Music and musicians

9 March 2013—American jazz guitarist Howard Alden joined local music masters for several fine performances of jazz manouche in the Geneva area and Grenoble in early March 2013. At Mr. Pickwick’s Pub in Geneva, Sébastien Félix traded glistening guitar solos with Alden, while John Intrator contributed soulful violin, and Michel Tournier held it all together with elegant bass. These are a few photos of that performance. You can read a review of the performance (in French) at the Web site Jazz Rhone-Alpes.

Note: The “Next” and “Back” buttons under the photos aren’t showing all the photos. Until I can fix this, the best way to see the most photos is to use the “Next” button untll the first photo repeats and then use the “Back” button until the last photo repeats. Apologies.

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UPDATE May 2014: John Intrator and Sébastien Félix welcome Howard Alden and Geneva musical colleagues on the new recording Open House, available from CD Baby and from Amazon.fr. Here’s my review, posted on Amazon:

“You may not think of Geneva as a musical capitol alongside New Orleans, Memphis, New York City, Copenhagen or London. But classic swing is alive and thriving in the sometimes staid Swiss town. Witness “Open House”, the new release organized (we might say) by Geneva stalwarts John Intrator and Sébastien Felix. These two masters of their craft (Intrator on violin and Felix on guitar) host friends and colleagues from Geneva and environs for up-tempo renditions of 15 tasty ‘morceaux’ from both sides of the Atlantic, ranging from American standards by Cole Porter and Lester Young to several by French gypsy jazz greats Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.

“Joining the principals on various numbers are a Who’s Who of Geneva swing: bassist Michel Tournier, pianist Jean-Yves Poupin, Jacques Ducrot on alto, tenor and clarinet, Diego Gadenz on guitar and percussion, Daniel Lima on drums and percussion, Jack Kralian on guitar. The next generation joins the fun, too, with John’s daughter Kira sweetly singing “As Time Goes By” and Sébastien’s sons Jonathan on guitar and Esteban on bass on Reinhardt and Grappelli’s “Black and White”. A tip of the hat, too, to engineer Kirby Bivans for the fine sound.

“If you have any doubts that Geneva swings, check out just the first cut, as Sébastien Felix, John Intrator, and Jacques Ducrot rip through their solos and trade licks on “Exactly Like You”.

“The ‘cerise sur le gateau’ (the cherry on the cake), as the French say, are two cuts featuring Howard Alden, the American master of the 7-string guitar. Fortunately for those of us in the Geneva area, Alden has recently been stopping by on his frequent European tours for hot trad jazz sessions with Intrator, Felix, and friends.

“Let’s hope for more like this!”

Sébastien Félix and John Intrator also appear together, along with Sébastien’s brother Youri on rhythm guitar and Alain Dessauges on bass, as the Sinti Swing Quartet on the recording Brazil, also available from CD Baby and from Amazon.fr (where you will also find my review). Also, please visit Howard Alden’s Amazon store to find many of his excellent CDs.

© 2013, 2014 W. Rinehart

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