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.