The first French jazzman to embrace bebop with true enthusiasm was without a doubt alto saxophonist Hubert Fol (1925-1995). He took to the new style when he was barely 20 years old, the moment he heard Charlie Parker on record, and he immediately began practicing.
Hubert was born in Paris, on November 11, 1925. When he was nine, his mother started him and his younger brother Raymond on piano. In 1942 he expanded his musical education with violin and clarinet lessons, and finally, influenced by Johnny Hodges, he chose the alto saxophone as his favorite instrument. As a musician, Hubert Fol always strived to play music that was richer and more inventive than that of his peers. He always succeeded, too, and the itinerary of his musical adventures was always most fascinating to follow.
In the summer of 1947, he formed a sextet called “The Be-Bop Minstrels.” The name was a clear statement...