Friday, March 17, 2017

Henri Renaud - Legendary Saturne recordings

Though France was a haven for beboppers like Kenny Clarke and later provided a home for free jazzers like Sunny Murray, Anthony Braxton and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, the French contribution to the jazz oeuvre has been either neglected or negligible (the Hot Club aside), depending on your viewpoint. Though this re-issue of pianist Henri Renaud's sides for the Saturne label (nothing to do with Sun Ra, by the way) is unlikely to rewrite the history books, it's a strong reminder that though jazz was the sound of Black America, there was much valuable music being made in Europe.Recorded in 1951 for five rare as hen's teeth picture discs, this group (here in various trio, quartet and sextet formations) did feature two visiting Chicagoans, guitarist Jimmy Gourley and tenorist Sandy Mosse and was originally put together for a festival date. On a mixture of standards and originals, the sundry lineups display a relaxed, propulsive swing (mainly down to the legendary bassist Pierre Michelot) which provides springboards for some fine solos. Mosse is very much from the Lester Young school ; his blurred tone and urbane, eloquent solos are enjoyable enough, but the star here is Belgian tenorist Bobby Jaspar. Recorded before his move to the US a few years later (where he played with the likes of Chet Baker, Miles Davis and Kenny Burrell before dying tragically at the age of 37), Jaspar shares Mosse's admiration for Young, but filtered through the airy harmonic interrogations favoured by Warne Marsh. His playing is a model of poise and taste, with a luscious upper register tone that hits the spot.Renaud swings hard (easy to see why he was popular with visiting American jazzers in search of a rhythm section), while Gourley's Charlie Christian inspired solos are enjoyably fluid. The band were obviously enjoying themselves ; Mosse and Jaspar's brief exchanges are delightful, and on "Lady Be Bad" quotes from "Dixie" are tossed all over the place with glee by Gourley and Renaud. The original 1951 picture discs were appalingly bad quality, though engineer Tony Baldwin has done a fantastic digital restoration job in rendering this valuable, unpretentious session listenable; half an hour of Gallic bop at its finest.
Peter Marsh

Source :

Henri Renaud
The Complete Legendary
Saturne recordings


1 Milestone n° 2 (Davis)  2:59
2 Godchild (Wallington)  2:55
3 Tenderly (Lawrence, Gross)  2:51
4 So What Could Be New ? (Kahn)  2:59
5 Blue Moon (Rodgers, Hart)  3:07
6 If I Had You (Shapiro, Campbell, Connely)  2:20
7 Any Old Time (Levingston, Melsher, Wolf)  2:56
8 A New Date (Gourley)  3:08
9 Lady Be Bad (Kahn)  3:02
10 Too Marvelous For Words (Mercer, Whiting)  2:43


Henri Renaud - p
Bobby Jaspar & Sandy Mosse - ts
Jimmy Gourley - g
Pierre Michelot - b
Pierre Lemarchand - dr

Recorded in Paris ; June 1951.


Blue Eyes said...

Very cool session especially with J.Gourley !...MERCI beaucoup Melanchthon for this post!

Ric said...

Magnifique, Mel !!!!!

I had listened, partially, several years ago abt this gem. Who is Sany Mosse ? Never heard before, not so bad at all. A French tenor ?

Many many thanks

Orbyt said...

Merci Beaucoup! I love everything I've heard from Renaud, Michelot and Jaspar. Great post!

Blue Eyes said...

@Ric: About Sany Mosse, take a look here:

and here:

chuchuni said...

Bon... je sais que me répete, mais franchement, j'en reste béat d'admiration. Ou ailleurs aurais-je pu touver ce genre de trésor ? Merci encore ! Des que je peux, je le choppe !

d3lta said...

very tasteful, many thanks!

Frank said...

I heard several shows with Jimmy Gourley in Paris in 1975 that still stick with me... thanks!

Pernath said...

Thanks Mel!

deGallo said...

Thank you. A very great album.

reindeer man said...

Digging the Renaud and the Jazz in Paris posts. Thank you.

stringbender said...

Amazing post - Merci!!

Melanchthon said...

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks again Mel!

jm said...

You lure me even into these previously quite unknown waters. Many thanks, once again.

AmyBRAINS said...

Many thanks, Melanchthon.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You