Jean Wetzel

Jazz in Paris: Jazz & Cinéma, Vol. 4

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This fourth volume in the Jazz in Paris: Jazz & Cinéma series compiles music written and recorded for the soundtracks to five French films made between 1954 and 1962. Harmonica player Jean Wetzel is prominently featured in the bluesy numbers written by pianist Jean Wiéner for Touchez Pas au Grisbi. Pianist Alain Goraguer's four pieces come from the soundtrack to La Piege, featuring a quintet with flute, vibes, bass, and drums, though the musicians' identities are unconfirmed. His music is fairly lighthearted, including the breezy "Patricia" and the cheeky mambo "Belinda." Michel de Villers' music for Le Saint Mene la Danse features the alto saxophonist (who switches to baritone sax on some tracks) with an unidentified orchestra, though his writing borders on a rather commercial sound more than jazz. Latin bandleader Gonzalo Fernandez and pianist Martial Solal both wrote songs for Les Ennemis. Fernandez's pieces quickly grow tiresome, while Solal's "L'Espionnage" is sort of a progressive form of swing. Solal is also heard on a trio track (from the film Le Procès) with bassist Guy Pedersen and drummer Daniel Humair, a low-key bop number that isn't especially significant. Though there are interesting moments within this compilation, most jazz fans can safely bypass it.

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