Already by 1948, Guy Lafitte (1927-1998) was becoming one of the most promising musicians of French jazz. He was the saxophonist most often chosen by many American musicians who toured Europe, including Mezz Mezzrow during 1951–1952. However, it took a little longer for him to capture the favor of the general public. His moment of discovery arrived in the spring of 1954 when, after recording as a leader, l’Académie du Jazz awarded him the “Prix Django Reinhardt” as the best French soloist.
In the recordings of this CD, we listen to Lafitte leading and soloing in his commanding swinging and melodic style, backed by a series of orchestras that stand out not only for the delightful and invigorating performances, but also for the arresting contributions of all of the band soloists. There is a great deal of variety on every one of these tracks, and the orchestras does perfectly what was called for in each case, thanks to the effective arrangements provided by the talented André Persiany, Claude Bolling and Martial Solal.
01. Don’t Blame Me (McHugh-Fields) 4:15
02. You Can Depend On Me (Hines-Carpenter-Dunlap) 4:42
03. Cynthia’s In Love (Owens-White) 3:59
04. Love Me or Leave Me (Donaldson-Kahn) 3:13
05. Reminiscing Mood (Lionel Hampton) 3:08
06. My Ideal (Richard Whiting) 3:03
07. My Serenade (Django Reinhardt) 3:46
08. Stay Cool (Count Basie) 3:21
09. Blues for Vidi (Guy Lafitte) 2:52
10. Swingin’ the Berry’s (Emmett Berry) 3:06
11. My Old Flame (Johnston-Coslow) 4:37
12. Smoking with Frank and J.P. (Guy Lafitte) 3:13
13. I Want to Be Happy (Victor Youmans) 2:27
14. Do Not Disturb (Guy Lafitte) 4:32
15. Genevieve (J.C.Pelletier) 3:52
16. A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing (Billy Strayhorn) 3:36
17. Caméléon (Lafitte-Solal) 2:32
18. Caravan (Ellington-Tizol) 3:09
Total time: 63:16 min.
Track #1, from the 12-inch “Jazz Boom” (Philips 77 101)
Tracks #2-9, from the 10-inch “Guy Lafitte, son saxo-ténor et son orchestre” (Pathé ST 1057)
Tracks #10-15 from the 10-inch “Do Not Disturbe” (Columbia FP 1085)
Tracks #16-18 from the 10-inch “Guy” (Columbia 1124)
Personnel on #1:
Bernard Hulin, trumpet; Benny Vasseur, trombone; Raymond Fol, piano and arranger; Guy de Fatto, bass; Pierre Lemarchand, drums.
Recorded live at Théâtre de l’Apollo, Paris, May 26, 1954
Personnel on #2-9:
Guy Longnon, trumpet; Benny Vasseur, trombone; William Boucaya, alto sax; Michel de Villers, baritone sax; André Persiany, piano & arranger; Buddy Banks, bass; Jacques David, drums.
Recorded at Pathé-Marconi Studios, Paris, October 8, 1954
Personnel on #10-13:
Roger Guérin, trumpet; Benny Vasseur, trombone; René 'Mickey' Nicholas, clarinet; Michel de Villers, alto & baritone sax; Claude Bolling, piano & arranger; Paul Rovère, bass; Roger Paraboschi, drums.
Recorded in Paris, April 26, 1956
Personnel on #14-15:
Fernand Verstraete, trumpet, and Christian Garros, drums, replace Guérin and Paraboschi.
Recorded in Paris, May 23, 1956
Personnel on #16-17:
Large orchestra featuring Bernard Hulin, trumpet; Claude Gousset, trombone; Martial Solal, piano & arranger; Christian Garros, drums.
Recorded in Paris, September 28, 1959
Liner notes: Frank Tenot, Michel Laverdure & Jordi Pujol
Original artwork: J. Friedel (Pathé), J.P. Niogret (Columbia)
Photography: Jean-Pierre Leloir
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
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