swinging town, full of theatres, cabarets and cafés offering jazz. In one of them called “au Florence” the American trumpet player/saxophonist Benny Carter played.  In the early morning, also there unforgettable jam sessions were held with American and French jazzmen like Coleman Hawkins, Django Reinhardt and Bill Coleman. After their performances in other cabarets and cafés, they liked to meet and play spontaneously in unique formations. Note: Carter and Hawkins, who stayed in Paris, were promoted by the Hot Club de France leaders secretary Charles Delaunay and president Hugues Panassié.

Historical recordings
1937 was a great year for the European jazz. Because of the World Exhibition in the capital the Hot Club leaders had invited many American jazz giants for big concert and recording  sessions and…….they met the best French players of  that time – including André Ekyan. This resulted in many unique recordings, all of them realised under the supervision of Charles Delaunay who had just launched his exclusive jazz record label ‘Swing”.

Discque Swing, SW. 1
He started recording in the  spring and possibly with the best pre-war formation in Europe ever, called “Coleman Hawkins and his All Star band” featuring Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, André Ekyan, Alix Combelle, Django Reinhardt, Eugène d’Hellemmes and Tommy Benford.

On April 28 two titles in this formation were recorded ‘’Honeysuckle rose’ & ‘Crazy Rhythm’.In the same line-up HMV recorded: ‘Out of nowhere’ and ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’. For those interested marked  SW no.1 and HMV(E) B 8812.

Ekyan, still in a very good shape, can also be heard with Django in five tracks which were recorded in 1939 in a small formation under his name.  The titles: ‘The Sheyk’, ‘Dream Ship’, ‘ I can’t believe’, Dark Town Strutters Ball’’ and Blues of Yesterdays’. Three tracks included trumpet player/saxophonist ‘Big Boy’ Goodie, who originally came from Louisiana but already lived in Paris from the early Twenties.

Georg Lankester


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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Jørgen Ingmann (1925 - 2015) - A Popular Danish Guitarist

Jørgen Ingmann (1925-2015)
This morning the news in Danish media told the sad fact that the popular Danish guitarist Jørgen Ingmann passed away yesterday, nearly 90 years of age. Jørgen Ingmann was born April 26, 1925 in Copenhagen and started his career as a member of Svend Asmussen's orchestra and was well-known as a jazz artist in the 1940s and 1950s. As a guitarist Ingmann was highly influenced by the American guitarist Les Paul. Jørgen Ingmann implemented Paul’s techniques and began exploring the possibilities of multi-track recording by setting up a home studio. He overdubed himself into a one-man band and recorded multiple layers of guitar at his home studio. Ingmann’s recording also included his own percussion and bass playing. Late 1950s, Ingmann transformed his stage name to “Jørgen Ingmann and His Guitar” and in 1961 he recorded the instrumental 'Apache', which became a hit in the U.S.A.. With his wife he formed a duo as “Grethe og Jørgen Ingmann’ and the duo was elected winner of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Dansevise” in 1963. The duo dissolved, when the marriage ended in 1975, and Jørgen Ingmann gradually left the public scene as a stage artist, but he was still active as a musician and record producer and kept releasing new instrumental recordings that were well received by a still loyal fan base. Ingmann withdrew definitely from the public in 1984 and enjoyed his retirement in his home until yesterday March 21, 2015, when he passed away peacefully according the media news.

Jørgen Ingmann and his guitar
Below is inserted some uploaded highlights from Jørgen Ingmann's career focusing on his guitar playing to honor a great artist. An online discography is available here and a Sound Cloud page has several tracks in streaming audio from Ingmann's easy listening recordings, here 

Here's first an example of Ingmann's multi-track recording - 'Muskrat Ramble'

Next another multi-track recording, 'Amorada' - also known as 'Brasileirinho'

The 1961 instrumental hit, 'Apache' is included here

Finally, to end this small remembrance of Jørgen Ingmann as a guitarist, here is his recording of 'Jeepers Creepers'

Jørgen Ingmann (1925 - 2015) - R.I.P. 


