Joe Turner / Kenny Clarke Quartet / Art Simmons Trio in Paris
Blue Note, Mars Club, 1962
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Kenny Clarke Quartet
Kenny Clarke — Drummer
Don Byas — Tenor/saxophonist
Lou Bennett — Organist
Michel Gaudry — Double bassist
Art Simmons Trio
Art Simmons — Pianist
Rediscover the warmth of parisian jazz clubs thanks to this exceptional film captured by Radio Télévision Suisse in 1962—a spellbinding musical journey featuring pianist Joe Turner, Kenny Clarke’s quartet alongside Don Byas on saxophone, and pianist Art Simmons with his trio.
American pianist Joe Turner (often mistaken for singer Big Joe Turner), was an outstanding musician who began his career in the Harlem clubs in the 1920’s. He most notably collaborated with Louis Armstrong, Benny Carter and Rex Stewart, and remains one of the great exporters of the ‘stride’ style.
Kenny Clarke is one of the pioneers of modern jazz drumming. His style, which frees itself from the restraints of rhythmic meter, became a great influence on musicians such as Art Blakey and Max Roach. Clarke began his career playing in the combos of Roy Eldridge, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. At the beginning of the 1940’s, during the famous sessions at Minton’s Playhouse, he helped bring be-bop to life together with Thelonious Monk, Charlie Christian, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.
The American saxophonist Don Byas is one of the most impressive musicians in the history of jazz. He started his career playing alongside Lionel Hampton and Buck Clayton, then latterly he became the saxophonist for the Count Basie orchestra in 1941, succeeding Lester Young. His musical style, a cross-over of swing and be-bop, influenced a great number of saxophonists including John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and even Benny Goldson.
The American pianist Art Simmons emigrated to Paris at the beginning of the 1950’s and began his career playing with Charlie Parker, Kenny Clarke, Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones. Highly sought-after by many parisian jazz clubs, he formed his own trio and toured all over Europe.