Buddy Banks / Bobby Jaspar

Jazz in Paris: Jazz de Chambre

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Part of the fun of listening to Universal Music's Jazz in Paris series is digging into their compilations of obscure recordings, such as these two mid-'50s sessions, led by Buddy Banks and Bobby Jaspar. Banks, originally a saxophonist who switched to bass, had arrived in Europe after World War II; he is accompanied by drummer Roy Haynes, pianist Bob Dorough, and guitarist Jimmy Gourley. The leader takes the spotlight in a subtle take of "Yesterdays," though a strange clicking mars an otherwise swinging "I Love You." Banks' group also offers serviceable interpretations of modern pieces like Gerry Mulligan's "Line for Lyons" and Milt Jackson's "Bag's Groove." The partnership of Belgian flutist Bobby Jaspar and American pianist Blossom Dearie was rather brief. Married not long after they met, they recorded just four selections together in 1956 with bassist Benoit Quersin and drummer Christian Garros, then went their separate ways. The best track is the snappy arrangement of "Old Devil Moon." Dearie adds a quick bit of celesta to their abbreviated take of "There Will Never Be Another You." The four standards on this session are enjoyable, though they might have benefited from adding a second reed or brass instrument to provide some variety.

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