Portrait of an Unsung Jazz Guitarist (2-CD)
  • Blue Star BS Nº21
    Blue Star BS Nº21
  • EKO LV 1
    EKO LV 1
  • La Voix de son Maitre EMF 49
    La Voix de son Maitre EMF 49
  • La Voix de son Maitre EMF 61
    La Voix de son Maitre EMF 61
  • Columbia ESDF 1105
    Columbia ESDF 1105
  • Columbia FP 1057
    Columbia FP 1057
  • Columbia ESDF 1111
    Columbia ESDF 1111
  • Jean-Pierre Sasson
    Jean-Pierre Sasson

Jean-Pierre Sasson

Portrait of an Unsung Jazz Guitarist (2-CD)

Fresh Sound Records

Jean-Pierre Sasson (g), Alex Caturegly, Harry Cooper, Raymond Cicurel, Bill Coleman, Roger Guérin (tp), Christian Kellens (tb), Hubert Rostaing, Maurice Meunier (cl), Chico Christobal, George Kennedy (as), Cleo Plateaux, Frank 'Big Boy' Goodie, Guy Lafitte, Lucky Thompson (ts), Paul Goudeau, Michel de Villers (bs), Bernard Peiffer, Eddie Barclay, Jack Diéval, Eddie Bernard, Charlie Lewis, André Persiany, Martial Solal, Jean-Paul Mengeon, Gérard Gustin (p), Michel Hausser (vib), Sacha Distel (g), Lucien Simoëns, Emmanuel Soudieux, Georges Hadjo, Guy de Fatto, Jean-Marie Ingrand, Guy Pedersen, Charlie Blareau, Paul Rovere, Benoit Quersin (b), Armand Molinetti, Ivan Levine, André Jourdan, Gaston Leonard, Benny Bennett, Gérard Pochonet, Bernard Planchenault, André Baptiste 'Mac-Kac' Reilles, Christian Garros (d), Jack Vermont, Louie Williams (vcl)

Reference: FSRCD1144

Bar code: 8427328611442

Jean-Pierre Sasson (1918-1999) was a magnificent yet often overlooked figure in the history of French jazz guitar. Despite his remarkable contributions during the golden era of French jazz in the 1950s, Sasson's legacy has sadly faded from memory.

In 1939, he took his first steps into the professional music scene, initially drawn to the strong personality of Django Reinhardt, but ultimately developing his style based on the schools of Teddy Bunn and Al Casey. Listening to them, Sasson learned to interpret the blues with an authentically black spirit.

Amid the upheavals of World War II, Sasson moved to London in 1940, where he continued to interact with the English jazz scene until he joined the R.A.F., serving as captain-pilot until the end of World War II. Upon returning to France in 1946, Sasson was captivated by Charlie Christian's electrically amplified guitar and his single-string solo technique, marking a crucial moment in Sasson's musical evolution. Later, in the early 1950s, Sasson did not evade the significant influence, both in terms of rhythm and harmony, that Jimmy Raney and Tal Farlow exerted on many French guitarists and modern jazz in general. Nevertheless, Sasson gradually distanced himself from these influences to forge his own versatile path.

As a jazzman, Sasson's significant quality lay in an attack that is both flexible and incisive, generating swing with great ease of execution. His delightful sound evolved somewhat over the years, parallel to his evolving style. His entire approach was dedicated to one objective: producing swing.

The guitarist with the most recorded jazz sessions in France, Jean-Pierre Sasson, is featured in this CD set, presenting tasteful standards and casual originals that offer a variety of tempos and moods. Listeners can trace the evolution of his playing across the different ensembles featured on these recordings. This collection provides an inspiring experience and serves as a deserved tribute dedicated to showcasing the musicianship of Jean-Pierre Sasson.

