Dan Vernette [trumpet], Jacques Gauthe, Michel Queraud [reeds], Frederic
Legendre [trombone], John Richardson [piano], Siphan Upravan [banjo],
Enzo Mucci [string bass], Malc Murphy [drums]
Gone Goodbye, Zero, Strollin' In the Moonlight, Chant of the Tuxedos,
Down by the Riverside, Bogalusa Strut, Sing On, Mobile Stomp, Over in
the Gloryland, Careless Love, Arkansas Blues, Frankie & Johnny, Nobody
Knows the Trouble I've Seen, Jackass Blues, San, Limehouse Blues, Somebody
Stole My Gal
"The Vintage Jazz Band with Special Guests Jacques Gauthe & Malc
JazzReview.com - Internet Publication
Here's a new CD played by a band with enthusiasm PLUS. Jacques Gauthe
and drummer Malc Murphy join Dan Vernhette's Vintage Jazzmen for a session
in New Orleans. The French band's album with gospel singer Tori Robinson
crossed my desk just months ago and received top marks. Now they're back
with a great instrumental offering.
The loosely formed band just comes together beautifully and this session
has no weak spots. Vernhette is a hot trumpeter who could easily swing
himself to death. His musical ideas are imaginative and he puts them across
to his audience. His strong leadership is apparent on all the tracks but
especially on Arkansas Blues , the old Spencer Williams composition. I
liked Dan Vernhette's open and muted horn work throughout this album.
Equally important are the rest of the band's normal frontline, Michel
"Boss" Queraud and trombonist, Freddy Legendre. Legendre spawned
memories of Turk Murphy in my mind. Banjoist, Siphan Upravan and the impressive
bassist, Enzo Mucci, represent the normal rhythm section. Regular drummer,
Guillaume Nouaux "sits out" this session and is replaced by
special guest, Malc Murphy. Murphy is best known in Britain for his work
with the Ken Colyer band for more than a decade. He continued with Johnny
Bastable's Chosen Seven. He has played New Orleans on many occasions and
led his own Storyville Stompers in the 1970s. Malc Murphy is an asset
to any traditional band and is still a member of the Ken Colyer Trust
Band . His flexible and driving style comes through on Somebody Stole
My Gal .
The appearance of the Paris born Jacques Gauthe is always an occasion.
Gauthe left France for New Orleans decades ago. His group is the "band
in residence" at Fritzel's, a compulsory stop for jazz fans visiting
the Crescent City. Born in 1939, Jacques Gauthe has been a musician since
the age of twelve. His creative and fluid sound on reeds echoes the influences
of Bechet, Mezzrow, Luter and perhaps Maxim Saury. Proficient on clarinet,
alto and soprano he harmonizes perfectly with Michel Queraud as they interact
on this session. The two reedmen freely exchange ideas on just about every
track but Limehouse Blues stands out.
The album offers some great tunes including the seldom heard Zero penned
by trombonist, Santo Pecora in 1934, a decade after he left the New Orleans
Rhythm Kings. My favorites? I liked Jackass Blues, Zero, Chant of the
Tuxedos, San and Nobody Knows The Way I Feel . If you enjoy "kickass
codas", you'll get your fix on several tunes including Limehouse
Blues and Somebody Stole My Gal .
Piano duties are capably handled by John Richardson, pianist with Britain's
"Ginger Pig" band. The popular party-band plays regularly at
the Black Bottom Club in the UK and often has New Orleans musicians as
guests. This fine session was recorded in New Orleans by Richard Bird
and mastered by Jazz Crusade's "Big Bill" Bissonnette. The band
is having a "total blast" and traditional fans should love it.
Check out the label's website for sound samples.
- Richard Bourcier
Just Jazz - British Jazz Magazine
On offer here is a nucleus of the French-based Vintage Jazzmen led by
Dan Vernhettes, with guest Jacques Gauthe who lines and works in New Orleans,
and two 'Brits', Male Murphy and John Richardson. The session was recorded
in New Orleans last year, and is typical of what the full band would play,
and sound like, if you were to hear it at one of their sessions in Paris.
It is New Orleans-style music, played with plenty of vim and vigor, and
another bonus is an excellent selection of tunes to be heard, intluding
a tribute to the Sam Morgan Band, with five tunes that band recorded in
Excellent sleeve notes by intrepid New Orleans researcher Brian Wood adds
to what is an enjoyable CD. Brian mentions in his sleeve notes that he
had never heard of the tune/wo; that surprises me, it was recorded by
Santo Pecora with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings under its other T\me,I
Never Knew What A Gal Could Do, And, of course, played at sessions he
has attended by the Gambit Jazzmen at the Swingate Inn, Dover.
For those lucky travellers to New Orleans in April last year, you might
have been lucky enough to have heard the band in Frtoll's on Bourbon Street.
This CD is a timely reminder of their visit.
- Peter Lay
Cadence Magazine - U. S. A.
