The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3067: “All Alone with the Rhythm” - Jacques Gauthe

Personnel: Jacques Gauthe [cl / ssx], Reide Kaiser [pn]. Emil Mark [bn], Colin Bray [sbs], Taff Lloyd [dm]

Songs: I’ve Got Rhythm, South, Love Nest, Sweet Lorraine, Oh! Lady Be Good, S’il Vous Plait, Old Fashion Love, Rosetta, I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say, Girl of My Dreams, Wolverine Blues, Smiles, China Boy, My Blue Heaven, All Alone with the Rhythm

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3067: “All Alone with the Rhythm” - Jacques Gauthe

JazzReview.com - Internet

Jacques Gauthe is well known to fans of New Orleans jazz. The clarinetist was born in France and was strongly influenced by the late Sidney Bechet who lived many years in Paris. During the fifties, the young Gauthe frequented the French jazz clubs and associated with Bechet, Albert Nicholas, Mezz Mezzrow, Memphis Slim and numerous other American jazzmen. Now living in New Orleans, Jacques Gauthe is a fixture at major traditional jazz festivals in Europe, the USA and Canada. His Creole Rice Jazz Band became a benchmark in New Orleans revival circles. Gauthe can be heard in the Crescent City with the band at Fritzel¹s or at the revered Preservation Hall. Equally at home on clarinet and soprano, he alternates freely between instruments on this new recording for Jazz Crusade. The rhythm section is the outstanding quartet that backed Gregg Stafford and Dr. Michael White on their recent issue Praying & Swaying for the same label. The lively and flexible ³rhythmakers² include pianist Reide Kaiser,
bassist Colin Bray, banjoist Emil Mark and drummer Taff Lloyd. All the superlatives expressed in my review of their work on Praying & Swaying still apply. This is a killer rhythm section!
Jacques Gauthe applies his own brand of artistry to a wide selection of tunes drawn from American pop music and recognized ³jazz standards.² Gauthe is not an imitator but the influences of Bechet and Mezzrow are obvious in his fluid style. Whether the song is a low down blues or an up-tempo stomper, Gauthe¹s playing holds the listener¹s interest. His sense of humor is delightfully subtle and is enhanced by the witty accents laid down by Taff Lloyd. Jazz traditionalists will love this CD.
- Richard Bourcier


AMG EXPERT REVIEW

Jacques Gauthe, born in Gascony, France, decided upon a career in jazz after World War II. While he was in Paris, he heard Sidney Bechet, eventually taking lessons from the New Orleans jazz master. Since then, Gauthe has formed several groups, performed and recorded extensively, and became a member of the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band. This album brings him together with some of the more active traditional jazz players for more than 70 minutes of the music which made jazz a favorite both here and abroad, the New Orleans style. It's clear from this session that Gauthe remembers well his Bechet lessons, as he comes as close as any to Bechet's style of playing, both with the clarinet and the soprano saxophone. His playing is passionate and filled with movement as he dashes headlong, often at unbelievably fast tempos, into the melody before taking off on flights of improvisional fancy. While the ride is often wild, Gauthe remains in full control, never finding himself in a situation where he can't return to the melody line with ease. Anarchy has no part in his playing. The kickoff tune, "I Got Rhythm," sets the stage as Gauche dazzles with runs and arpeggios at fast tempos. His compatriots stay with him note for note as this track features some fast-paced playing by Reide Kaiser on piano. "China Boy" is the scene for some mighty banjo strumming by Emil Mark and telling drum breaks by Taff Lloyd. Gauthe shows a softer side with "South" as he turns to his soprano sax, again with a tone reminiscent of Bechet. This is another fine release by the Jazz Crusade label and is recommended.
- Dave Nathan


