Monday, April 20, 2015

Charlie Ventura - Bop For The People

Bebop or bop is a style of jazz characterized by a fast tempo, instrumental virtuosity and improvisation based on the combination of harmonic structure and sometimes references to the melody. It was developed in the early and mid-1940s. This style of jazz ultimately became synonymous with modern jazz. The term "bebop" is derived from nonsense syllables (vocables) used in scat singing; the first known example of "bebop" being used was in McKinney's Cotton Pickers' "Four or Five Times", recorded in 1928.

In the 1940s, the younger generation of jazz musicians created a new style that came out of the 1930s' swing music. They partially strove to counter the popularization of swing with non-danceable music that demanded listening. Minton's Playhouse in New York served as an incubator and experimental theater for early bebop players. Part of the atmosphere created at jams like the ones found at Minton's Playhouse was an air of exclusivity: the "regular" musicians would often reharmonize the standards in order to exclude those whom they considered outsiders or simply weaker players.

Bebop differed drastically from the straightforward compositions of the swing era and was instead characterized by fast tempos, asymmetrical phrasing, intricate melodies, and rhythm sections that expanded on their role as tempo-keepers. The music itself seemed jarringly different to the ears of the public, who were used to the bouncy, organized, danceable tunes of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller during the swing era. Instead, bebop appeared to sound racing, nervous, erratic and often fragmented. While swing music tended to feature orchestrated big band arrangements, bebop music highlighted improvisation. Typically, a theme (a "head," often the main melody of a pop or jazz standard of the swing era) would be presented together at the beginning and the end of each piece, with improvisational solos based on the chords of the tune. Thus, the majority of a song in bebop style would be improvisation, the only threads holding the work together being the underlying harmonies played by the rhythm section.

Pioneers of bebop jazz included musicians like Dizzy Gillespie (tp), Charlie Parker (as), Thelonius Monk (p) and Budd Powell (p), who were influenced by the preceding generation's adventurous soloists, such as pianists Art Tatum and Earl Hines, tenor saxophonists Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young and trumpeter Roy Eldridge. Another bop pioneer neglected by hardliners and almost forgotten today was sax player Charlie Ventura, who attempted to popularize bebop for a larger audience by naming one of his 1940s ensembles Bop For The People.

Charlie Ventura (1916-1992)
Charlie Ventura came from a large, musically inclined family. His first instrument was C-melody sax. He switched to alto before eventually settling on tenor. Ventura left his day job at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1942 to join Gene Krupa's band. He became a featured soloist with Krupa, playing with the drummer from 1942-1943 and 1944-1946.
Gene Krupa and Charlie Ventura
Ventura achieved considerable popularity while with Krupa, winning a Down Beat magazine poll as best tenor saxophonist in 1945. The same year Ventura started recording under his own name fronting smaller ensembles, below I'll insert some examples. - The first session under his own name was recorded March 1st, 1945 for the Sunset label in Los Angeles, the line-up was a sextet featuring Howard McGhee (tp) Charlie Ventura (ts) Arnold Ross (p) Dave Barbour (g) Artie Shapiro (b) Nick Fatool (d). Four sides were cut, and one of the recorded tunes was 'Tea For Two'. that has some bebop inspired soli by both McGhee and Ventura

At the same session also was recorded a version of 'I Surrender, Dear' that shows off Ventura's inspiration from tenor sax players like Coleman Hawkins and Chu Berry, his version continues the lyrical tradition first presented by these musicians, I think

On August 24th, 1945, Ventura recorded for the Savoy label in New York, this time in a quartet setting. Personnel comprised Charlie Ventura (ts) Arnold Ross (p) John Levy (b) Specs Powell (d).

Dark Eyes
One of the tunes recorded for Savoy in this August 1945 session was the shown 'Dark Eyes' that had a radical interpretation, Ventura's solo has some of the hailed characteristics attributed 'real bebop', I think

From 1946 Ventura had his own big band, now extended with a vocal duo that contributed bebop singing to the sound of the orchestra. The vocal duo comprised Jackie Cain and Roy Kral.

