IVON DE BIE and his ORCHESTRA - DANCE-HITS vol.2
Vocal by DAN COOPER
25 cm FIESTA 10.041 (BELGIUM, 1956)
Belgian Pianist Ivon (or Yvon) De Bie (Bruxelles, 1914-1989) is known among swing jazz aficionados for the four tracks he recorded on 16th April 1942 in Brussels with Django Reinhardt in Brussels. He is the only pianist to have ever recorded a duo with Django on violin.
During the fifties Ivon Debie was active as a dance band leader and made several popular “dance” records in Belgium, among others two 25 cm 33 rpm for the small label FIESTA.
I have always been attracted to those FIESTA 25cm with their extraordinary “naïve minimalist” cover art. Until recently, they could be found easily on flea markets for an euro or two but they have begun to attract the attention of 50s Memorabilia collectors. They are often in fairly poor condition – they were party records … The rip I post today does not escape this condition.
I bought these FIESTA 10" initially for the naïve charm of their covers rather than the music. I had no idea who played on these sessions – apart from DeBie - until I got a copy of the Belgian Jazz Discography by Robert Pernet and found the details of the musicians, and first class musicians they were!
The band features Nick Kletch’, future bassplayer in Marc Moulin’s Placebo and Jean Warland who will make a career as a studio bassplayer in Germany (not to mention his stint in the Clarke-Bolland Big Band and Peter Herbolzheimer RCB), and a very competent sax section that will reappear later in the Francis Bay Dance Orchestra (and its famous 1958 albums on OMEGA) and the BRT Jazz Orkest.
Yvon DeBie was an excellent swing pianist influenced by Billy Kyle, Bob Zurke, Earl Hines and Art Tatum. He had obviously listened to Basie (One O clock Jump) and was a proficient boogie woogie player but obviously not much into rock and roll … it was just a different generation, they could lindy hop and jitterburg, jump and jive but could not rock. The band plays two (very short) versions of Bill Haley songs – Rock Around the Clock and Razzle Dazzle – but they play them in a pre-rock / jitterburg style, sounding not unlike some of the white boogie woogie orchestras of the late thirties (Bob Zurke or Bob Crosby e.g.). As for Dan Cooper (who was he?), he did not have a clue how to sing rock and roll. But remember, that was 1956, rock and roll had not yet pervaded Europe. In a way, they were precursors, like a few other musicians with a jazz background, such as guitarists Freddy Sunder and Jean Douchamps (aka John Sweetfield or Juan Dos Campos), or trumpeter Ferry Barendse, they laid the foundation of rock and roll in Belgium.
This whole period of Belgian popular music is not documented on CD (or even on LP), most of the cats recorded long forgotten 78 rpm on small local labels (Ronnex, Hi Tune …) for the juke box market.
Dance hits –vol.2 (Fiesta (B) LPIS10041)
Frans L'Eglise, Freddy Lhost, Ayal Jacob, Albert Godfrinnes, José Paessens (saxes) Ivon De Bie (p) Nicolas Kletchkovsky (g) Jean Warland (b) Jean Verworst (d) Dan Cooper (vcl)
Brussels, February 9, 1956
· One o'clock jump
· Hold my hand (dc vcl) -
· Rock around the clock-
· From here to eternity (dc vcl) -
· Something's gotta give (dc vcl) -
· The man from Lamarie (dc vcl)
· The little boy and the old man-
· Razzle dazzle -
· Love is a many splendored thing
· Sluefoot -
In 1958, Yvon Debie became an artistic director for RCA Victor Belgium. He was instrumental in bringing to the studio some of the earliest Belgian rock/twist groups (cfr Les Croque Morts - here too).
There’s a good bit of cracks and pops but it’s still perfectly listenable and enjoyable. The rip is from my own fairly scratched copy. I’m not especially good at cleaning rips, I’m still learning.
Paul D. told me he has the Dance Hits volume 1 (1954) and will send us a rip (which will certainly be cleaner than mine).