—Jordi Pujol


CD 1
01. Blues in the Night (Arlen-Mercer) 3:06
02. Mop Mop (Coleman Hawkins) 2:44
03. Hit that Jive, Jack (Alston-Tolbert) 2:43
04. Byas-A-Drink (Don Byas) 2:13
05. Red Boogie Woogie (Jack Dieval) 2:35
06. Good Time Blues (Traditional) 3:29
07. Old Time Blues (Traditional) 2:42
08. Just Another Blues (Lewis-Goudie) 3:22
09. Tea for Two (Youmans-Caesar) 2:51
10. Jumpin' at Pleyel (Bill Coleman) 2:37
11. Montana Jump (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 2:25
12. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Kern-Harbach) 2:46
13. Pas si “cool” que ça (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 2:14
14. Melancholy Baby (McHugh-Fields) 2:46
15. Blues avec Pepe (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 3:17
16. Minor Swing (Django Reinhardt) 2:59
17. Artillerie lourde (Django Reinhardt) 4:17
18. Crépuscule (Django Reinhardt) 3:43
19. Swing 42 (Django Reinhardt) 3:24
20. Swing from Paris (Django Reinhardt) 3:33
21. I Remember Django (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 4:27
22. Blues for Ike (Django Reinhardt) 5:40
23. Summertime (Gershwin-Heyward) 2:24
24. Portrait of Django (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 2:28
25. The High and the Mighty (Dimitry Tiomkin) 2:39
26. There's a Small Hotel (Rodgers-Hart) 2:25

CD 2
01. Once in A While (Green-Edwards) 2:27
02. Someone to Watch Over Me (G. & I. Gershwin) 2:05
03. Almost Like Being in Love (Loewe-Lerner) 2:51
04. Tenderly (Gross-Lawrence) 3:00
05. Fascinating Blues (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 3:29
06. “Sass” Is Groovy (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 2:18
07. Slightly Old Fashioned (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 3:06
08. Studio “B” (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 3:15
09. Blues in Yellow (Michel De Villers) 3:43
10. Pickin' in “E” Flat (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 2:07
11. Montana Jump (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 3:29
12. Slalom Geant (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 3:22
13. Interpellation (Unknown) 3:08
14. Véritablement vieux style (Unknown) 2:59
15. Artillerie lourde (Django Reinhardt) 2:42
16. Mon petit Meunier (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 3:50
17. You Are My Dream (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 5:08
18. Lucky Strikes (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 2:49
19. My Love Supreme (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 2:22
20. Two Guitar Blues (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 3:07
21. Joan (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 2:33
22. Goofy the Cat (Sacha Distel) 3:32
23. Winter Holiday (Jean-Pierre Sasson) 2:40

Album details

Sources CD 1:
Track #1, Blue Star BS Nº21 (78 rpm)
Tracks #2 & 3, Blue Star BS Nº36 & 35 (78 rpm)
Tracks #4 & 5, Blue Star BS Nº52 & 51 (78 rpm)
Tracks #6 & 7, Blue Star BS Nº58 (78 rpm)
Tracks #8 & 9, Swing 273 & 285 (78 rpm)
Track #10, Philips 72043 (78 rpm)
Tracks #11-15, EKO LV 1 (33 rpm 10” LP)
Tracks #16, 17 & 22, Ducretet-Thomson 46 V 067 (45 rpm 7” EP)
Tracks #18-21, Ducretet-Thomson 46 V 097 (45 rpm 7” EP)
Tracks #23-26, La Voix de son Maitre EMF 49 (45 rpm 7” EP)

Sources CD 2:
Tracks #1-4, La Voix de son Maitre EMF 61 (45 rpm 7” EP)
Tracks #5-12, Columbia FP 1057 (33 rpm 10” LP)
Tracks #13-16, "Piano Parade” radio broadcast
Tracks #17-19, Columbia ESDF 1105 (45 rpm 7” EP)
Tracks #20-23, Columbia ESDF 1111 (45 rpm 7” EP)

Note: On the cover and on the labels of the original Columbia album FP 1057,
the tune "Montana Jump" (#11) was incorrectly listed as "Montan Jam"

Personnel CD 1:

#1: Chico Christobal and His Boys
Alex Caturegly, trumpet; Hubert Rostaign, clarinet; Chico Christobal, alto sax; Cleo Plateaux, tenor sax; Paul Goudeau, baritone sax; Bernard Peiffer, piano; Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar; Lucien Simoëns, bass; Armand Molinetti, drums; Jack Vermont, vocal.
Paris, December 1, 1946

#2-3: Harry Cooper Quintet
Harry Cooper, trumpet; Eddie Barclay, piano; Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar; Emmanuel Soudieux, bass; Ivan Levine, drums; Louie Williams, vocal (#3).
Paris, May10, 1947

#4-5: Jack Diéval and his Quintet
Hubert Rostaing, clarinet; Jack Diéval, piano; Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar; Lucien Simoëns, bass; André Jourdan, drums.
Paris, September 23, 1947

#6-7: New Stars of Hot Club de France
Raymond Cicurel, trumpet; Maurice Meunier, clarinet; Eddie Bernard, piano; Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar; Georges Hadjo, bass; Gaston Leonard, drums.
Paris, October 10, 1947