Jackie Cain and Roy Kral
Ventura continued recording for smaller labels for some time, a session recorded for the National label in 1946 included a bebop inspired tune composed by Roy Krall featuring the vocal duo, 'Euphoria'

Euphoria, recorded 1946 for National
Listen to the first edition of 'Euphoria' that later was recorded in an extended live-version 1949 from a Jazz at The Philamonic concert, probably better known

In 1947, Ventura signed a contract with RCA Victor, which at the time wanted to capitalize on the emergence of bebop. An RCA executive purportedly told him that they wanted the word "bop" in the band's name. Ventura came up with the phrase "Bop for the People," which implied an accessible form of the music. Ventura formed a big band in 1948, but soon cut it down to eight members, retaining Cain and Kral, who were crucial components of the band's sound.

April 7th 1949 Ventura's orchestra recorded 'For Boppers only', again showcasting the bebop vocals of Cain and Kral. The orchestra comprised Conte Candoli (tp,vcl) Bennie Green (tb,vcl) Charlie Ventura (ts,bar,vcl) Boots Mussulli (as,bar) Roy Kral (p,vcl) Kenny O'Brien (b) Ed Shaughnessy (d) Jackie Cain (vcl)

The Bop for the People band worked through 1949, but in the end Ventura's stab at making a commercial success of bebop failed. During the early '50s Ventura led another big band; formed a highly acclaimed group called the Big Four with bassist Chubby Jackson, drummer Buddy Rich, and pianist Marty Napoleon; briefly ran his own night club in Philadelphia; and also worked again with Cain and Kral. Ventura's health was not the best, yet he continued to work with Krupa into the '60s. After the '50s, Ventura recorded commercially only once (in 1977 with pianist John Bunch), but he still remained active. He worked in Las Vegas (with comedian Jackie Gleason), and fronted various groups in the '70s and '80s, before dying of lung cancer in 1992.

Above info extracted from two articles, here and here.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

André Ekyan (1907 – 1972) – A French Saxophone Player, Part 2 (1940s)

Georg Lankester, expert in pre-WW II French jazz history, continues in this entry the story of André Ekyans career, this time focusing on the war and post-war years – the 1940s.

First part of the story (1930s) is available following this link, here 

André Ekyan, a ‘sought after’ musician

In the first year of the war (1940) our alto-sax player formed a new group named “Swingtette” in which we find guitarist ‘Matlo’Ferret. This formation played frequently in the “Moulin Rouge” and moreover made various fine records for “Odéon”.

Due to the fact that the relationship between André and Django was quite good and their musical feelings also matched, a series of new recordings was organised in February. André’s fine sax playing, accompanied by Django, was now completed with guitarist Pierre Ferret and bass player Emmanuel Soudieux, also ‘masters of strings’.They recorded swinging versions of ‘Margie’ and ‘ Rosetta’, as well as ‘Sugar’ and ‘A pretty girl is like a melody’.Those records, supervised by Delaunay, were released by “Swing” (Sw 98 & 194).

André was also the leader of a small formation  called “Kit Cat” which performed in a luxary place at the Champs Elyssées, an illustration of his popularity.

Swing, Sw 127
One year later, in September 1941 two more records with the new Hot Club quintet followed viz. the titles ‘De nulle part’ (‘Out of Nowhere’) and the exciting ‘Hugaria’ in wich sometimes  influences of Hawkins in André’s playing are noticable.These two  tracks for “swing’were released as Sw 127

Outside Paris

Shortly afterwards Ekyan remained in Switzerland because he now joined the popular Ray Ventura orchestra. This French band which had firstly toured through the South of France, went to Switzerland in order to escape from th German occupation. At the end of 1941 Ventura even left Europe to settle in South America till the war was over.

Django Reinhardt, Andre Ekyan, Ralph Schecroun, Alf Masselier and Roger Paraboschi in Rome (1950)
Back in France, André now became the leader of a formation in Baulieu, where he would remain till 1950 when Django invited him to join his new quintet which was going to play in  Italy. In April and May of that particular year this quintet performed in Rome where also several recordings were made. 