Jazz Gazzette - world wide web

It will not be necessary to introduce Jacques Gauthé to readers who visited New Orleans recently. He can be heard there for the Sunday brunch at the plush Jazz Club Meridien on Canal Street, he is leading a band at Fritzel's on Bourbon and plays two nights a week at the venerable Preservation Hall. For the others follows a survey of his career. Like Alexander Dumas' hero, d'Artagnan, in "The Three Musketeers", Jacques originally came from Gascony in the South of France where he was born in 1939. After solfeggio and piano lessons from the age of five, he started listening to jazz on the radio right after World War 2 and became interested in the clarinet when he was eleven. Somewhat later, when he was visiting relatives in Paris, he went to a concert by the legendary Sidney Bechet and was hooked for ever. Soon he was professionally playing and associating with jazz greats like Sidney Bechet, Albert Nicholas, Memphis Slim, Benny Waters, Mezz Mezzrow and others. Bechet became his teacher and mentor. Jacques says: "My life changed completely after I met Sidney Bechet for the very first time in 1950 in Paris. Being able to go this house, talking, asking more than a million questions - always answered - and listening to his beautiful music almost every day (and night) was the most fabulous gift from Sidney to me." From the age of 18 until his move to New Orleans in 1968 Jacques led his own "Old Time Jazz Band of Toulouse" We can safely say that Jacques brought back the music of Bechet to the birthplace of this legendary jazzman. At first he made his living as a master chef in one of New Orleans' famous restaurants. I have fond memories of his home made sausage consumed at the back of Preservation Hall together with Jacques and Allan Jaffe, who had provided the beer - REAL beer! - from his hometown Pottsville in Pennsylvania. Later on he gave up his gastronomic work to become a full time musician. Besides working at Preservation Hall with . the famous Kid Thomas Band, he led his own Creole Rice Jazz Band and worked with the Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble, the Classic Jazz Orchestra, the Razzberry Ragtimers. Jacques has recorded many albums for GHB, Stomp Off and for his own label. As far as I know this is the first time he recorded with just a rhythm section, hence the title of this CD. Although the influence of Bechet is still audible, Jacques Gauthé is not a copyist like so many soprano sax players in France. Just like with Bob Wilber the music of the great master was only a starting point in his career. He shares with Bechet the great passion in his playing and an immense ability to swing. Like my old friend Brian Wood said in his New Orleans report in last issue, Jacques is in fact a better ensemble player than Bechet was because he doesn't have as big a ego as the master. Even here, all alone with the rhythm, he generously leaves space for every member of the group. I have already said a lot of good things about this rhythm section in a previous review and I repeat it here, they ARE first class! Reide's sparkling piano (from Jelly to stride and beyond!), Emil's tasteful and effective banjo, Colin's driving bass (plucked or bowed) and Taff's super dynamic drumming evoking memories of Alex Bigard and Sammy Penn, you put it all together and the result is excellence.
The music on this CD swings like hell from the first number on. It's a great example of classic jazz as played today by masters of the genre. Jacques plays both clarinet and soprano sax (more clarinet I'd say) and I must agree again with Brian Wood when he says in his book "The Song For Me" about Jacques: "....the soprano sax is not my favorite instrument, but this is something else!" Indeed, haters of the "fish horn", like Bunk called it,might change their mind after hearing Jacques. Notwithstanding the small format, this group achieves great variety and the 74 minutes are over before you know and leave you wanting more. There's the great excitement in up-tempo items like "I Got Rhythm" and "China Boy", there's the relaxed swing of "Love Nest" and "Rosetta" and the lyrical passion in numbers like "Sweet Lorraine", "Buddy Bolden Blues" and "Old Fashioned Love." Special mention deserves the closer "All Alone With The Rhythm", a simple medium slow New Orleans blues, the ultimate proof for being a great jazzman. They succeed with flying colors!
- Marcel Joly


Boxell's Jazz Website

Jacques Gauthe is a Gascon, and like some of the wines from that part of France his reed playing often has an unusual bouquet; a sparkling and cheeky little number! At first I was intimidated by the prospect of having to listen to 74 minuets of clarinet and/or soprano sax, but once the CD was on I relaxed as Jacques wove his magic. This protegee of Sydney Bechet is ably backed by Reide Kaiser on piano, Colin Bray on bass, Emil Mark on banjo and Taff Lloyd on drums who were in New Orleans at the time for the Greg Stafford and Michael White sessions that Jazz Crusade were recording.
Like me, you may not be keen for a CD of one man on reeds, but trust me, this one is worth listening to. Jacques is unique and the rhythm boys are worth listening to on their own. Let your worries and prejudices go and give this CD a spin.
- Geoff Boxell


Mississippi Rag - U. S. A.

