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Monday, May 8, 2017

Barney Wilen/Alain Goraguer - "Jazz & Cinema Vol. 1" CD, Remastered, France, 2000 (Gitanes Jazz Productions/Jazz in Paris)


It's no top secret that the Paris culture loves American Jazz.  Similar to American pop culture being in tuned to the British Invasion of the early 1960s.   Gitanes, the tobacco company that probably killed Serge Gainsbourg and many others, had the good taste to sponsor a series of classic French Jazz sessions, that are way out of print, yet, essential to the jazzier and French cultural maven.  I think I have the complete series.  The majority of the recordings are from the post-war years in Paris, from 1946 to 1959.  A lot of it is American and French musicians who made recordings for the French market.  A lot of American musicians, especially Black Americans, made a good living in Paris during those years.   Thanks to people like by beloved Boris Vian.

"Jazz & Cinema" comes to five separate CDs.  Their first volume is devoted to the soundtracks of "J'Irai Cracher Sur Vos Tombes" by Alain Goraguer (based on a Boris Vian/Vernon Sullivan novel) and Un Témoin Dans La Ville by Barney Wilen.  Both from 1959.   Both are great scores by these magnificent talented musicians.   Goraguer is of special interest to me, due that he had worked with Vian, Serge Gainsbourg, and made a pioneering electronic score for La Planète Sauvage.  The CD series is not expensive, and all come with great liner notes and images of the original release.  Their outer CD covers look like a tourist trap attraction but believe me, the sound is great and the talent/recordings are all magnificent.