 Note: in  those  sessions André was alternating alto-sax with clarinet and….these  were historical sessions because it was the last time that  the two men played together. Django died in May 1953 !

In the Fifties, André performed often in ‘Maxim’s”, however, the music performed there  gradually had a somewhat lower level. Therefore he decided to travel through Europe and so it happened.

André Ekyan's orchestra at 'Maxim's'
He then played in a lot of  countries, but often in Spain. Unfortunately it was in the town of Alicante that he died on 9 August 1972 because of a tragic traffic accident.

André Ekyan (1907-1972)

Considering André Ekyan’s impressive activities and successes one can certainly speak of an important jazz musician, not only for France, but in general since he also played with a lot of great American jazzmen. 

Worthwhile to mention is that he produced a soft tone on clarinet which created a sometimes  melancholy atmosphere, fitting in so well with a musician like e.g. Django Reinhardt. In his alto-sax playing one can hear some influences from the Chicago jazz (Frank Trumbauer) and – later – from Benny Carter. Producing a warm tone, sometimes calm, in other moments excuberant and fast, he could inspire other jazz musicians. Because of his technique and creativity, this artist belongs to the best European saxophonists of last century.

Some recommended records: China Boy ‘French Hot Boys’(1932),Crazy Rhythm, ‘Coleman Hawkins All Stars (1937), Margie with Django Reinhardt (1940)

Georg Lankester

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

André Ekyan (1907 – 1972) – A French Saxophone Player, Part 1 (1930s)

Georg Lankester, expert in pre-WW II French jazz history, introduces in this entry André Ekyan's pre-war career,  the 1930s.

The post war years of André Ekyan will be discussed in another entry, here

André Ekyan (1907-1972)
This highly talented musician was born in Meudon. Who could suspect that he would become one of the pioneers of the French pre-war jazz and play an important role in it as a soloist?  Here is the story of his career:

Non- French parents
André’s mother was of Hungarian origin, while his father was born in Armenia – the official family name was Echkyan. His parents emigrated to France and it was there  that the young André in 1907 was born and further grew up. Already as a boy he started to play alto-sax. André first started to follow a medical study in order to become a dentist. During his study he saved money to buy a clarinet which took quite some time. Finally he got the instrument and it seems that he could play a bit on it within a few weeks. By the end of the Twenties, however, he stopped his dental study and chose for a professional career in music. Soon he joined the orchestra of Perroquet which played in Paris; furthermore he was working continuously to improve his technique.

Cabaret performances and orchestra sideman
From 1930-32 he was active with a small formation under his own name and appeared frequently  in the cabaret “La croix du Sud”, where – according to Charles Delaunay – also Django Reinhardt came to listen to him.

Ekyan and Django
André also joined various big bands. In 1931 he became member of the well-known  English ‘Jack Hylton Orchestra’ and somewhat later he played in the band of Fred Astaire. Our active reed man could – in 1933 – be found playing with “Grégor & ses Grégoriens” which was quite popular in Paris those days. Also Stéphane Grappelli joined this orchestra, as we can see in some old film fragments!  In ’34 and ’35 André was playing in  Le Jazz du poste parisien”.

It should be mentioned that starting from 1932 Ekyan also arranged and supervised studio recordings e.g. in parts of “Jazz symphonique Salabert” and in two recordings of his own group called “the French Hot Boys”. They recorded: ‘St. Louis Blues’ and ‘Moonglow’.

André Ekyan, saxophonist and clarinetist
In 1935 André, as a band leader, played an important role in the famous cabaret “Boeuf sur le Toit” where many excellent musicians regularly met. Under his supervision several  recordings were made in his name, released by “Ultraphone”.

After lots of activities in France André then travelled to the USA where he played with stars like trombonist ‘Tommy Dorsey & the piano giants Joe Turner”and “Fats Waller”.
Once back in France he opened a cabaret called ‘Swing Time” where he showed his own new orchestra. This was the place where terrific ‘jam sessions’ (in French: ‘de Boeufs’) took place, so remembered tenor saxophonist Alix Combelle. André could there also be heard with the piano players Léo Chauliac & George Manion, in addition to his own band.

