Bobby Jaspar – Early Years – from “Be-Bop” to “Cool” – 1947-1951
This CD includes the early steps of Bobby Jaspar as a jazz musician, when he started on clarinet and then tenor saxophone, as he formed the young award-winning Belgian band they called “Bob Shots” —the first in Europe to play “be-bop” back in 1947 under the guidance of Jaspar's influence, Don Byas. One year later he met Lucky Thompson onstage in an enriching experience, and he became his new inspiration. These two encounters helped Bobby grow musically in a way that would make him a success everywhere, a blend of styles that was a compromise between the turbulence of Thompson, Lester Young, Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, etc., and the rhapsodic style of Byas and Hawkins.
Already as a professional in Paris in 1950, he adopted the new “cool” sound, influenced at the beginning by Warne Marsh and then later by his new aesthetic referent Stan Getz. “A pure sonority, like that of Getz, is preferable to an abortive imitation of the black sound,” Jaspar said. Jazz-Hot’s Lucien Malson said of Jaspar that he was “one of the few tenors in Europe who could compare to any of the white American tenor saxophonists and come out on top.”
Although the sound quality of these recordings is generally acceptable, it has issues at times and we haven’t been able to clean the original source as well as we would have liked. That said, they are still an exceptional document that not only puts in value the unforgettable Bobby Jaspar, but also reminds us of the origins of the best jazz generation to emerge from Belgium.
1. Oop Bop Sh’ Bam - 2:29 2. Moonlight in Vermont - 2:52 3. Anthropology - 5:05 4. Thelonious - 1:32 5. Our Delight - 2:46 6. Embraceable You - 1:53 7. Wee-Dot - 2:35 8. I Can’t Get Started - 2:37 9. When I Grow Too Old to Dream - 2:34 10. Relaxin’ at Camarillo - 2:55 11. Jack the Hipster - 2:34 12. That’s My Desire - 2:43 13. Boppin’ at the Doge - 2:32 14. Embraceable You - 1:56 15. Boppin’ for Haig - 2:39 16. Pastel Blue - 2:50 17. Tenderly - 2:48 18. If I Had You - 2:16 19. Bobby’s Beep - 2:50 20. How About - 3:01 21. Don’t Be That Way - 3:17 22. I’ve Found a New Baby - 2:10 23. Ain’t Misbehavin - 3:06 24. Things Ain’t What They Used to Be - 3:00 25. Body and Soul - 3:38
Tracks #1 & 2: 78 rpm Olympia 5302
Track #3: Private tape
Tracks #4-10: Private paper tape
Tracks #11 & 12: 78 rpm Pacific 2323
Tracks #13 & 14: 78 rpm Pacific 2325
Tracks #15 & 16: 78 rpm Pacific 2326
Track #17: 78 rpm Saturne 3005
Track #18: 78 rpm Saturne 3006
Tracks #19 & 20: 78 rpm Vogue 5097
Tracks #21 & 22: 78 rpm Continental Acetate
Tracks #23 & 24: 78 rpm Liège Experimental Acetate
Track #25: Private paper tape
Tracks #1-2: The Bob Shots
Jean Bourguignon, trumpet; Bobby Jaspar, clarinet & tenor sax; Jacques Pelzer, alto sax; Jean-Marie Vandresse, piano; Pierre Robert, guitar; Charles Libon, bass; André Putsage, drums.
Recorded in Brussels, February 10, 1947
Track #3: Jean Leclère / Bob Shots Orchestra
Herman Sandy, trumpet; Bobby Jaspar, tenor sax; Jacques Pelzer, alto sax; Jean Leclère, piano; Sadi, vibes; Pierre Robert, guitar; Vic Geets, bass; Geo Steene, drums.
Recorded at the Festival de Jazz de Nice, February 1948
Tracks #4-10: The Bob Shots
Jean Bourguignon, trumpet; Bobby Jaspar, tenor sax; Jacques Pelzer, alto sax; Jean-Marie Vandresse, piano; Pierre Robert, guitar, vocals (#4); Georges Leclercq, bass; André Putsage, drums.
Recorded in Liège, July 1948
Tracks #11-16: The Bob Shots
Jean Bourguignon, trumpet; Bobby Jaspar, tenor sax; Jacques Pelzer, alto sax; Pierre Robert, guitar; Francy Boland, piano; Sadi, vibes, vocals (#12 & 14); Georges Leclercq, bass; John Ward, drums.
