A lesser-known fusion set recorded for the Japanese Electric Bird label – but one that features great contributions from a host of American players – including Lew Soloff on trumpet, Jerry Dodgion on alto, and Peter Gordon on French horn – as well as Michel Camilo on piano! Calmilo did the arrangements with Gordon and Dodgion, and the overall vibe is more acoustic than usual efforts of this type from the label – especially given that there's a fair bit of extra percussion used alongside the drums, which brings in some occasional Latin touches. Titles include "Joe Cool", "Why Not", "Ion You", "BA Express", "Calentando Man", and "Butter".
French TV is a Louisville, Kentucky-based progressive band that has been in existence since 1983. Over the years, members have come and gone, but founder/ bassist/ main composer Mike Sary continues to drag the band into the next millennium. They have released 11 CDs to date. Musically, they are likened to progressive bands of the '70s like National Health, Zappa, Bruford, Brand X, among others.
Lionel Hampton is joined by a number of top French jazz musicians plus Nat Adderley and American expatriate Benny Bailey for this 1955 studio session, playing Christian Chevalier's charts. "All the Things You Are" features the vibraphonist with the rhythm section, with strong solo efforts by guitarist Sacha Distel and pianist René Urtreger, along with the leader. The low-key, lengthy treatment of "I Cover the Waterfront" almost suggests a Jazz at the Philharmonic session, showcasing nice features for trumpeter Bernard Hullin, tenor saxophonist Maurice Meunier, Urtreger, and Hampton.
This fun band comes from Louisville (Kentucky) and has existed since 1983. Led by the leadership of bassist Mike Sary, French TV has released albums of music for musicians, deftly nodding to prog-masters like National Health, Soft Machine, Zappa, Brudford, Brand X, Happy The Man, and Samla Mammas Manna, among others. To describe French TV's music is simple and complicated… All the band's other issues contain moving moments; a hybrid of Canterbury, RIO, Fusion, and Insanity, not to mention random little snippets of other styles…
Lionel Hampton joins forces with a number of top French musicians for this 1955 studio session, reissued in Verve's Jazz in Paris series. Three of the four compositions are Hampton's, swinging tunes arranged by Christian Chevalier. The first, "Voice of the North," is primarily for the leader's matchless vibes with the rhythm section, though individual soloists are featured, including fellow Americans Nat Adderley and Benny Bailey on trumpets and David Amram on French horn, as well as clarinetist Maurice Meunier and baritone saxophonist William Boucaya. It's just Hampton and the rhythm section (pianist René Urtreger, bassist Guy Pedersen, and drummer Jean-Baptiste Reilles) for the long workout of "À la French." The one standard of the date, "Crazy Rhythm," suffers from somewhat muddy sound, particularly the overly distant brass. Guitarist Sacha Distel, though admittedly intimidated by Hampton, rises to the leader's level of playing with a fine solo. Overall, this is an enjoyable if not quite essential CD by Lionel Hampton.
French TV is a Louisville, Kentucky based progressive rock band that has been in existence since 1983. Over the years, members have come and gone, but founder, bassist and main composer Mike Sary continues to drag the band into the next millennium. The band deftly nod to prog-masters like National Health, Soft Machine, Zappa, Brudford, Brand X, Happy the Man, and Samla Mammas Manna, among others. The history of French TV is complex, filled with lineup changes, missed opportunities, delays, and disillusions. And yet, a growing body of work testifies to one man's sagacity and stubbornness. Blending elements of progressive rock, fusion, cartoon music, and Rock in Opposition (RIO), the music of his group has been described as being "simultaneously hilarious and highly challenging, making it one of the most original American prog rock outfits."
…Now then: FIVE CDs of one male alto singing Baroque cantatas? If you suppose this would be too much of a good thing, you haven't yet grasped the expressive virtuosity of Gerard Lesne. The man sings every phrase with such engagement that you forget you're listening to a singer and imagine that you're hearing a passionate human 'speaking' musically just to you. There is also an immense range of compositional resources in baroque music - a bag of tricks, if you will - which only the finest performers like Lesne can fully exploit. And just in case you suffer from a short musical attention span, the generous producers oat Virgin Classics have built in a couple of instrumental sonatas to let your ears re-set…