JCCD-3067: Jacques Gauthe - All Alone with the Rhythm
Recorded in New Orleans at the Jazzology Studios in October 2000 for Big Bill Bissonnette's Jazz Crusade label, this session features the clarinet/soprano sax artistry of Jacques Gauthe. He is accompanied by a rhythm section of piano, string bass, banjo and drums. The ad hoc quintet produces some exhilerating jazz in the Sidney Bechet tradition.
It's not too surprising really considering the fact that Gauthe is a great admirer of the late great master of the fish horn. A native of France, the young Gauthe knew Bechet during his twilight years in that country and even received some instruction from him. For many years now Gauthe has resided in New Orleans. He was a master chef in that city for a time prior to becoming a full time musician and making a name for himself on the New Orleans jazz scene, playing in the clubs and Preservation Hall.
The program starts, appropriately enough, with "I've Got Rhythm" a claim every member of the team can make without dispute. The rhythm section gives solid support to the considerable talents of the star of the show, but each man is offered the opportunities to step forward and strut his stuff.
The pianist on this date, Reide Kaiser, has chops to spare and uses them to great advantage. He has immersed himself in the classic jazz piano styles and can wear more than one hat. He dons a stride derby for numbers like "I've Got Rhythm" and "Lady Be Good" but slaps on a Jelly Roll Morton cap for "South" and "Si'l Vous Plait." Banjoist Emil Mark generally takes the Eddie Condon route of laying down the chords and keeping a reliable beat, but he solos a time or two and on "Love Nest" [a delightful cut] he and the bassist Colin Bray, trade fours. Bray takes a nice solo on "Lady Be Good." Taff Lloyd mans the drums supportively and goes to town on a few tasteful and imaginative solos.
The featured artist, Jacques Gauthe, has a pleasant pungent sound and plays with fervid lyricism. He has mainly chosen amiable tried-and-true tunes but a couple are off the beaten path. "S'il Vous Plait" sounds rather like "I Had Someone Else Before I Had You," a number Turk Murphy used to play. "All Alone with the Rhythm" is an extended blues.
- Bill Mitchell


King's Jazz Review - British Magazine

For a clarinettist to opt, as a soloist to produce a recording album must be daunting for anyone to embark upon, notwithstanding that one may be undertaking it for its pleasure. Having a rhythm section backing group with the nous, the professional and expert experience to, in effect, perform in every respect as a collective soloist in themselves was perhaps a factor that may have encouraged Jacques Gauthe take up the challenge, for unquestionably from one in my station to say, this it may have been so. Have I implied then that here we have a CD embodying two soloists staging a cutting contest with each other? Not so in any way all. The fifteen tunes are complete individually with one harmonious, delightful listening voice.
This album has relaxing tempi that in the main lends itself sincerely to its enjoyment.
There is a wealth of interesting nuances, each one pertinent to the tune and rhythm jazz artist when the need takes it, creating nice blood rising moments at unexpected instances.
Although it does not warrant a high percentage easy, but with certainty, it can and does as a listening with interest to me. The Dr Colin Bray liner notes and other readings relate a great deal about Jacques Gauthe, which I'll limit to saying that he has both a French connexion and a New Orleans connexion. The Bray writing makes for compulsive reading. An album in best heart of reed players, jazz artists, and is for others beyond.
- Ian King


