Long overdue - and totally great! This beautiful 2CD set brings together all the early jazz recordings of Sacha Distel - an artist who went onto become a pop vocalist in 60s France, but who was a great jazz guitarist in his early days! Distel was a key part of the transition in French jazz of the 50s - as he took the guitar, and played in a style that was much more modern than that of older Parisian players - especially Django Reinhardt. His playing had a clean and clear approach that was really great, and which shines anew again in this excellent package. The set features work from the following sessions: an orchestral date with backing by Billy Byers; a quintet session with Bobby Jaspar; another quintet date with Hubert Fol on piano; the soundtrack to the Roger Vadim film Les 7 Peches Capitaux; and a stunning album recorded in 1968 with Slide Hampton. This last session is especially great, as it was a "back to jazz" date for Distel, and featured some great orchestrations that mixed together light orchestrations from Hampton, breezy guitar, and even a bit of bossa. The set's got a total of 26 tracks on 2CDs, and titles include "Saki", "Marina", "Blue Waltz De L'Orgueil", "Half Nelson", "Stop & Go", "No Sad Song For Sacha", "Competition", "Scotch Bop", and "A Piece Of Pizza". (From the Jazz CD (A-D) page.)
This album comprises two original LPs, now available together on CD for the first time. The first 12 tracks come from Patented by Edison, recorded in 1960, and the last 12 are from Sweetenings, recorded two years earlier. Despite the differing personnels on each album, the format is basically the same: mainly short tracks featuring Harry Edison himself, with the other players somewhat in the background. The results might threaten to be samey, except that Edison is always worth hearing, with his judicious choice of notes and his soft, unassertive tone. It is no surprise that Frank Sinatra wanted Harry to be on many of his recordings with Nelson Riddle's orchestra, because the trumpeter could always supply an inimitable touch of sophistication without overpowering the singer.
The 1987 edition of the Brubeck Quartet featured pianist Brubeck, his son Chris on electric bass and bass trombone, clarinetist Bill Smith and drummer Randy Jones. In addition to remakes of "Blue Rondo à la Turk," "Strange Meadowlark" and "Swing Bells," the leader contributed six new originals including "I See, Satie" and a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz called "Dizzy's Dream." Bill Smith, who uses electronics with taste on his clarinet during a few songs, has long been a major asset to the later Brubeck Quartets. This is one of their better Concord CDs.
When it comes to the boundary-stretching spirit that has become so widespread among many of today's leading jazz musicians, drummer Mark Guiliana deserves credit for being one of the most enthusiastic embodiments of this attitude. He has a longstanding passion for electronic music, as heard especially on the releases on his own Beat Music label (2014's My Life Starts Now and Beat Music: The Los Angeles Improvisations).