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Jazz In Paris, Vol. 98: Jazz & Cinéma, Vol. 2

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

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Album Review

This compilation in the Verve Jazz in Paris reissue series gathers three separate recording sessions originally issued on various French EP discs. The first four tracks were recorded for the movie Les Tricheurs, with Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, and Gus Johnson backing various horn soloists. The title track is a blues, composed on the spot, featuring Stan Getz and Roy Eldridge; the trumpeter easily wins the solo battle as Getz is a bit sloppy with several reed squeaks during his chance. Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, and Eldridge each are individually featured performing originals with the rhythm section, with Gillespie taking top honors for his driving bop tune "Mic's Jump." The 1958 edition of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, including Lee Morgan and Benny Golson in the front line, are featured in 18 mostly brief tracks from the soundtrack to Les Femmes Disparaissent, with music composed by Blakey and Golson. Because of their brevity and separation from the film, most of the selections don't stand that well on their own. The music is occasionally interesting but, as a whole, not exciting enough to interest the vast majority of Art Blakey fans. The final two songs represent only a part of the music recorded for the Roger Vadim film La Bride sur le Cou. The compositions by James Campbell are not that impressive; the introduction to "La Bride sur le Cou" is almost identical to the theme of the standard "My Old Flame," while the hard bop tune "Brigitte Strip Blues" is rather generic. The all-French quintet, which includes pianist Georges Arvanitas, tenor saxophonist François Jeanneau, and Bernard Vitet on flügelhorn, seems to be going through the motions. Overall, this CD is one of the more disappointing titles in the generally laudable Jazz in Paris series.

Biography

Born: October 11, 1919 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

In the '60s, when John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman were defining the concept of a jazz avant-garde, few knowledgeable observers would have guessed that in another 30 years the music's mainstream would virtually bypass their innovations, in favor of the hard bop style that free jazz had apparently supplanted. As it turned out, many listeners who had come to love jazz as a sophisticated manifestation of popular music were unable to accept the extreme esotericism of the avant-garde; their tastes were...
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