#8-9: Jam Session
Raymond Circurel, trumpet; George Kennedy, alto sax; Frank “Big Boy” Goodie, tenor sax; Charlie Lewis, piano; Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar; Georges Hadjo, bass; Benny Bennett, drums.
Paris, December 16, 1947

#10: Bill Coleman Quartet
Bill Coleman, trumpet; Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar, Guy de Fatto, bass;
Gerard “Dave” Pochonet, drums.
Paris, November 9, 1951

#11-15: Jean-Pierre Sasson Quartette
André Persiany, piano; Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar; Jean-Marie Ingrand, bass;
Bernard Planchenault, drums.
Paris, October 1952

#16-22: Jean-Pierre Sasson and his Ensemble
Guy Lafitte, tenor sax; Martial Solal, piano; Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar;
Guy Pedersen, bass; André "MacKac" Reilles, drums.
Paris, December 7, 1954

#23-26: Jean-Pierre Sasson and his Orchestra
Jean-Pierre Sasson, lead guitar; accompanied by unknown personnel.
Paris, 1955

Personnel CD 2:

#1-4: Jean-Pierre Sasson and his Quartette
Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar & arranger; Michel Hausser, vibes; Jean-Paul Mengeon,
piano & arranger; Charlie Blareau, bass; Gérard Pochonet, drums.
Paris, April 6, 1955

#5-12: Jean-Pierre Sasson and his Orchestra
Roger Guérin, trumpet; Christian Kellens, trombone; Guy Lafitte, tenor sax; Michel de Villers, alto & baritone sax; Andre Persiany, piano & arranger; Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar; Guy Pedersen, bass; André Baptiste “Mac Kac” Reilles, drums.
Paris, May 27, 1955

#13-16: Jean-Pierre Sasson Quartette
Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar; Gerard Gustin, piano; Guy Pedersen (b);
André Baptiste “Mac Kac” Reilles, drums.
R.T.F. Studios, Paris, October 26 [#13-14], December 7 [#15], December 21 [#16], 1955

#17-19: Jean-Pierre Sasson Trio with Lucky Thompson
Lucky Thompson, tenor sax; Jean-Pierre Sasson, guitar; Paul Rovere, bass;
Gérard “Dave” Pochonet, drums.
Paris, March 27, 1956

#20-23: Jean-Pierre Sasson with Sacha Distel
Jean-Pierre Sasson, Sacha Distel, guitars: Benoit Quersin, bass; Christian Garros, drums.
Paris, April 10, 1956

This compilation produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
© 2024 by Fresh Sound Records

Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas, S.L.
Special thanks to Christian Dangleterre and Claude Henry

Press reviews

"Just when you thought that you’ve heard every jazz guitarist…

I can honestly say I have never even heard of French guitarist Jean-Pierre Sasson, but this 2 disc album makes me wonder what I was missing. He comes right out of the school of Charlie Christian-Tal Farlow-Jimmy Rainey, with clean and swinging line on this collection of him as both leader and sideman. These recordings range from 1946-1956, usually with Parisian stars like Hubert Rostaing/cl, Chico Christobal/as, Andre Persiany/p, Guy Lafitte/ts and Martial Solal/p, but also including American ex-Pats like Lucky Thompson/ts or Bill Coleman/tp.

The swinging is easy on the early sessions with Rostaing on “Blues In The Night” with Louie Williams imitating Slim Gaillard on “Hit That Jive, Jack”, and the team sounding Basie-ish on “Byas-A-Drink” and “Red Boogie Woogie”. Frank Goodie takes his Coleman Hawkins pills on “Just Another Blues” and Coleman glides with Sasson for ”Jumpin’ At Playel”. Most fun is a 1954 session when Sasson, Solal and Lafitte dominate a tribute to Django Reinhardt with some festive fun on “Minor Swing”, a sleek “Swing 42” and rich “Blues For Ike” putting a new beret on the Reinhardt catalogue.

With vibist Michel Hausser, Sasson goes Shearing on “Once In A While” and “Tenderly” with some California Cool coming up on his own “Studio 'B'” and “Montana Jump. Thompson and Sasson bop well on “Lucky Strikes” and a teaming up with fellow guitarist Sacha Distel results in some hip strings on “Two Guitar Blues” and “Winter Holiday”.

The accompanying 16 page booklet gives probably the best biography of the guitarist, and the session notes put everything in its proper perspective. A collection as sublime and tasty as Reblochon cheese."

—George W. Harris (March 4, 2024)


14,95 €  (tax incl.)

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