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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Svend Asmussen - Embraceable

Svend Asmussen
A week ago the world famous Danish jazz fiddler Svend Asmussen (b.28.Feb, 1916) celebrated his 99th anniversary. Part of the celebration included the release of a new CD with previously unissued recordings that have been sitting in Asmussen's private files. The Danish record company, Storyville Recordshas taken the initiative to release this material in co-operation with Asmussen himself at the new CD titled
Embraceable (Storyville, cd 1014296) containg a live-performance recorded in September 1985. The recording was made by French radio and the location was a small club in Paris, 'Le Petit Opportun', with an attentive audience of less than thirty individuals. The location proved to be an ideal setting for a successfull performance and Asmussen himself has estimated the recordings among his best ever according to the info at Sotryville's web: "I had never thought that this September Parisian night would be released and scrutinized, but honestly I think it is the best music I’ve ever recorded!” said Asmussen when he was interviewed about the new release." The circumstances of the performance, however, were rather unusual for Asmussen's standard, as "He played with three musicians he had never played with before and there was no rehearsal, only a few notes scribbled down. Just as they were about to play the radio man casually told them the concert would be broadcasted live on French radio and that Asmussen should present the set in French." Nevertheless, the intimate atmosphere of the location generated spontaneity and a great performance by Asmussen and his accompanying trio. Now a selection of this broadcasted live performance luckily has been released on the new CD to be enjoyed over again thirty years after this special Parisian night.
CD front: Storyville, CD 1014296
There are twelve tracks of music from the live performance preserved at the shown CD and the repertoire contains jazz standards like 'Sophisticated Lady' and 'Things Ain't What They Used To Be' from the Ellington book, modern themes like Sonny Rollins' 'Pent-Up House' and further updated jazz versions of popular compositions like 'Singin' In The Rain','Just A Gigolo' and 'There Will Never Be Another You'. There is also a magnificent version of Chopin's 'Prelude In C-minor' and a solo presentation by Asmussen of Gershwin's 'Embraceable You' that is the highlight of the set showing off an eminent mastery of his instrument without supporting accompaniment.
George Arvanitas (Photo, Esther Cidoncha)
Asmussen is accompanied by a very competent trio featuring Georges Arvanitas (p), Patrice Caratini (b) and Charles Saudrais (dr). Georges Arvanitas is a great piano player who gets the opportunity to show off in Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson influenced solo spots besides being an attentive support to Asmussen's lead voice. The rhythm section is taken good care of by double bass player Patrice Caratini and drummer man Charles Saudrais -  both men provide a solid background for the soloist's musical expression.
Patrice Caratini
Although the four musicians haven't played together before,  there is an excellent interplay between them and each of them contributes to a succesfull performance throughout.
Charles Saudrais
It is a pleasure to listen to this live recording from 1985, the CD release recreates the atmosphere of this special evening in Paris so that the listener has the experience of being present with the four musicians in the intimate setting of the performance. Great that Storyville Records has re-mastered the original tape-recordings and made the material available on disc for a contemporary public, audio quality is splendid. - The CD is available for purchase at the website of Storyville Records and mp3 versions of the tracks are available at Amazon, here 
Svend Asmussen - jazz fiddler supreme
To end this small review of a successfull live-performance by Svend Asmussen, I'll insert a fragment of a similar recording made at about the same time in Copenhagen. The location is club Montmartre and Asmussen is accompanied by  Kenny Drew (p), Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen (b) and Ed Thigpen (dr). The fragment has been uploaded by Storyville Records at YouTube and has a great performance of 'It Don't Mean A Thing ...' - enjoy!


