Bobby Jaspar: Club St. Germain


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Bobby Jaspar
\For me, the only tenor saxophonist who rivals Stan Getz in tone, improvisation and phrasing is Bobby Jaspar. The Belgian saxophonist and flutist had a singular cool approach and, like Getz, loved the high register of his instrument. In 1955, on December 27 and 29, Jaspar and his All Stars were recorded at Club St. Germain, a basement venue in Paris at 13 rue Saint-Benoît on the Left Bank.

Jaspar (ts,fl) was backed by Rene Urtreger (p) Sacha Distel (g) Benoit Quersin (b) and Jean-Louis Viale (d). The songs were Memory of Dick (in tribute to pianist Dick Twardzik, who died two months earlier), Milestones, Minor Drops, Bags' Groove, I'll Remember April, You Stepped Out of a Dream, I Can't Get Started and A Night in Tunisia.

It's a joy to hear Distel here. Of course, he'd go on to become one of France's most famous and charming singers and TV variety-show hosts. Rene Urtreger also is wonderful. Jaspar is exceptional on his instruments, but it's his taste that that stands out. Like Getz, he could swing effortlessly and re-invent melodies on the fly. There's also a similar breezy quality about both musicians.

Interestingly, Jaspar and Getz never recorded together. Bobby Jaspar died in 1963; Stan Getz died in 1991.

JazzWax clips: Here's Memory of Dick...

Here's You Stepped Out of a Dream...

And here's I'll Remember April. Wow, beautiful tone on flute...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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