The Cool Guitar of Jimmy Gourley · Quartet & Trio Sessions 1953-1961
  • Vogue LD.178
    Vogue LD.178
  • Club Française du Disque 33
    Club Française du Disque 33
  • Muza ‎– XL 0127
    Muza ‎– XL 0127
  • Jimmy Gourley
    Jimmy Gourley

Jimmy Gourley

The Cool Guitar of Jimmy Gourley · Quartet & Trio Sessions 1953-1961

Fresh Sound Records

Jimmy Gourley (g), Henri Renaud, Bob Dorough, Krysztof Komeda (p), Pierre Michelot, Buddy Banks, Jean-Marie Ingrand, Adam Skorupka (b), Jean-Louis Viale, Roy Haynes, Daniel Humair, Adam Jedrzejowski (d)

Reference: FSRCD1101

Bar code: 8427328611015

Many American musicians visited France after la Liberation, some famous, some not so famous. But, curiously, the guitar as an instrument was always poorly represented, with John Collins’ brief stay in May 1948 as the only noteworthy example. Jimmy Gourley became the first prominent guitarist to visit the country in the early 1950s, a time when Django Reinhardt was still the benchmark for jazz guitar in Europe. His arrival in April 1951 was significant because with him, the guitarist brought to Paris the modern cool style that Jimmy Raney had been developing in the States, a new school directly inspired by Charlie Christian and Lester Young. With his guitar, Gourley introduced the Parisian scene to the relaxed, vibrato-less tone and subdued harmonies that modern cool jazz musicians favored. There is little doubt that had Jimmy remained in the United States, he would have become one of the finest jazz guitarists in America.

—Jordi Pujol

01. You're a Lucky Guy (Chaplin-Cahn) 3:40
02. You Stepped Out of a Dream (Brown-Kahn) 3:31
03. It's De-Lovely (Cole Porter) 2:49
04. Not Really the Blues (Johnny Mandel) 2:05
05. My Heart Belongs to Daddy (Cole Porter) 4:00
06. Changing My Tune (G. & I. Gershwin) 3:54
07. I Love You (Cole Porter) 2:59
08. Who Cares? (G. & I. Gershwin) 2:47
09. Almost Like Being In Love (Loewe-Lerner) 3:17
10. Bag's Groove (Milt Jackson) 3:45
11. Buddy Banks Blues (Buddy Banks) 3:25
12. Love You (Cole Porter) 5:56
13. Line for Lyons (Gerry Mulligan) 3:44
14. A Night in Tunisia (Gillespie-Paparelli) 4:25
15. Yesterdays (Jerome Kern) 3:28
16. You Go to My Head (Coots-Gillespie) 4:27
17. How Long Has This Been Going On? (G. & I. Gershwin) 3:03
18. Clarisse Blues (Jimmy Gourley) 2:36
19. For Heaven's Sake (Bretton-Meyer-Edwards) 5:05
20. Three Little Words (Ruby-Kalmar) 5:30

Album details

Tracks #1-8, from the 10-inch LP "Henri Renaud et son Trio" (Vogue LD.178)
Tracks #9-16, from the 10-inch LP "Buddy Banks ‎–Jazz de Chambre"
(Club Française du Disque 33)
Tracks #17-18, from TV Broadcast
Tracks #19-20, taken from the collective album "Jazz Jamboree 61, Vol. 1"
(Polskie Nagrania Muza ‎XL 0127)

Personnel on #1-8:
H. Renaud, piano; Jimmy Gourley, guitar; Pierre Michelot, bass; Jean-Louis Viale, drums.
Recorded at Studio Jouvenet, Paris, October 5, 1953

Personnel on #9-16:
BUDDY BANKS Trio & Quartet featuring JIMMY GOURLEY
Jimmy Gourley, guitar; Bob Dorough, piano; Buddy Banks, bass; Roy Haynes, drums (added on #10,12,14,16).
Recorded at the Geneix Studio, Paris, October 28, 1954

Personnel on #17-18:
Jimmy Gourley, guitar; Henri Renaud, piano; Jean-Marie Ingrand, bass; Daniel Humair, drums; (MC Sim Copans).
Recorded at TV Broadcast “Modern Jazz at the Blue Note,” Paris, January 1961

Personnel on #19-20:
Jimmy Gourley, guitar; Krysztof Komeda, piano; Adam Skorupka, bass; Adam Jedrzejowski, drums.
Recorded live at the Philharmonic Concert Hall, Warsaw, Poland, October 30, 1961

Original Vogue and Club Français du Disque sessions, supervised and produced by Charles Delaunay and Frank Tenot
This CD compilation produced and annotated by Jordi Pujol

Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.

Press reviews

"The music on The Cool Guitar of Jimmy Gourley dates from 1953-1961. That was an important period in European jazz history. It was the time when 'cool jazz' got a foothold here. The American Jimmy Gourley played a role that should not be underestimated as far as the guitar is concerned. In April 1951 he settled in France and brought with him the modern guitar style that Jimmy Raney had developed in the United States.

This new style was heavily inspired by the work of Charlie Christian and Lester Young. Gourley introduced the Parisian jazz scene to the laid-back, vibrato-free tone and understated harmonies that cool jazz musicians loved so much. His guitar produced long, flowing single-string lines with a strong drive, all in the Raney style. It was a different approach than one was used to from guitarists here. In Europe the influence of Django Reinhardt was still very dominant. That was now slowly changing.

In Paris, Gourley worked closely with pianist Henri Renaud, a key figure in the development of modern jazz in France.

The first eight tracks on this CD were recorded for Vogue in October 1953. Here you can hear how Henry Renaud and His Trio tried to connect with the new American music. It's fine material and so is the rest of this CD, which includes work by the Buddy Banks Trio/Quartet (1954) and the Jimmy Gourley Quartet (1961). They were all groups with piano, bass and drums in which Gourley's guitar played a leading role. All praise to Fresh Sound Records for making all that beauty easily accessible again.

It is worth being heard not only from a historical but also from a musical point of view. Jimmy Gourley was a very gifted guitarist.

Unfortunately, he never gained the same name recognition as his great American contemporaries."

—Eddy Determeyer (October, 2021)
Doctor jazz Magazine

"Just when you think you’ve heard every swinging guitarist… Fresh Sound Records has uncovered yet another lost jazz artist that deserves modern appreciation. This time around it’s guitarist Jimmy Gourley, who was born in the Midwest but made his name in France (for reasons laid out in the albums insightful liner notes booklet). This disc features him in various European settings from mostly the early 50s and a bit of 1961, with lots of classy soloing in the vein of Herb Ellis and Johnny Smith.

The first session from Paris is a 1953 outing with the famed pianist Henri Renaud, bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Jean-Louis Viale, with the latter hips and swinging for the guitarist on “I Love You” and “Changing My Tune”. His bop lines are rich during “It’s De-Lovely” and he digs in with Viale for the grooving “Not Really The Blues”. In October of that year, he’s with Bob Dorough/p, Buddy Banks/b and the indefatigable Roy Haynes/dr for a cool “Buddy Bankds Blues” and a nimble “Almost Like Being In Love” as Haynes’ brushes are in deft support for Gourley’s thrilling solo on “A Night In Tunisia”. In 1961, Gourley does a TV broadcast and produces a relaxed “How Long Has This Been Going On” and joins with a local Warsaw rhythm team for a Polish gig for a swinging “Three Little Words”. As tasty as a morning baguette!"

—George W. Harris (July 26, 2021)


10,95 €  (tax incl.)

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