This is a set of traditional Jazz recorded in New Orleans but performed
by musicians from France, Britain, Italy and Laos. The players have a
good feeling for the old polyphonic style with trumpet, trombone, sax
and clarinet each making themselves momentarily heard of the blur of sound.
They play with care and enthusiasm. "Chant Of The Tuxedos" is
a particular highlight, a sassy dance spotlighting Dan Verette's spicy
trumpet and Jacque Gauthe's creamy clarinet but all the old chestnuts
unearthed here like '^Careless Love," "Frankie & Johnny,"
and "Nobody Knows The Way I Feel This Morning" sway with moans,
shakes and a touch of bawdiness. It may sound a little campy at first
but the more you listen the more you appreciate the ability of these musicians
to bring this music to life. This is a sterling example of by-the-book
New Orleans traditional work.
- Jerome Wilson
Jazz Journal International - British
The Vintage Jazz Band is based in France. They're a competent enough
outfit but the main interest here is the style of Gauthe, a Frenchman
who moved to New Orleans over 20 years ago. That style is clearly derived
from Jimmy Noone's and he even resembles Noone physically as well. As
this is not a common influence these days and as he's an inventive player
with a certain cachet of his own some readers may find this worth investigating.
The repertoire certainly provides a welcome spectrum from the very familiar
to the totally obscure.
- Graham Colombe
Jazz Gazette—Internet Publication
The Vintage Jazzmen is a New Orleans style band from France. On visit in New Orleans they made this recording with some guests at George Buck’s Audiophile Studio. I’m sure that Dan Vernhettes, the leader of the Vintage Jazzmen, will agree with me when I say that this CD is first of all the meeting of two great French reed players, the first one (Jacques Gauthé) living for many years in New Orleans, the second one (Boss Quéraud) in “la douce France” on the other side of the ocean.
Jacques started his musical career in France where he had tuition directly from the legendary Sidney Bechet. When he moved to New Orleans he first worked as a chef in some of the best restaurants and later made it as a fulltime professional musician. He is a master in both fields. I have hungry memories of the “saucisson de Paris” I tasted several times in the back room of Preservation Hall and of the delicious meal he made for the dance at Confectioner’s Hall. Those were the days… Jacques worked with some of the best bands in New Orleans, including the great Kid Thomas band of which he has fond memories. Never put the Kid from Algiers down in the presence of Jacques! He also led his own Creole Rice Yerba Buena Jazz Band. Unfortunately he was also one of the many victims of hurricane Katrina and lost most of his possessions in this terrible disaster.
I don’t know so much about Michel “Boss” Quéraud except that he is a famous trumpet and clarinet player in his native country, that he played for ten years with Les Haricots Rouges, the first New Orleans revival style band in France, and that he plays clarinet with the Vintage Jazzmen since 1995. I also know he is one of my favourite clarinet players today with a very individual style which often reminds me of the unique Raymond Burke. I do love his jazz caricatures that appear regularly in Jazz Classique. The one with himself sitting on Louis Armstrong’s lap is a gem!
Leader Dan Vernhettes is an all-round trumpet player in the classic jazz styles. He is also the author of several fascinating and well-researched articles about New Orleans music. He is also one of the few French musicians who can sing jazz in its original language without making a fool of himself. You will find details about the other members of the band in Brian Wood’s liner notes which I am not going to repeat here. I will only state that they know their New Orleans jazz very well. Malc Murphy, the first of the British guests on this CD, was with Ken Colyer’s band for several years and is now a member of the Ken Colyer Trust Band; His colourful Baby Dodds inspired drumming should be well known by most readers of the magazine. The second British musician at the session is pianist John Richardson of the Ginger Pig band, one of the two Richardson brothers I met almost every time I went to New Orleans.
Now what about the music? As I said at the beginning of this review the most obvious feature of it is the meeting of the two reed players. They are not just playing solos in turn but they mostly play lovely duets, Boss on clarinet and Jacques alternating on his three instruments. The harmony between them both is something to marvel at. Listen for instance to the two clarinets on “Strollin’ In The Moonlight” and on “Somebody Stole My Gal” or to the soprano/clarinet duets on “San” and “Limehouse Blues”. On other tracks Jacques proves that he is a fine alto sax player as well, an instrument I seldom heard him play in New Orleans. I already collected everything by Jacques and I know now that I will do the same with Boss! Dan leads the ensembles with authority and solos well with a specific New Orleans vibrato and lots of feeling. It is obvious that he knows and loves this music very much. Freddy Legendre plays fine tailgate trombone, an instrument he picked up in the beginning of the 90’s after being a regular on bass with Les Haricots Rouges.
This CD proves again that traditional New Orleans jazz has become an international language, which explains the fact that a band from France can go into a New Orleans studio with three guests they seldom or never played with before and produce an excellent recording like this. I enjoyed this CD very much and I promise so will you.
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