Raymond Fol

Jazz in Paris: Les Four Saisons

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Raymond Fol's jazz arrangement of Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" may have fallen into obscurity, but the French pianist's big band scoring of this classical favorite shows plenty of imagination. With a band of his fellow countrymen, along with expatriate Americans Johnny Griffin (tenor sax), bassist Jimmy Woode, and drummer Art Taylor, he casts a variety of moods, even within individual sections. In the first movement of "Le Printemps (The Spring)" he chooses an Afro-Cuban mood, while the second shifts to a smaller chamber jazz setting, showcasing guitarist Pierre Cullaz, vibraphonist Sadi, and the leader in turn. The first movement of "L'Automne (The Autumn)" starts in a curious blend of cool and swing before switching to a Latin setting, featuring Johnny Griffin. Recorded in 1965 for Philips and long out of print, this 2001 Universal Music CD reissue would have benefited from more detailed liner notes, but the music itself has held up very nicely, even if most jazz fans have yet to discover it.

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