Maurice Vander / Kenny Clarke / Pierre Michelot – Jazz At The Blue Note
After opening in June 1958, the “Blue Note” became the most cosmopolitan jazz club in all of Paris. Located on 27 rue d’Artois, in the 8th arrondissement, fans were usually crammed on the leather benches that dotted its large central hall, and if they couldn’t find a spot, there was always the bar. The acoustics of the room were excellent, and the house band included some of the best French jazzmen led by guitarist Jimmy Gourley. They, in turn, accompanied many of the top American soloists who visited the “Blue Note” during the splendor years of the club (1958-1965). The long list of names includes Sarah Vaughan, Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, Sonny Stitt, Ray Nance, Lester Young, Alice McCloud, Lucky Thompson, Johnny Griffin and Booker Ervin.
The “Blue Note” was also the club where the legendary bebop pianist Bud Powell established the base of operations for his trio, with Pierre Michelot on bass, and Kenny Clarke on drums. Their stay had really successful moments, and ran from 1959 until 1962, with daily performances where they alternated with the featured American guest of the week. In November 1960, Maurice Vander—one of the most prominent jazz pianists in Europe at the time—joined forces with the talents of Michelot and Clarke. The trio was warmly acclaimed by the audience at the “Blue Note”, and that good response led to the recording of these excellent live performances. There is no doubt that Vander, Michelot and Clarke were truly “three of a kind”.
1. Take the "A" Train - 4:50 2. Willow Weep for Me - 5:45 3. Walkin' - 7:25 4. Autumn Leaves - 5:25 5. I'll Remember April - 6:26 6. The Nearness of You - 4:30 7. Django - 5:47 8. Blue Lester - 3:56
Maurice Vander (piano) , Pierre Michelot (bass) , Kenny Clarke (drums).
Recorded live at the “Blue Note”, Paris, November 1960
1. www.jazzweekly.com - George W. Harris - March 22, 2018
"In this present era of atonal naval gazing at the ivories, this reissue by Fresh Sound Records remind us of a time and style when the swing pulse was inherent in every tune, be it upbeat or relaxed and casual.
Almost unheard of in the states, French pianist Maurice Vander was a major voice in the 1950s-60s European jazz scene. Here, at the famed Blue Note Club in Paris, he’s able to show his wares with the proto-boppers Pierre Michelot/b and Kenny Clarke/dr, fresh off of a gig with Bud Powell. Vander is a double fisted delight, asserting himself with swinging takes of “Take the ‘A’ Train” and giving a nice gospel groove to “Walkin’”. The band gets into a bluesy mood with an ethereal “Django” and reflects like a full moon on “Willow Weep For Me.” A nod to Powell is tipped on “I’ll Remember April” before the team closes out with a sepia toned “Blue Lester.” Sort of like a Gaul’d Gene Harris. Where’d this guy hide?"
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