Gitanes Jazz Productions

Discussion in 'Jazz / Commercial' started by Tootsall, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    I was cruising the local music shop (HMV) looking for CDs for my kids' stockings this year. I came across a "discount" label called "Gitanes Jazz Productions". They are apparently produced by an outfit in France, "Universal Music S.A." and distributed (at least in Canada) by "Universal Music". The price was in around $8 each, Cdn. which isn't bad...although they do come in cardboard "jewel cases".

    They have a series titled "Jazz In Paris". All I can say is "WOW!" These trace the development of Jazz in Paris through the last 7 decades and each CD features a different instrument or player. Really fantastic liner notes too. I bought one for my younger daughter... "Saxophones A Sainte-Germaine des Pres". Incredible stuff. I got my son one of Dizzy Gillespie titled "Cognac Blues". The liner notes go like this... Quote- When the liner 'Liberty' set sail for France on march 11th 1952, Dizzy boarded the steamer alone. His big band was just a memory, and Charles Delaunay had booked him to appear as 'guest soloist" at the second Paris "Jazz Salon". Unlike its 1949 edition, the 'Salon' of '52 was an event that didnt leave much of a mark, even if 'Jazz At The Philharmonic' had come to Paris for the first time to take part in the proceedings with, among others, Ella Fitzgerald and Lester Young." Unquote

    Unbeknownst to me, my older daughter found the same rack and picked a couple up for me..."Stephane Grapelli Improvisations" (I happen to love what he does with jazz violin). Notes on this one...Quote-In 1939, when war was declared, the Quintette du Hot Club de France had been touring in England. "Django was in a panic, and he left all his bags in his hotel, even his guitar, to jump into a taxi and go straight home (...) Nothing in France was that urgent for me, I took my time packing, making some arrangements, and by the time I was ready to go, it was too late, the Channel was blocked." Unquote

    She also picked up one of "Louis Armstrong and Friends" Quote- For the only time in his career, Satchmo was recording outside the United States: it was 1934, and he'd moved to Paris with his wife Alpha: "When I left London that summer and went to Paris I needed a rest. My bookings were finished in England so I just lazied around Paris for three or four months, had lots of fun with musicians from the States - French cats too. And I'd do a concert now and then." Louis took care not to mention his recording session, thereby avoiding trouble with the record label who had him under an exclusive contract. - Unquote. The sound quality on this one is what you might expect from something recorded in 1934! But there is no mistaking Pops' lines with his horn.

    These CD's have all been digitally remastered in Paris and are a really remarkable collection. Five Stars. I know I'm on the hunt for more of them!

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