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This marvellous 1960 film, recorded by Jean-Christophe Averty (a prolific custodian of mid-20th Century jazz) at the ORTF Studios in Paris, documents the sheer musicianship and skill of several famous names. The performance is kicked-off by Alice McLeod, three years before she met her husband, the great John Coltrane, and she delivers dazzling piano work on "Woody'n You," a piece penned by Dizzy Gillespie. Bud Powell takes over later on, supported by legendary drummer Kenny Clarke, in one of several sessions he recorded under the auspices of Blue Note, Paris, demonstrating just how effortlessly he was able to unspool beguiling melodies of utmost complexity.
Later, the saxophonist Lucky Thompson injects a dose of swing into proceedings and the group shifts formation at several moments, offering the opportunity to see interplay, and perhaps some on-the-spot improvisation, between unlikely pairings. Noteworthy mentions also go to the singer Billie Poole, who wields a powerful, nuanced tone of voice and the guitarist Jimmy Gourley, who is the epitome of "cool" on the guitar.
Thursday, February 29, 2024