Although Belgian in origin, tenorist Bobby Jaspar was a key part of the French jazz scene of the postwar years – and his playing on records like these also made him one of the standout jazz talents in Europe in the 50s! This package brings together three rare albums from Japar, plus an even more obscure 7" EP – all in a really wonderful box! First up is Jazz At St Germain – cut for Barclay
Records in 1955, and featuring a quintet with Rene Utreger on piano and Sacha Distel on guitar. Distel is especially wonderful, and even though he later went on to become a teen heartthrob pop singer in France, he's an excellent guitarist with an edgey string-heavy tone that really makes the recording stand out from some of Jaspar's other sides. That, and the fact that Jaspar's playing tenor on all tracks but one (he often plays mostly flute on some albums), makes the record one of his best from the time – and titles include "Minor Drops", "Bag's Groove", "Memory Of Dick", "Night In Tunisia", and "I'll Remember April". The Columbia album is rare American work from reedman Bobby Jaspar – a player best known for his contributions to French jazz in the postwar years, but working here with a set of American players! The album was recorded in New York for French branch of Columbia Records – done in November of 1956, and pitting Jaspar with some very well-matched musicians! The date features Jaspar on tenor, flute, and clarinet – with a tightly swinging trio that includes Tommy Flanagan on piano, Knobby Totah on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums – a slightly modern combo whose work sounds especially great when Jaspar hits some hauntingly lyrical notes on flute. Titles include "Clarinescapade", "Tutti Flutti", "What's New", "Spring Is Here", "Wee Dot", and "I Won't Dance". The set also features the rare self-titled Bobby Jaspar album on Barclay
– a rare late 50s album that features some of his best work of the decade on flute! The session's got Bobby playing with great backings on vibes by Fats Sadi and Michel Hausser – plus stellar drum work by Kenny Clarke, who's working the kit in really magical ways, augmented by some additional percussion by Umberto Canto. And sure, Jaspar's made some sleepy records in this format, but this set's not one of them – and bounces nicely with good energy and a really unique sound. Titles include "Le JAMF", "Speak Low", "Doxology", "Jeux De Quartes", "Chasing The Bird", and "Misterioso". Last up is a beautiful 7" EP also recorded for Columbia – featuring Eddie Costa on piano and Barry Galbraith on guitar – on "Barry's Tune" and "Minor Drop".
(A fantastic copy – with booklet, 7" single, and all replica inner sleeves in great shape!)