Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pierre Boussaguet: Charme (1998)

This French bassist has been playing all over the globe for around 15 years, appearing with Cedar Walton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Lalo Schifrin and Monty Alexander. His own Trio Europa features classically-trained pianist Herve Sellin and veteran US drummer Alvin Queen, each an equal member when it comes to bustling solo activity. The recently deceased tenor saxophonist Guy Lafitte contributes to three tracks, reciting a poem (in French, of course) on the title tune. Boussaguet and Lafitte previously collaborated on the Crossings album, also available through French Verve. His serrated horn adds an edge to the trio's extrovert bounce, providing a contrast to their otherwise bright and cheerful approach. Boussaguet likes to walk his bass, emphasising the opening statement of each solo with an emphatic thrum, humming along with his forceful lines, strings singing in organic harmony. Sellin has a flowery, flapping-cufflink style, matching Alvin's splashing drums in the flamboyance stakes, the closing "Mister Queen" showing off the drummer's finest skin-slapping and stick-rattling solo techniques. --Martin Longley
Pierre Boussaguet was born in 1962 in Albi, France. The accordion was Pierre’s first instrument, quickly over shadowed by the acoustic bass which he discovered during a concert by the Ray Bryant trio. Pierre’s first formal training was with the well-known classical bassist, Jean Cros. At the age of twenty, Pierre met Jimmy Woode at a concert given in Albi. Woode was none other than the bassist for Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn, and Ella Fitzgerald. Impressed by Pierre’s talent and love of music, Woode offered to help, and Pierre had the rare opportunity to study with one of the most important bassists in the history of jazz.
Next stop Paris! Pierre joined Gerard Badini’s big band in 1982, followed shortly after by his encounter with saxophonist Guy Lafitte, one of the most important French jazz musicians of the post war period. In 1984 Pierre took a gamble, to try and meet the formidable Ray Brown. What would have seemed if not outlandish, at least unlikely, actually happened. Brown took Pierre Boussaguet under his wing, and together they toured Europe with their duo, “Two Bass Hits”. The duo also made two recording together.
1. Les Trois Fee(E)S
2. Charme (Griff ‘N’ Guy)
3. Talma
4. Lisa
5. Sister Jones
6. Body and Soul
7. Greg’s Approach
8. Don’t Call Me Junior
9. Love Walked In
10. What’s Left
11. Le Chat BeBop Attendra
12. Mister Queen
Pierre Boussaguet (bass, elg sur 6),
Herve Sellin (piano),
Alvin Queen (drums),
Guy Lafitte (Tenor Saxophone)
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