Reference: FSRCD 957
Bar code: 8427328609579
The men behind the acronym H.U.M. (which uses one letter from each musician’s name) were drummer Daniel Humair, pianist René Urtreger and bassist Pierre Michelot. And they were a trio in the true sense of the word, as its members melted together musically to form a separate entity—by habit of playing together, but more so by the affinity of their tastes, ideas and style.
These performances were recorded live at Club Saint-Germain in September 1960, and they show René Urtreger blazing furiously with inspired conception, swinging deeply and shaping lucid and provocative jazz statements. Of course, he had the superb support of probably the best one-two rhythmic punch available in European jazz, at the time—Michelot, who also solos effectively, and Humair, who does as well in the more open passages. They are the anchor to these sides, and keep the fire alight until the last bar.
The label Vega released an LP with these performances, but in addition to the original album, this CD includes two radio broadcasts previously unreleased. These recordings are a reminder of the wonderful soirees of late summer and early autumn that these three artists shared. At engagement after engagement, the trio that formed H, U and M, met to find perfect harmony. This record is a lasting memento of their joy.
"H.U.M. is the name of the swinging 1960’s trio Daniel Humair/dr, René Urtreger/p and famed Pierre Michelot/b. During De Gaulle’s years as Prime Minister, jazz was in the air, and it was hopping, with this trio caught in concert and studio recordings in gay Paree. The team had a strong allegiance to the song selection from vintage Miles Davis’ first classic quintet as well as the bebop of Parker and Monk, and create their own interpretation of America’s classical music.
You can feel the energy of the Club St-Germain, as the sound is bustling in the background. It doesn’t detract, but it adds to the vibe as the Urtreger sears through “Just One of Those Things” and “Bye Bye Backbird” with the electricity of his Bud Powell influenced touch, while Michelot lays down slick lines between solos as on “Well You Needn't” and “Ah Moore.” Humair gets a few chances to snap the sticks in the spotlight, but he mostly corrals the band to keep them galloping forward. There are also a handful of studio recordings, with a wonderful “Laura” as well as a few RTF broadcasts which has more deliberate reads of their songbook. In a day of nuance and subtlety, it’s refreshing to hear music from an era when muscles were flexed and sparks flew. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by this beaut!"
George W. Harris (June 18, 2018)