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The Swing Machine

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Album Review

Gérard Badini is a well-known name in French jazz circles, due to his prolific recording dates, though few of his albums have appeared outside of Europe. The Swing Machine is part of Universal's excellent but now-deleted Jazz in Paris series, documenting a session led by the tenor saxophonist in 1975 with pianist Raymond Fol, bassist Michel Gaudry, and former Duke Ellington drummer Sam Woodyard. Right out of the box, they swing like mad with a superb take of "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," with each musician featured in turn. Badini wrote the wailing blues "Sam Woodyard Is Back in Town," showcasing the gritty side of his playing. Fol frequently shows off his obvious affinity for Duke Ellington by incorporating a few of the bandleader's piano licks into his playing. Woodyard had essentially been on skid row when Badini found him, but he managed to dry out enough to do justice to the music throughout the date. This volume in the Jazz in Paris series is well worth acquiring.


Born: 16 April 1931 in Paris, France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

While many releases on long-gone European labels are hard to track, it is possible this French reed player has appeared on something like 150 jazz recording sessions since the late '40s. Which isn't bad, or rather is Badini. Nothing establises him as the distinguished continental type more than a credit such as this: Gerard Badini, self-taught clarinetist and tenor saxophonist, made his professional debut at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club in 1952. He had begun his musical training as a classical singer,...
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The Swing Machine, Gerard Badini
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