Sunday, September 11, 2016

John Lewis & Sacha Distel in Paris

It was in Paris that John Lewis co-led this 1956 date with Sacha Distel, a French guitarist who never became well-known in the U.S. but commanded a lot of respect in French jazz circles. The same can be said about the other French players employed on Afternoon in Paris — neither tenor saxophonist Barney Wilen nor bassist Pierre Michelot were huge names in the U.S., although both were well-known in European jazz circles. With Lewis on piano, Distel on guitar, Wilen on tenor, Michelot or Percy Heath on bass, and Kenny Clarke or Connie Kay on drums, the part-American, part-French group of improvisers provides an above-average bop album that ranges from "Willow Weep for Me," "All The Things You Are," and "I Cover the Waterfront" to Milt Jackson's "Bags' Groove" and Lewis' title song. The big-toned Wilen was only 19 when Afternoon in Paris was recorded, but as his lyrical yet hard-swinging solos demonstrate, he matured quickly as a saxman. It should be noted that all of the Americans on this album had been members of the Modern Jazz Quartet; the only MJQ member who isn't on board is vibist Jackson. Originally released by Atlantic, Afternoon in Paris was finally reissued on CD in 1999 after being out of print for many years.
Alex Henderson

Source :

John Lewis
Sacha Distel
Afternoon in Paris


1 I Cover the Waterfront (Green, Heyman)  6:51
2 Dear Old Stockholm (Traditional)  6:07
3 Afternoon in Paris (Lewis)  9:23
4 All the Things You Are (Hammerstein, Kern)  5:16
5 Bags Groove (Jackson)  6:12
6 Willow Weep for Me (Ronell)  9:31


John Lewis - p
Sacha Distel - g
Barney Willen - ts
Pierre Michelot or Percy Heath [# 4-6] - b
Connie Kay or Kenny Clarke [# 4-6] - dr

Recorded in Paris ; December 4 & 7, 1956.


Anonymous said...


jazzlover said...

I could not imagine Sacha Distel playing guitar,I know him like Bardot ex .Super !!! great post,thx for share Mel.

LaroSwing said...

Alors celui-là, je désespérais de le trouver un jour! Merci mille fois!

FrankDell said...

This is hot. As jazzlover said above almost 2 years ago, I too had not paid attention to Sacha Distel except as a cultural reference.Thank you for enlightening me. Monsieur Distel had real chops. Swings but swings modernly, tastefully. And Barney Wilen just kills on this record.

musician3 said...

AMAZING............................THANK YOU FOR ALL

deGallo said...

Great! Thank you.

Jan Vronský said...

Thank you! I dont know much of all this jazz, but i like it a lot.

jose luis ruiz said...

I can not see the password, can you tell me where is.
Thank you

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks Mel!

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

elpeleon said...

Muchas gracias Mel !

Melanchthon said...

Gaetano Bevilacqua said...


jazzandylan said...

Many thanks Mel - anything with Barney Wilen is worth hearing.

MrBill said...

Sounds great - had never heard of Distel before but knew of the other French and American musicians so I knew this was going to be good. Thanks!

Mikel Hal said...

Moltes GRacies

Kovina Kris said...

Thank you very much Mel!

Anonymous said...

Many Thank's for the job on this website