[Dixielandjazz] Aime Barelli

Marek Boym marekboym at gmail.com
Sun Oct 10 16:15:35 PDT 2010

Hello folks,
It seems that the Germans were much more lenient with "inferior
peoples" than with Germans:  while in Germany jazz was forbidden under
the Nazis, Django Reinhardt flourished in Pris (while his fellow
Gypsies were being exterminated in German death camps), and other
French jazz musicians also made records.
In 1990, French EMI issued an Aime Barelli CD, noticeable, among other
things, for the time of recording: 18 of the 24 tracks on that CD were
made (in Paris) during the German occupation.  The playing is of very
high quality; only one number recorded during that time - Undecided
(issued as Indecision) - is by an American; all the others are
credited to European musicians, mainly by the leader himself.  On
three numbers the band features the Belgian saxophonist Fud Candrix,
which seems to indicate that freedom of movement was less restricted
than in othe occupied countries.

Four of the last six tracks, recorded in 1946, are by American
composers, and are less satisfying.  While on some numbers Barelli
displays the influence of the big band Armstrong, on Stardust, for
example, his style is much less jazzy, and sounds like what a Canadian
journalist (referring to Harry James) described as "horrible dance
band sound).
But the first 19 are wonderful, the earliset benefitting from the
excellent tenor sax of Alix Combelle, and the last two - Opus no. 1
and Hey Ba-ba-re-bop are pretty good, too.
no. 31 in the Jazz Time series, this CD is highly recommended.
I have one more CD from that series, Jazz de Scene vol 2, with
recordings by otehr French bands (including some described as Adi
Rosner and His Orchestra, but it is really a French band with Rosner
on trumpet.  BTW, the last two songs on that album were also recorded
during the German occupation.

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