Alix Combelle


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This is volume three in the complete works of Parisian saxophonist/clarinetist Alix Combelle as compiled and reissued in 1998 by the producers of the Classics Chronological Series. The 23 rare recordings date from the darkest days of the Nazi occupation; they were cut between June 1942 and September 1943 by ensembles identified either as Alix Combelle et son Orchestre or le Jazz de Paris. The cast of characters includes trumpeter Christian Bellest, reedmen Hubert Rostaing and Christian Wagner, and guitarist Roger Chaput. Those names might sound pleasantly familiar to anyone who's ever studied the discographies of Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, for it was with Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France that Combelle first sprang into the limelight in 1935. The Parisian swing heard on this collection is defiantly uplifting and blithely hip, with occasional outbursts of scat and unison novelty vocals. The band really cuts loose during the Duke Ellington-inspired "Riff en Crescendo" and "Riff en Diminuendo." Combelle would continue to lead jazz orchestras until 1955; he opened his own nightclub in 1963 and passed away in 1978.

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