From the Record Shelves #248

Out of Nowhere


Some time ago, I felt the tide of history when we went for a walk with our friend Phillippe Baudoin, a professor of jazz, in his neighborhood, which is Pigalle in Paris. He showed us some places in this illustrious pleasure district, which at another time was also a hot spot for jazz music. Among other things, there was a building that once hosted a restaurant and an all-night-long jam session with French and American musicians of the highest order, who earlier that day had made a studio session that resulted in some recordings considered classics.

The one that I’ve chosen today is one of them. Hughes Panassié, who was the director of the session, had earlier in a review called multiinstrumentalist Benny Carter’s trumpet playing “deplorable.” But now hearing his majestic, muted opening chorus on that instrument, he had nothing but praise for him.

The following tenor sax solo is also a masterpiece signed by Coleman Hawkins.

The rhythm section is a safe, supporting one, including Django Reinhardt on guitar and Tommy Benford on drums. This relaxed and inspired music making happened in April 1937.