Roger Guérin – Le Formidable Roger Guérin – Paris Meetings


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At the end of the 1940s, young French jazz musicians started flocking towards the two styles of modern jazz—bebop and cool. Paris was the capital of European jazz, and the talent of the local musicians playing in Parisian clubs was often comparable to that of their American colleagues. In that league, we found mostly French and some Belgian names, such as Bobby Jaspar, Martial Solal, Pierre Michelot, Maurice Vander, Jean-Louis Viale, Benoit Quersin, René Thomas, Barney Wilen, René Urtreger, and several others. 
This album is dedicated to one of them in particular: trumpeter Roger Guérin (1926-2010). Despite having very few recordings under his name and spending most of his career as a sideman, Guérin was never underappreciated by jazz fans and critics: after all, he was chosen as the best French jazz trumpeter ten years in a row (1955-65) by the “Jazz-Hot” readers’ and critics’ poll. In these sessions we find him alongside great American jazzmen like James Moody, Jimmy Raney, Benny Golson and Bobby Timmons, but also in the company of his French comrades, giving his best in every performance.
He was involved in many of the projects that pushed the evolution of modern jazz in France. An arranger of the stature of Billy Byers, who worked in Paris for a while in 1956, described him like this: “There are some very good musicians in France: Roger Guérin is a great jazzman.”

Track Listing:
1. Deep Purple - 2:57   2. Bootsie - 3:45   3. More Than You Know - 3:14   4. Too Marvelous for Words - 4:45   5. Night and Day - 4:22   6. Dinah - 4:01   7. What's New - 4:18   8. Night in Tunisia - 3:10   9. Sweet Feeling - 2:16   10. Ça Tourne - 5:24   11. Buggy and Soul - 3:51   12. Vline - 2:44   13. Chet - 3:04   14. Mythe - 3:08   15. Blues March - 4:04   16. I Remember Clifford - 3:02   17. Stablemates - 8:07   18. Moanin’ - 6:06   19. Not Serious - 5:37

Tracks #1-3, originally issued as part of the 10” LP “James Moody Quintet” (Vogue LD 036)
Tracks #4 & 5, originally issued as part of the 10” LP “Jimmy Raney Visits Paris, Vol. 2” (Vogue LD 197)
Tracks #6 & 7, originally issued as part of the 10” LP “Jimmy Raney Visits Paris, Vol. 1” (Vogue LD 194)
Tracks #4-7, also issued as part of the 12” LP “Jimmy Raney Visits Paris” (Dawn DLP-1120)
Tracks #8-10, originally issued on the 7” EP “Roger Guérin Quartet” (Versailles 90 S 128)
Tracks #11-14, originally issued on the 7” EP “Christian Chevallier Jazz Quartet” (Columbia ESDF 1139)
Tracks #15-19, originally issued on the 12” LP “Roger Guérin-Benny Golson with Bobby Timmons” (Columbia FP 1117)


James Moody Quintet [#1-3]
Roger Guérin, trumpet; James Moody, alto sax; Raymond Fol, piano; Pierre Michelot, bass; Pierre Lemarchand, drums. Recorded in Paris, July 27, 1951

Jimmy Raney Quintet [#4-7] 
Roger Guérin, trumpet; Jimmy Raney, guitar; Maurice Vander, piano; Jean-Marie Ingrand, bass; Jean-Louis Viale, drums. Recorded in Paris, February 10, 1954 

Roger Guérin Quartet [#8-10] 
Roger Guérin, trumpet; Martial Solal, piano; Pierre Michelot, bass; Christian Garros, drums; Dave Rivera, conga added on #8 & 10. Recorded in Paris, July 1956

Christian Chevallier Quartet [#11-14] 
Roger Guérin, trumpet; Christian Chevallier, piano; Pierre Michelot, bass; Christian Garros, drums. Recorded in Paris, November 13, 1956

Roger Guérin – Benny Golson Quintet [#15-18] 
Roger Guérin, trumpet; Benny Golson, tenor sax; Bobby Timmons, piano; Pierre Michelot, bass; Christian Garros, drums. Recorded in Paris, December 12, 1958

Roger Guérin Quintet [#19]
Roger Guérin, trumpet; Michel Hausser, vibes; Martial Solal, piano; Pierre Michelot, bass; Christian Garros, drums.
Recorded in Paris, December 18, 1958


1. Jazz Magazine - Franck Bergerot - Fevrier, 2018
"Alain Tercinet décédé, nous ne pouvions plus compter que sur Jordi Pujol pour nous livrer et commenter ces belles pages du jazz français écrites par le grand soliste Roger Guérin, ici évoquées entre 1951 et 1958 au fil de six séances. En 1951, au sein du quintette de James Moody (ici d'un alto parkérien introverti), Guérin est déjà la promesse de ce qu'il sera dès 1954 (auprès d'un Jimmy Raney au sommet de son art), le trompettiste interprétant les leçons laissées par Clifford Brown lors de son séjour parisien de 1953, avec une délicatesse de propos et de phrasétant sur l'up tempo que dans la ballade. 
En juillet 1956, à Raymond Fol et Maurice Vander entendus dans les séances précédentes succède Martial Solal pour la première séance sous son nom de Guérin (qui restera fidèle au pianiste, du Jazz Groupe de Paris au big band des années 1980). On retrouve le trompettiste la même année au sein du quartette de Christian Chevallier, en 1958 à la tête d'un Roger Guérin-Benny Golson Quintet (avec Bobby Timmons) et à la tête d'un quintette comprenant Solal et le vibraphoniste Michel Hausser. Sans atteindre le niveau atteint avec Raney, de bien belles faces tout de même en fort bonne compagnie d'un trompettise qui nous manque."

2. - George W. Harris - January 29, 2018
"Best known for his stint with Quincy Jones’ Big Band, Roger Guerin had a formidable career in Paris, being first call to sit in with the likes of Don Byas, Django Reinhardt and James Moody. This collection of sessions from the 50s has him co-leading a hard bop team with Benny Golson, leading his own quartet along with Christian Grros/dr, Pierre Michelot/b and Martial Solal/p and fitting in as a sideman for guitarist Jimmy Raney or saxist James Moody.
The sessions with Moody have the Parker disciple  bouncing to “Deep Purple” and swooning on “More Than You Know, and with Raney at the helm the team gets more lithe and open sounding with Guerin and Raney doing winders with “Too Marvelous For Words” and luminescent on “What’s New.” Golson’s band sounds a lot like an Art Blakey session with Bobby Timmons at the piano, and the quintet does material from the drummer’s songbook with muscular reads of “Blues March,” “I Remember Clifford” and a hot “Moanin'.” Guerin mixes the lyricism of Miles Davis with the gentleness of Chet Baker. You’re gonna like this cat!"