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Friday, February 20, 2015

Joe Louis Stomp

Joe Louis, The Brown Bomber
Joe Louis (1914–1981), known as the Brown Bomber, was the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion from 1937 to 1949 holding the title longer than anyone else in boxing history. A career profile is available here

Bill Coleman (1904-1981)
Trumpeter Bill Coleman composed and recorded a swing tune as a homage to the rising boxing star in January 1936, Joe Louis Stomp. At that time Bill Coleman resided in Paris, France, where he had been engaged by Freddy Taylor late 1935 as a member of Taylor's orchestra, but already in 1933 Coleman had been in France as a member of Lucky Millinder's orchestra, and this time he would stay in Paris as his residence until 1940. During this period Bill Coleman also had his own orchestra in Paris that had regular performances at a venue called Villa d'Este, members were  Bill Coleman (tp, ldr), Eugène d' Ellemmes (b), Edgar "Spider" Courance (ts, cl), Oscar Alemán (g) and William Diemer (dm) as shown at the picture below (l to r)
Bill Coleman Et Son Orchestre De La Villa D'Este, c.1936
On January 31th, 1936 Bill Coleman and his Orchestra recorded 'Joe Louis Stomp' in Paris, it was issued on a 78 rpm disc at the French Gramophone label, a devsion of HMV, as the A-side (mx. OLA-851-1, Gramophone (HMV) K-7705), while the B-side had a recording of the tune 'Coquette' (mx. OLA-852-1, Gramophone (HMV) K-7705).
Gramophone (HMV) K-7705
The Coleman quintet is extended to a sextet in this recording, John (Jean) Ferrier is added as the piano player - remaining personnel as mentioned above. 'Joe Louis Stomp' is a great swing tune, both Coleman and Edgar Courance have great solo spots, but here we should also focus on Oscar Alemán's 16 bar guitar solo. This is in fact the first swing/jazz solo recorded by Alemán. It is documenting an already mature and personal style that distinguishes him from other guitarists at the time. Enjoy the tune as recorded on January 31th, 1936 in the inserted video below.

Oscar Alemán recorded and released a version of 'Joe Louis Stomp' in Buenos Aires much later, but not during his contract with Odeon from 1941 to 1957. However, during the 1960s, when he had semi-retired from the scene as a performer and recording artist after dissolving his orchestra in 1959, he was from time to time a featured guest performer in radio and TV programs accompanied by a quintet named Cinco Caballeros consisting of cl or vln, p, rh g, b and dm.
Oscar Alemán & Cinco Caballeros, 1960s
With the Cinco Caballeros Alemán performed his own arrangement of 'Joe Louis Stomp' at several live appearances in radio programs during the 1960s as documented in unissued recordings saved by keen collectors. One of the hottest versions I have heard was performed in a program at Radio el Mundo on September 2nd, 1965, inserted in the audio-video below

Note that the speaker of the program mentions Duke Ellington as the composer of the tune, although it rightly should have been Bill Coleman. However, the studio audience probably would not have cared anyway, as Bill Coleman's name and output probably was rather unknown in Argentina at the time. On the other hand, Alemán's version of the tune gets a deserved enthusiastic applause and points to the fact that 'Joe Louis Stomp' had become a part of his standard repertoire at the time. 

As mentioned, he recorded the tune much later, now in a slower and more subdued version, but still with great guitar work showing off his excellence even in his late career. The tune was recorded in September 1974 on the last LP album for the Redondel label titled 'En Todos Los Ritmos' (L-809). Alemán is accompanied by Juan José Gonzalez (cl), Dario “Johnny” Quaglia (rh g), Norberto Villa (b) and Mario Raffaelli (dm). This version has been uploaded at YouTube and is inserted in the video below - a worthy contribution to mark the 106th anniversary of Oscar Alemán and a great swing jazz tune, enjoy!


Monday, January 26, 2015

15th Anniversary of QUATRE TICKETS DE SWING

November last year, the Dutch string swing quartet in the ‘Django Reinhardt’ Hot Club  tradition, Quartre Tickets de Swing, celebrated its 15th anniversary. Below follows a short review of the career of the ensemble.

Georg Lankester
It was at the end of the Nineties of last century that guitarist Georg Lankester took the initiative to form - with three other Dutch musicians - a swing quartet in the ‘Hot Club’ style and he called it Quatre Tickets a French song from the mid Forties. They were inspired by the European Jazz which, in 1934, was created by the “Hot Club de France ‘ Quintet with the legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt & violinist Stéphane Grappelli. It was the first string jazz quintet and only around 1940 this changed in such a way that the violin was replaced by a clarinet. Their unforgettable swing style was – next to several other European groups -  in Belgium adopted by the great WASO quartet which, however, broke up around 1985  

Quartre Tickets de Swing in the beginning
Quatre Tickets de Swing chose for the same line-up as WASO : a reed man, two guitarists and a double bass player. And the enthousiasm of the formation soon brought a lot of performances. Moreover their first cd recordings were made, which in  addition to the many Django compositions included several track from the American ‘Swing’ period.

