When Duke Ellington is in France, we can be sure Paul Gonsalves is not far away and for the simple reason the great saxophonist has virtually not left the Ellington orchestra for twenty years and he is one of its most distinctive talents. Ellington likes to remind people that “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue”, in which Gonsalves gave an epic performance, was the starting point of a new era for himself. Since then he presents his soloist willingly to the public as "the hero Newport " in memory of this crazy night. Yet Gonsalves is not a content, one who seeks not to achieve, but rather the hot flow of ideas can enable him to infinitely multiply improvisations!
Paul Gonsalves, whose parents were born in the islands of Cape Verde is proud of his origins both African and Latin. So he let us write his name on the occasion
Gonzalves or Goncalves. He also loves Paris where he meets each visit many friends from many different countries and so it is logical to choose Paris to record this disc, surrounded by a host of prestigious American musicians, mostly also part of the Ellington orchestra. This special meeting has allowed them to demonstrate how their personality is diverse as it is able to change according to the context. This quest for originality is found in the compositions of the eight titles to you hear, four are unpublished M”idnight Strole”, “Sugar Loaf”, “Blues for Marilee” and “Alerado”, the latter two having been composed at the same studio within the excellent mood maintained by other musicians who attended this friendly session.
Paul Gonsalves who was also a soloist in Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie orchestras is a musician with a very expressive means of expression; it is also emotional in slow pieces and traverses a lyrical approach leaving sensitivity all on edge, as fascinating on fast tempo when shoots into a troubled maze he passionately explores every corner. A great interpreter of ballads, he speaks with constant fertility of inspiration. In “I Cover The Waterfront”, he becomes a success as great as that of
“Darn That Dream” (Riviera 521 137), arranged for him by Francois Guin. “Love Moon” last year, turned into a bossa nova; evolving in a South American climate or romantic style without blandness is given free rein. The fiery side of his temperament is revealed with “Midnight Strole” and “Alerado”, characterized by aggressiveness that is heard rarely. Finally, “Walkin'”, with such full ambience, is a glowing demonstration of his angular style firstly by an ad lib remarkable introduction and by a mischievous quote from Dvorak.
Cat Anderson is most famous for the incredible virtuosity he displays in high notes and it was under this aspect that mainly appears in The Ellington band.
His talent is actually much more varied and this album puts emphasis on this versatility. Heard on bugle in “Sugar Loaf”ull Ó and “Alerardo” shows quirky fantasy and “Walkin” in which he takes an introspective solo, with unexpected modern contours. On trumpet, which he demonstrates through “Midnight Strole” he is an outstanding user of the wa-wa mute, combining a personal sound in an explosive sentence. “St. Louis Blues”, is a pilgrimage to the source of the blues and he seized the opportunity to launch a passing hello to Louis Armstrong before repeating the theme with a force of expression and rare sense of space that do not come from simply a high-note specialist.
Norris Turney, multi-instrumentalist and was recently released from the darkness of oscurity. He plays the flute and alto saxophone and has probably never been as well illustrated as in this record. This is little to say that with him a new leading flutist was born. His virtuosity is highlighted in “Alerado” and “Sugar Loaf” or dashing interventions are highlighted by a constant rhythmic sense. “Blues for Marilee”, dedicated to his wife, highlights the beautiful sound this admirer of Rampal who plays here with a delicacy not without melancholy. It is expressed by long sentences in “Midnight” while in “Strole” and “Walkin” he takes an imaginative solo in style close to that of the late Eric Dolphy.
Prince Woodyard is this organ that never leaves his master that he is the most faithful disciple. Few musicians in an orchestra show a taste as strong as his and light swing is hardly equal. His support encourages his companions give the best of themselves and punctuation in “Alerado”, to include a title, add an interpretation essential flavour. It is particularly honored in a “St. Louis Blues” and he supplies Cat Anderson an orchestral background of a powerful musicality and subtle at the same time.
Joe Benjamin who recorded in Paris with Dizzy Gillespie in the 50s is the bassist in which all the jazzmen revere, so his presence is synonymous with safety. His concern to effectively support other instrumentalists tends to overshadow a virtuosity that lies with “Walkin'” and the opportunity to express himself in a solo of high intensity. His beautiful and ample sound is noticeable everywhere.
Art Taylor, a leading man of the times of drummers playing in the bop form, with Joe Benjamin he plays with undisguised pleasure, the basis of a rhythm section without failure. As his sidekick, he essentially seeks provide other good company escort they cannot do without.
With his well-articulated style, a serene clarity emerges of incessant swing and his solo on “Walkin'” is exemplary in its design. This album is one of those off the beaten track, if only the originality of the juxtaposition of sounds as diverse as those of the bugle, flute, tenor saxophone and organ. The Conductor, whose career is yet rich with numerous recordings, thinks this is one of the best at which he was able to participate in. But to achieve this goal, had to come together to celebrate the freedom music they like six of the best jazz musicians currently playing, that is to say, Paul Gonsalves and his All-Stars.
Translated from the original French liner notes.
Paul Gonsalves - Tenor Saxophone
Norris Turney - Alto Saxophone
Cat Anderson - Trumpet
Prince Woodyard - Organ
Joe Benjamin - Bass
Art Taylor - Drums
1. I Cover the Waterfront (Heyman & Green)
2. St. Louis Blues (Handy)
3. Alerado (Davis)
4. Moon Love (Kostelanetz)
5. Midnight Strole (Anderson)
6. Blues for Marilee (Turney)
7. Sugar Loaf (Anderson)
8. Walkin' (Carpenter)
Recorded 6th July 1970, Paris, France
Riviera XCED 521 149