In the summer of 1956, the gifted French pianist André Persiany “Pépé” travelled to New York to record with American jazz artists for the French Pathe Marconi label. At the time, the revival of interest in what critic Stanley Dance aptly dubbed “mainstream jazz” was just getting under way. Now, sixty years on, the performances of the International Jazz Group— with a truly formidable, all-star cast arranged by Pépé and Budd Johnson and organized and led by bassist Arvell Shaw—are little-known gems hailed as one of the greatest “sleeper” jazz records of all time by the celebrated jazz authority Dan Morgenstern.
Aside from this fine album, Persiany also put together a stellar big band, using mostly veteran musicians from famous big bands, to record a second album, just as memorable, called Persiany in New York. Influenced not only by the approach of the 1950s Count Basie band, but also by the sophisticated, much-admired composer and arranger Tadd Dameron, Persiany wrote some swinging charts for the band in a solid mainstream vein. The recorded evidence suggests it would have been quite a band to hear live; that it exists at all is something to be grateful for.
01. Moten Swing (Buster & Bennie Moten) 6:22
02. Skin Tight and Cymbal Wise (Budd Johnson) 4:39
03. The Man with a Horn (DeLange-Jenney-Lake) 2:31
04. Arvell’s Tune (Arvell Shaw) 4:32
05. Budd’s Idea (Budd Johnson) 2:54
06. Did I Remember (Harold Adamson-Walter Donaldson) 4:30
07. Blue Lou (Edgar Sampson-Irving Mills) 4:46
08. What Have You Done with the Keys to Your Heart (Vic Dickenson) 2:56
09. Taft’s Blues (Taft Jordan) 3:19
10. If It Weren’t for You (Budd Johnson) 4:07
11. Concerto du Blues (Budd Johnson) 5:32
12. Every Day Blues (Budd Johnson) 2:48
13. Theme Song: Everything I Got (Rodgers-Hart) 0:30
14. Place de Brouckere (Django Reinhardt) 2:42
15. I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (Duke Ellington) 3:05
16. Blues for Me, Myself and I (André Persiany) 2:50
17. Between B’way ‘n Amsterdam Avenue (André Persiany) 3:45
18. Impressions of New York (André Persiany) 3:06
19. Jessie’s Idea (André Persiany) 4:39
20. Lush Life (Billy Strayhorn) 2:55
21. Tyree and Lawrence (André Persiany) 2:58
22. Rough Ridin’ (Ella Fitzgerald-Hank Jones) 3:02
Tracks #1-9 and 12, from the 12" French Columbia
"International Jazz Group" (FPX121)
Tracks #10 & 11, from the 7" French Columbia
"International Jazz Group" (ESDF1140)
Tracks #13-22, from the 10" French Columbia
"Persiany in New York" (FP1092)
Personnel on INTERNATIONAL JAZZ GROUP
Tracks #1-12: Taft Jordan, trumpet; Vic Dickenson, trombone; Budd Johnson, tenor sax; George Berg, baritone sax; André Persiany, piano; Arvell Shaw, bass & leader; Gus Johnson, drums.
Arrangements by André Persiany and Budd Johnson.
Recorded at Capitol Recording Studios, New York City, October 15, 17 & 19, 1956
Personnel on PERSIANY IN NEW YORK
Tracks #13,16,20,22: Ernie Royal, trumpet; Henderson Chambers, trombones; Eddie Barefield, clarinet; Hilton Jefferson, alto sax; Budd Johnson, Seldon Powell, tenor saxes; John Burks, baritone sax; André Persiany, piano, arranger; Arvell Shaw, bass; Charlie Smith, drums.
Tracks #14,15,21: Lamar Wright Jr., trumpet, and Tyree Glenn, trombone, replace Ernie Royal and Henderson Chambers.
Tracks #17,18,19: Herbie Jones, trumpet, replaces Lamar Wright Jr.
Sessions recorded at Capitol Recording Studios, New York City, July 31 (#13,16,20,22), August 1 (#14,15,21), and August 3 (#17,18,19), 1956
Original recordings produced by Jean-Paul Guiter
Photos: Marcel Zannini
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered