Appearing in the November edition of the Qantas in-flight Magazine, Ruby Boukabou has written a great piece on Aussie jazz musos in Paris. She interviews Chris Cody, Alex Stuart, Wendy Lee Taylor, David Lewis, Melissa Cox and myself. Some nice photos too.
Evan Christopher – clarinet
David Blenkhorn – guitar
Julien Brunetaud – piano
Sebastien Girardot – bass
Guillaume Nouaux – drums
When Evan Christopher came to Paris with his clarinet and formed a band to perform New Orleans music, it was natural to think of Sidney Bechet. “In Sidney’s Footsteps” was recorded at Mesa studios in early 2006, during Christopher’s artist-in-residence at the invitation of the city of Paris just months after the city of New Orleans was decimated by catastrophic flooding. He used the opportunity to form his “Jazz Traditions Project,” a band of the best France-based musicians deeply commited to New Orleans music, to perform in Paris clubs and European festivals.
The “Jazz Traditions Project” also recorded a live CD, “Introduction: Live at the Meridien” at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Club, and was active until 2008, when Christopher returned to New Orleans and focused his energies on touring internationally with his popular Django à la Créole. STR Digital agreed to release the studio material as the third volume of Christopher’s “Clarinet Road” series but had to wait until 2012 because of other CD releases.
“In Sidney’s Footsteps,” marks the return of the “Jazz Traditions Project” performing music that celebrates and aims to extend the legacy of New Orleans traditions. With Sèbastien Girardot (bass), David Blenkhorn (guitar), and Guillaume Nouaux (drums) the CD features spirited versions of Bechet gems, some carefully chosen standards and even a Boogie-Woogie composed for the session to feature guest pianist Julien Brunetaud who fills out the group whenever possible.
Another great year at JazzAscona. Lots of photos of good times, good music and good friends!
Wow – what a great tour. A month round Ireland and the UK. We recorded the last four gigs live so what this space for a third record from Django a la Creole…
Photos of the band by Paul Nicholas
Here are some pics of Django a la Creoles September tour (2012) of Japan. Great gigs in Kanazawa, Osaka and Yokohama. Enjoy!
More often what usually comes to mind when you think of a jazz duo, is a combination of voice with instrumental accompaniment. Although at the end of the tracks, within this delightful selection of various interpretations, an unpretentious vocal is rendered by guitarist David Blenkhorn. This collaboration between guitar and contra-bassist Sebastien Girardot delivers a fresh, captivating selection of songs that epitomize musical intimacy.
The disc opens with a fresh arrangement on an old spiritual and mainstay within the traditional jazz repertoire, Just A Closer Walk With Thee. Beginning with a rubato intro, guitar and arco bass, they dance into a jubilant stroll establishing a definitive tempo in 3⁄4 time. With bass switching to pizzicato, a bass line and strong groove is maintained throughout, allowing the guitar to embellish on the melody, expanding rhythmically and harmonically to a climax, with the theme being stated once again, exiting the way they entered and finally vamping out, a tempo, this time with the jaunty bass line being established by the guitar.
I could go on and on about how nice this recording turned out. But when music is great, there’s really no room for criticism. Simply a smile of joy is an appropriate riposte. Finally, I thought it was necessary to set the mood with a detailed description of the opening track, which in my opinion gives a clear expectation of what is yet to come. Besides, there should be some space left for words from someone else who enjoys this recording as much as I do. Well done, my gifted brothers!
Here are some great photos taken at the Quecumbar in London of the George Washingmachine Quartet
w/ Dave Blenkhorn and Dave Kelbie
Many thanks to Val Pye for the shots!