In memory of Johnny Peret

In memory of Johnny Peret
In memory of my friend Johnny Peret, vibist, drummer, accordeonist extraordinaire

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


arrangements d’ANDRE PERSIANNY
(25 cm – Pathé ST 1057, FRANCE – 1954)

As far as I know this French 10” has never been re-issued.  It’s a shame as it documents the great French tenor sax GUY LAFITTE (1927-1998) at the beginning of his “middle jazz” career.  He recorded earlier but in a “trad” style, with Mezz Mezzrow (1951-52) and Big Bill Broonzy (1951).  By the way, Mezz was probably one of jazz most over-rated musicians (at least in Europe) for a long time.  Luckily he’s almost forgotten now. Nevertheless reading his highly fictionalized “autobiography” - Really the Blues – is great fun, much more than listening to his dreadful records anyway).

GUY LAFITTE was France’s best exponent of the Coleman Hawkins school of tenor.
An added bonus of this album is the playing anmd arrangements of Andre Persiany (1927-2004), a French middle-jazz pianist very much influenced by Milt Buckner’s locked-hands style.

The rip posted here was sent by  occasionnal collaborator and fellow blogger “Moi meme”.  Bear in mind that this album is close to 60 years old and therefore far from mint.  There are a few clicks and skips but it is most probably the only chance you’ll have to listen to this album – unless you’re ready to spend a fair amount of dough if it ever pops up on a list or on e-bay.

Guy Lafitte ts
Guy Longnon tp
Benny Vasseur tb
Low Reed bs (“Low Reed” is actually an alias for French baryton bopper Michel de Villers)
William Boucay as
Al Buddy Banks b
André Persiany p
Jacques David dr

1. You can depend on me
2. Cynthia’s in love
3. Love me or leave me
4. Reminiscing mood
5. My ideal
6. My serenade#
7. Stay cool

According top the discography, another track was recorded during the session - "Blues for Vidi" – which did not make it to the 10’’ Pathé ST1057 but could be found on an even rarer EP (Pathé EP34) containing three titles from the 10’’ plus "Blues for Vidi".  Considering that the 10’’ is already pretty rare, good luck to locate a copy of the EP!

Even if you do not know Lafitte you’ve probably heard him already.  In 1961, Martin Ritt directed the famous film PARIS BLUES featuring Sidney Poitier as a saxophone player.  In all the scenes where he is seen and heard playing saxophone, he was actually dubbed by Guy Lafitte.

With thanks to "moi même".



  2. NO interest? I can easily recommend this rare 10". I have it since a few weeks and it's spinning every day in my player...

  3. These are some choice tunes, keep it up

  4. A tip about this rip: It is (still) available in lossless over at Think Too Much Jazz:

    Lafitte and Persiany recorded together frequently in the 50s, and, while little of it has been reissued on CD, several LPs/EPs have appeared in the blogosphere. I have not really acquainted myself with them previously, so I started with this one, the earliest chronologically. Nice mainstream jazz!

    27 at the time, one would have expected Lafitte to sound like Stan Getz and the modernists, but it's clear that his influences instead are Coleman Hawkins and the other Swing Era tenor giants.

    "Cynthia's In Love" had a brief spell of popularity in 1946 when it was covered even by Duke Ellington, but has very seldom been heard after that. Lafitte must have heard Don Byas's 1946 Savoy recording of it.

    "Stay Cool" is even rarer. It was recorded by Count Basie in 1946 for Columbia with Buddy Tate taking the tenor solo, but this Lafitte recording seems to be the only time the tune was revisited!

    Thanks for the info on the eighth tune, "Blues For Vidi". Lord does not mention the EP and erroneously lists this tune as being part of the 10" LP.

    1. Thanks for the link. I won't have to re-post. Funny thing is that the scan is obviously from the same record sleeve (see hand-written note with green pen).