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Wire Playlist: Once Upon A Time In Paris...

May 2018

Wire contributor Pierre Crépon compiles tracks to accompany his article about Gérard Terronès's Futura Records and the French jazz scene during the 1960s, 70s and 80s

“This selection offers glimpses of a tiny fraction of the music the modern jazz enthusiast could have heard pushing the door of the clubs operated by Gérard and Odile Terronès in Paris a few decades ago,” says Pierre Crépon. “Echoes of the goings-on at The Gill's Club (tracks 1–5), below ground in the Marais, as the 1960s were turning into the 70s: a Mal Waldron composition dedicated to the club, a Barre Phillips recording on location which would launch Futura Records, and more deep piano music, from François Tusques. The featured Tusques composition was recorded solo at his home in 1970 for Futura, released on Piano Dazibao, one of the very first solo piano free jazz LPs.

“During the late 1970s, inside a sports and leisure complex in what is today Paris's Chinatown, at a bar named The Totem (6–10), the jazz afficionado could have heard Bobby Few, listened to Frank Wright playing the blues, wandered about dancing to Willem Breuker's Kollektief or pondered about the uniqueness of Raymond Boni and Gérard Marais's guitar duet, recorded there for Marge Records, the label Terronès had created in 1975.

“A few years and a new regime later, in 1981–82, taking the RER to La Défense to visit Jazz Unité (11–15) would have led to Sam Rivers's groove-based quartet, Abbey Lincoln singing with Archie Shepp, or to, yet again, Mal Waldron and François Tusques. Some musics are seemingly inexhaustible. Waldron duets with South African bassist Johnny Dyani at Jazz Unité, Tusques's Intercommunal Free Dance Music Orchestra plays Mingus's classic “Fables Of Faubus”, a recording issued in tribute to Guinean saxophonist Jo Maka, whose memory was also honoured at the club. Because the life of a club is also made of many one-off events – and because good music is good music – this selection concludes with a coda, a version of Little Willie John's "Fever" by Lee Rozie's Afro Algonquin, recorded a year before the band's appearance at Jazz Unité.”

Read Crépon's six page feature in The Wire 412. Subscribers can access the full article via the online archive.

Full tracklist

Mal Waldron Trio
“Down At The Gill's”
From Blood And Guts
(Futura)

Siegfried Kessler/Barre Phillips/Steve McCall
“Journal Violone”
From Live At The Gill's Club
(Futura)

Michel Roques Trio
“Le Coup De L'Étrier”
From Safari
(Homère)

François Tusques
“La Bourgeoisie Périra Noyée Dans Les Eaux Glacées Du Calcul Égoïste
From Piano Dazibao
(Futura)

Steve Lacy
“Bone”
From Wordless
(Futura)

Bobby Few
“March Of The Barbarians”
From Few Coming Thru
(Sun)

Willem Breuker Kollektief
“Parabasis”
From À Paris/Summer Music
(Marge)

Frank Wright/Georges Arvanitas
“Up Against The Wall”
From Shouting The Blues
(Sun)

Raymond Boni/Gérard Marais Duo
“Le Rêveur Au Fil D'Or”
From Concert Au Totem
(Marge)

Marion Brown
“Angel Eyes”
From Solo Saxophone
(Sweet Earth)

Abbey Lincoln
“Throw It Away”
From Painted Lady
(Blue Marge)

Sam Rivers Quartet
“Eddy”
From Crosscurrent
(Jazz Unité)

Johnny Dyani/Mal Waldron Duo
“Safari”
From Some Jive Ass Boer
(Jazz Unité)

Intercommunal Free Dance Music Orchestra
“Fables Of Faubus”
From Vol 4
(Vendémiaire)

Afro Algonquin
“Fever”
From Afro Algonquin
(Moers)

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