Quartre Tickets de Swing in ‘Monte Porzio’ near Rome, 2005
In 2005 the quartet was invited to play at an Italian Django-festival nearby Rome. A few years afterwards followed by a visit to the Vosges in France for several concerts. Again a new cd was issued with a variety of swing and ballads in the French way.

Quartre Tickets de Swing with singer Ita van Dijk
Since 2009 lady singer Ita van Dijk came to join the band till end 2013. Starting from 2014 she was succeeded by Inge Alberts and the band repertoire now  includes new songs, many of them again in the French language.

Quartre Tickets de Swing today with singer Inge Alberts
Apart from performances in theatres and jazz clubs, Quatre Tickets took part in the unique Guitar Festival 2014 in Enkhuizen (Holland) and launched their cd  called ‘Swinging and Singing. These recordings can be ordered by e-mail

The CD 'Swinging & Singing' by Quartre Tickets de Swing (click to enlarge)
In November 2014 special swing sessions were organised in Deventer to celebrate the band’s 15th anniversary, whereby several guest musicians were invited. Among them the Lammy Bruyn Combo (Swing Musette), several guest soloists and singers.  It was a swinging performance for a full house.

Quartre Tickets de Swing at the jubilee performance, November 2014
Here are the members of Quartre Tickets de Swing: Peter Swart (clar/sax), Georg Lankester (solo g), Arthur Siero (g), Eric  van Buysen (b), Inge Alberts (voc.). Together a swinging ensemble, listen to Quartre Tickets de Swing in the inserted audio-videos below.

Quartre Tickets de Swing plays ‘Swing 42’, a composition by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, enjoy!

Finally, Quartre Tickets de Swing with vocalist Inge Alberts plays the standard ‘For Me Formidable’ with lyrics in French, enjoy!

Further  info on Quartre Tickets de Swing available here or here 


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Monday, January 12, 2015

Jacob Fischer Trio - Two CDs Recorded In Two Days!

