Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bobby Jaspar - Clarinescapade

Belgian multi-instrumentalist Bobby Jaspar was hitting his stride in 1956, with great recognition in Europe and a budding reputation in the U.S. via his membership in the J.J. Johnson combo. This CD, a Fresh Sound compilation derived from French Columbia Records LP and EP releases, shows why he was a well-liked and respected cool-to-bop post-Lester Young-influenced tenor saxophonist. The seven tracks where he emphasizes tenor show him breaking away from his influences and exercising voicings of his own, quite similar at that time to peers Stan Getz and Zoot Sims. He ably extrapolates on melodies of the standards "How Deep Is the Ocean" and "I Remember You," and Johnson's hard bopper "Wee Dot," while circling the wagons around the line in an unusual rendition of "I Won't Dance." His fluidity and innate melodic sense are impeccable. The numbers on flute, "Tutti Flutti" and "In a Little Provincial Town," also demonstrate his abilities as a composer, the former bright and sunny with clean unison playing astride masterful Detroit pianist Tommy Flanagan, the latter a near third stream ballad with shining, shimmering modal voicings courtesy of Barry Galbraith. The opener is the title track, a nice bop romp on clarinet, the only tune where he plays the black woodwind, making the title of the CD misleading. Drummer Elvin Jones cements the Detroit connection on the first eight tracks in a more popping, heady, restrained (for him) rhythmic fashion, and it's a rare chance to hear the legendary Nabil Totah on bass in an extended setting. The first eight tracks were originally on LP, and the last four bop quintet numbers were on EP only. One always wonders if the Manny Albam counterpoint-infused composition "They Lock Alike" was/is misspelled. Shouldn't it be "They Look Alike?" At any rate, this is a first-class date from unsung jazz hero Jaspar, sonically a very well-recorded and remastered effort, and highly recommended.
Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

Source :

Bobby Jaspar
Quartet & Quintet


1 Clarinescapade (Jaspar)  3:10
2 How Deep Is the Ocean (Berlin)  4:21
3 What's New (Burke, Haggart)  3:45
4 Tutti Flutti (Jaspar)  2:46
5 I Remember You (Mercer, Schertzinger)  4:53
6 Spring Is Here (Hart, Rodgers)  3:37
7 Wee Dot (Johnson)  6:26
8 I Won't Dance (Berlin)  3:57
9 In a Little Provincial Town (Jaspar)  3:38
10 They Lock Alike (Albam)  5:32
11 Barry's Tune (Galbraith)  5:02
12 Minor Drop (Coppieters)  4:27


Bobby Jaspar - ts, fl & cl
Tommy Flanagan - p
Nabil Totah - b
Elvin Jones - dr
Recorded in New York City ; November 12 & 14, 1956
[# 9-12] BOBBY JASPAR IN PARIS [sic]
Bobby Jaspar - ts & fl
Eddie Costa - p
Barry Galbraith- g
Milt Hinton - b
Osie Johnson - dr
Recorded in New York City ; November 20, 1956


Bobby Jaspar was a young Belgian tenor saxophonist and flautist who arrived in New York in April 1956. His reputation in Europe was considerable, but he was practically unknown in the States. Nonetheless, when trombonist J.J. Johnson engaged Bobby for his newly formed quintet, he finally achieved the recognition he deserved. From that moment on, he enjoyed great success, winning Down Beat’s critics’ poll award in the New Star Tenor Sax category during the summer of 1956.These recordings were made on three dates during the fall of that same year. The music is varied in theme and mood, and Jaspar, as well as performing on tenor sax, clarinet and flute, displays a musical expression entirely his own, playing with a great deal of warmth and imagination. All the other jazzmen participating in these sessions offer him stimulating and intelligent support, with Tommy Flanagan’s usual imaginative strength and the impressive musical inventiveness and skills of Elvin Jones and Eddie Costa among the most valuable elements of the consistently cohesive playing evident here.

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Big Papi said...

Bobby Jaspar was one cool cat, thanks much.

Blue Eyes said...

Merci beaucoup Melanchthon for " BOBBY JASPAR IN PARIS" ! Bobby was a super cool cat for sure !

Grettings from Paris :)

Kndnsk said...

Thank you very much. Another grand post. Bobby Jaspar I love, but all the musicians here are favourites of mine.

Wallofsound said...

Really great band. Thnaks for sharing.

swingingduck said...

Thanks my Santa Claus for one more album that was on my list for many years.

Greetings from Oz.

neil said...

His Club St Germain disc of sax and flute's great, but also check out his 1957 recording with George Wallington and Idrees Sulieman...

yewsta said...

Thank you, Mel.

_Bato Ribot said...

In cre di ble! Great sessions, great musicians, great blog!
Thanks for all this music in FLAC format,

micky said...

Thank you so very much for this great post .wonderful music, great recording.all the best.P.S may I ask what the story is about your blog and singing up for twitter?

grumpy said...

Many thanks. I see Jaspar was in Paris in the same way Dizzy was in Greece!

Orbyt said...

Thank you very much for another Bobby Jaspar Mel! C'est fantastique!

Frank said...

Thanks for the introduction to Bobby Jaspar, who I somehow managed to miss during my first 40 years of jazz listening!

danair said...

Thanks for this one.

cba said...

I was very happy about this because i was missing the Paris items. Thank you for it.
I don't know the PW for it
melanchthon is not
Melanchthon is not
bloom is not
Bloom is not

please help (btw way a pw?)

Thank you! Also for the Mary Osborn album i loved it!

Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

Thank you.

AmyBRAINS said...

Many thanks, Melanchthon.

Greeny said...

Thanks for the FLAC files, Mel. Much appreciated!

ProfessorCalculus said...

thanks a lot

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks Mel!

Music Maven said...

I applaud you and Fresh Sound Records for mkaing out-of-print records like this one available to all jazz fans!