Just Jazz - British Jazz Magazine

I first came across clarinet and soprano sax man Jacques Gauthe in New Orleans, where, during the French Quarter Festival a couple of years ago, he appeared with several regular bands and a number of pick-up groups. Anxious at that time to hear more of his excitingly unique talent at first hand (ear?), I virtually chased him around the town, but he proved to be as elusive as a will o' the wisp. Finally admitting defeat after just a couple of brilliant sessions, I bought two CDs of bands he'd led - they are fine, but left me with the feeling that I wanted to hear more. That was that until Big Bill Bissonnette (boss of the Jazz Crusade label) sent me this one - at last a prayer was answered. Here were (are) fifteen tracks of Jacques' unique sound, uncluttered by a band and brilliantly accompanied by a sympathetic rhythm section in which Morton-ish pianist Reide Kaiser is outstanding.
But before chatting about Jacques' playing, perhaps I should explain just who he is. Originally Jacques was a chef in France - he is French! At that time he played clarinet and soprano saxophone and idolised jazz giant Sidney Bechet. Indeed, he managed to get to know the great jazz pioneer and to take lessons from him. But like many facets of jazz, the story is not quite as simple as that. Sidney did not teach Jacques in the conventional manner by getting his pupil to play and then commenting, making suggestions. Instead, Sidney sat for hours with Jacques, discussing the music. Bechet would tell his pupil how to approach playing jazz, how to feel the music, and not to copy. Neither man would play hardly a note.
Jacques was, of course, a working chef and most comfortable in his home region of Gascony, where he specialised in the dishes of the area, and is from a village close to Marciac. Born in 1939, he took his first 'normal' music lessons on the piano at the age of five and began on clarinet when aged eleven. Visiting Paris, he heard Bechet in concert and the die was cast. From the age of fourteen he became a professional jazz musician and from there on was associated with many Americans - Bechet, Albert Nicholas, Benny Waters, Memphis Slim and Mezz Mezzrow. He first met Bechet in 1950 and spent much time at the veteran's house - "We were talking, I was asking more than a million questions - always answered - and listening to his beautiful music almost every day (and night) - that was the most fabulous gift from Sidney to me." At the age of eighteen, Jacques was touring with his own band, The Old Time Jazz Band of Toulouse, which from time to time included men like Lucky Thompson, Don Byas, and Albert Nicholas. In 1968, however, Jacques moved to New Orleans to work as a chef,and he's lived there ever since, combining his gastronomic talents with his first love, which is jazz, but still makes occasional visits to France. In New Orleans he can be heard at Preservation Hall every Thursday and Sunday - it was at that hall that he played regularly with the Kid Thomas Band many years ago. He also leads a band at Fritzel's on Bourbon Street and runs his own popular group, The Creole Rice Jazz Band. Despite recording more than 25 CDs since being 'discovered' - this is, I think, the man's first with just a rhythm section.
As I've written so much about the man, hoping to arouse your interest in one of today's more obscure but giant talents, I had better now restrict commenting on the actual CD to a mere few sentences. Jacques is heard mostly on clarinet, on which he is brilliantly inventive, but when he plays soprano - As on South and Old Fashioned Love - he is quite wonderful. Not at all like the master, Bechet, never frenetic as Bechet could often be, but quite his own man with a warm tone and a bouncy, propulsive approach that makes you want more. On clarinet he has a full, woody tone that epitomises the word chalumeau. It's slightly Johnny Dodds-ish, but also has shades of Albert Nicholas and other New Orleans Creole masters. It's sensuous, languid almost, and yet highly exciting and, above all, original.
Jacques Gauthe is a master on both clarinet and soprano, a great player who deserves to be heard by a wider audience. There are few jazz musicians today who can sustain a variety of interest through fifteen tracks, but Jacques does that here. I should add that he's helped in the variety aspect by a superb choice of melodies - just look at that list - little heard, great songs like Smiles and Girl Of My Dreams should be in the repertoires of more bands, as should Love Nest and Old Fashioned Love. I'll shut up - please go on and hear this very fine CD - you won't regret it.
- Brian Harvey


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