Jacob Fischer (photo: Ina Løndal)
The Danish jazz guitarist Jacob Fischer (b 1967) made his debut at the Copenhagen jazz festival at 17 and has since then been one of the hardest working musicians in Scandinavia. Jacob Fischer has worked with the best Scandinavian musicians as well as with visiting jazz greats. His versatile virtuosity can be heard on about 200 CDs. Since 1992 he has been a member of violin legend Svend Asmussens quartet and in 2008 he finally decided to release his first album in his own name, Jacob Fischer Trio featuring Svend Asmussen. This was followed by two more CDs by a Jacob Fischer Trio recorded in Copenhagen, in 2010 was released a CD titled Blues featuring Jacob Fischer's Organ Trio and in 2011 the CD titled Django - a tribute to the Gypsy legend featuring accordionist Francesco Cali. During a guest performance at The Fourth Annual Arbors Records Invitational Jazz Party (Fl., USA) in January 2012 Jacob Fischer recorded a CD titled Guitarist under his own name featuring fellow guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli in a quartet setting. More about the mentioned CDs at the official website, here.
Jacob Fischer (photo: Morten Langkilde)
Jacob Fischer has toured Scandinavia, Great Britain, Japan, Brazil and several European countries and he has recorded with internationally acclaimed musicians both in Denmark and abroad. In June 2013, he was in New York to record material for the Japanese Venus Records to be released in Japan, the recordings were done in two days, June 20 and 21, and the recorded material was released on two CDs in Japan later that year. Now the music of both CDs finally is available outside Japan and accessible for purchase at Amazon, Itunes a.o.
CD-front: My Romance (Venus Records, VHCD-1132)
As mentioned, the two days recording session in New York was released on two CDs, in all 25 tracks of which 13 are accessible on the shown My Romance, a tribute album to the inventive jazz piano player, Bill Evans. Jacob Fischer is accompanied by double bass player Martin Wind  and drummer Tim Horner, both acclaimed and New York based musicians.
Martin Wind - photo: All About Jazz web
The repertoire of the disc is concentrated on ballads and lyrical standards like the title tune by Richard Rodgers and there are four compositions in this genre by Bill Evans, "Time Remembered" and "Waltz For Debby", further "Show Type Tune" and "Interplay". Bill Evans and Miles Davis' collaboration is remembered in a reading of Davis' "Nardis" and modern jazz ballads like "I Fall In Love Too Easily" (Styne/Kahn), "My Foolish Heart" (V. Young), "Come Rain Or Come Shine" (H. Arlen) and "Polka Dots And Moonbeams" (J. Van Heusen) are also presented, the last mentioned as a solo guitar piece. A complete tracklist is available here.
Tim Horner - photo: Tim Horner website
The complex yet lyrical interpretation of the music reflects Bill Evans' ideas of using standard jazz tunes as a stepstone for reharmonisation and modulations of themes thus creating a tonal improvisation and motivic development of the music. This consept of jazz improvisation resembles the ideas applied by other modern jazz piano players like Thelonius Monk and Bud Powell, however, each of them are distinct and different in their own specific way, of course. Here on the CD by Jacob Fischer Trio no piano is playing, nevertheless Fischer's guitar playing reflects Evans' ideas convinsingly with great support by his two sidemen. Fischer's approach reminds me of fellow guitarist Lenny Breau, who also excelled in the exploration of jazz and standard tunes with ideas 
from the field developed by modern piano players like Bill Evans a.o..
CD-front: Black Orpheus (Venus Records, VHCD-1138)
The second CD from Jacob Fischer Trio recorded in the June 20 and 21 New York session is titled Black Orpheus  containing 12 tracks of Brazilian or Brazilian inspired tunes and may be considered a tribute to bossa nova and the roots of this style of music. Jacob Fischer, guitar, is again accompanied by Martin Wind on double bass, however, Brazilian drummer Duduka Da Fonseca has replaced Tim Horner.
Duduka Da Fonseca - photo: All About Jazz web
The title track of the CD refers to the famous 1959 film Orfeu Negro made in Brazil by French director Marcel Camus based on the play Orfeu da Conceição by Vinicius de Moraes, which is an adaptation of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in the modern context of a favela in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval. The film is particularly noted for its soundtrack by two Brazilian composers, Antônio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá, who - together with vocalist João Gilberto -  introduced the bossa nova internationally with this film. The music from the film has since been absorbed in the standard jazz repertoire and recorded numerous times by various artists. 
Original film poster (source: Wikipedia)
The tune "Black Orpheus" is also known as "Manhã de Carnaval", composed by Luiz Bonfá, and there is one more composition by Bonfá included, "Gentle Rain", which introduces the CD. A.C. Jobim is represented through five compositions - "Triste" (from the Black Orpheus film), "How Insensitive", "Once I Loved", "Desafinado" and "This Happy Madness" - the last mentioned here performed as a solo guitar piece. The remaining repertoire is represented by three compositions by choro mandolinist Jacob Bittencourt (aka Jacob do Bandolim) - "Assanhado", "Bole-Bole" and "Doce de Coco" - and two compositions by Jacob Fischer, "Little Teardrop" and "Sonho Carioca", both also recorded at the Django tribute CD from 2011 and reflecting Fischer's adoption of Brazilian choro. The trio again delivers a great musical output, the support of the rhythm section is excellent and Fischer's guitarplaying marvels throughout, his approach to this repertoire pays its due to other guitarists like Charlie Byrd and Gene Bertoncini a.o. as well as modern jazz influence, however, arrangements and interpretation are his own.

The music on the two mentioned CDs is a splendid example of the span of Jacob Fischer's musical universe and his capacity as a musician and guitarist, here exposed in a trio setting that shows off the best both in solo playing and support. Highly recommended!


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