Recorded in Paris, May 16-17, 1949
Tracks #17-20: Bobby Jaspar Quartet
Bobby Jaspar, tenor sax; Henri Renaud, piano; Pierre Michelot, bass; Pierre Lemarchand, drums.
Recorded in Paris, May 5 and November 1951
Tracks #21-22: Orchestre Du Cosmopolite
Bobby Jaspar, clarinet; Vicky Thunus, piano (#21); Oscar Arvedson, guitar (#21); Paul Dubois, bass, piano (22); JeanPierre Ackermans, drums.
Recorded in Brussels, Hôtel Cosmopolite, January 1945 (Acetate Continental)
Tracks #23-24: The Bob Shots
Armand Bilak, trumpet; Bobby Jaspar, clarinet & tenor sax; Jacques Pelzer, alto sax; Sadi, piano & vocals (#23); Pierre Robert, guitar; Charles Libon, bass; André Putsage, drums.
Recorded in the Liège Expérimental Studio, Liège 1946
Track #25: Bobby Jaspar Quartet
Bobby Jaspar, tenor sax; René Thomas, guitar; Sadi, vibes; Georges Leclercq, bass.
Recorded in Liège 1948
1. Los Angeles Jazz Scene – 2019.06
"When one thinks of Bobby Jaspar, it is of a superior cool-toned tenor-saxophonist and flutist from Belgium who during 1956-63 spent much of his career playing and recording in the United States. He worked along the way with Miles Davis, Chet Baker and J.J. Johnson before his premature death from a weak heart.
However as this CD shows, Jaspar had already had an important career in Belgium and Europe before coming to the U.S. He started out during 1945-49 as a member of Belgium’s pioneering bop group the Bob Shots. Originally a swing unit in which Jaspar doubled on clarinet (there are four numbers from their earliest period including “I’ve Found A New Baby” and “Ain’t Misbehavin,’”), by 1947 with the underrated but excellent trumpeter Jean Bourguignon (who was strongly influenced by Dizzy Gillespie) and altoist Jacques Pelzer completing the front line of the septet, the Bob Shots were modern and impressive. They are heard performing such then-recent numbers as “Oop Bop Sh’Bam,” “Our Delight” and “Relaxin’ At Camarillo” along with their own boppish originals, both live and in the studios. Early Years also includes Jaspar’s first date as a leader, a quartet outing from 1951 on which his sound had evolved and matured.
With extensive and definitive liner notes by Fresh Sound’s founder and producer Jordi Pujol, Bobby Jaspar’s Early Years is a valuable addition to any jazz collector’s library, particularly those who love bebop."
2. www.jazzweekly.com - George W. Harris - 2019
"Before becoming one of the heavies on the 1950’s hard bop scene on flute and tenor, Bobby Jaspar spent some time in Paris with some of the forward thinking French artists like Henri Renaud/p, Pieree Michelot/b and René Thomas/g. These 25 songs find Jaspar in a variety of settings, mostly with the band named “The Bob Shots” in the early days of Bebop of the mid to late 40s.
With a Dizzy Gillespie-inspired trumpeters Herman Sandy and Jean Bourguignon, The Bob Shots bop hard on classics like “Oop Bop Sh’Bam,” “Anthropology” and a frantic “Our Delight.” While the audio fidelity is a bit lacking, the enthusiasm is not, with aggressive drumming on “Thelonious,” Bourguignon glowing on “I Can’t Get Started” and Bobby Jaspar slithering on “Relaxin’ At Camarillo.”
What is a gas is when Sadi comes to the mic for some vocals, sounding like Satchmo on a ribald “That’s My Desire,” going bel canto on “Pastel Blue” and getting some fun out of life on a high striding “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”
A 1951 quartet has Jaspar with Henri Renaud/p and Piere Michelot on a Lester Young-inspired “Tenderley” and “How About You” while his rarely played clarinet evokes Benny Goodman on a cool “Don’t Be That Way” and a two stepping “I’ve Found A New Baby.” A spacious “Body and Soul” with Sadi on vibes, René Thomas' guitar and Georges Leclercq playing bass features Jaspar blowing smoke rings with delight. A bopper’s delight."