Paris was in those times a swinging town, full of theatres, cabarets and cafés offering jazz. In one of them called “au Florence” the American trumpet player/saxophonist Benny Carter played.  In the early morning, also there unforgettable jam sessions were held with American and French jazzmen like Coleman Hawkins, Django Reinhardt and Bill Coleman. After their performances in other cabarets and cafés, they liked to meet and play spontaneously in unique formations. Note: Carter and Hawkins, who stayed in Paris, were promoted by the Hot Club de France leaders secretary Charles Delaunay and president Hugues Panassié.

Historical recordings
1937 was a great year for the European jazz. Because of the World Exhibition in the capital the Hot Club leaders had invited many American jazz giants for big concert and recording  sessions and…….they met the best French players of  that time – including André Ekyan. This resulted in many unique recordings, all of them realised under the supervision of Charles Delaunay who had just launched his exclusive jazz record label ‘Swing”.

Discque Swing, SW. 1
He started recording in the  spring and possibly with the best pre-war formation in Europe ever, called “Coleman Hawkins and his All Star band” featuring Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, André Ekyan, Alix Combelle, Django Reinhardt, Eugène d’Hellemmes and Tommy Benford.

On April 28 two titles in this formation were recorded ‘’Honeysuckle rose’ & ‘Crazy Rhythm’.In the same line-up HMV recorded: ‘Out of nowhere’ and ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’. For those interested marked  SW no.1 and HMV(E) B 8812.

Ekyan, still in a very good shape, can also be heard with Django in five tracks which were recorded in 1939 in a small formation under his name.  The titles: ‘The Sheyk’, ‘Dream Ship’, ‘ I can’t believe’, Dark Town Strutters Ball’’ and Blues of Yesterdays’. Three tracks included trumpet player/saxophonist ‘Big Boy’ Goodie, who originally came from Louisiana but already lived in Paris from the early Twenties.

Georg Lankester


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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Jørgen Ingmann (1925 - 2015) - A Popular Danish Guitarist

Jørgen Ingmann (1925-2015)
This morning the news in Danish media told the sad fact that the popular Danish guitarist Jørgen Ingmann passed away yesterday, nearly 90 years of age. Jørgen Ingmann was born April 26, 1925 in Copenhagen and started his career as a member of Svend Asmussen's orchestra and was well-known as a jazz artist in the 1940s and 1950s. As a guitarist Ingmann was highly influenced by the American guitarist Les Paul. Jørgen Ingmann implemented Paul’s techniques and began exploring the possibilities of multi-track recording by setting up a home studio. He overdubed himself into a one-man band and recorded multiple layers of guitar at his home studio. Ingmann’s recording also included his own percussion and bass playing. Late 1950s, Ingmann transformed his stage name to “Jørgen Ingmann and His Guitar” and in 1961 he recorded the instrumental 'Apache', which became a hit in the U.S.A.. With his wife he formed a duo as “Grethe og Jørgen Ingmann’ and the duo was elected winner of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Dansevise” in 1963. The duo dissolved, when the marriage ended in 1975, and Jørgen Ingmann gradually left the public scene as a stage artist, but he was still active as a musician and record producer and kept releasing new instrumental recordings that were well received by a still loyal fan base. Ingmann withdrew definitely from the public in 1984 and enjoyed his retirement in his home until yesterday March 21, 2015, when he passed away peacefully according the media news.

Jørgen Ingmann and his guitar
Below is inserted some uploaded highlights from Jørgen Ingmann's career focusing on his guitar playing to honor a great artist. An online discography is available here and a Sound Cloud page has several tracks in streaming audio from Ingmann's easy listening recordings, here 

Here's first an example of Ingmann's multi-track recording - 'Muskrat Ramble'

Next another multi-track recording, 'Amorada' - also known as 'Brasileirinho'

The 1961 instrumental hit, 'Apache' is included here

Finally, to end this small remembrance of Jørgen Ingmann as a guitarist, here is his recording of 'Jeepers Creepers'

Jørgen Ingmann (1925 - 2015) - R.I.P. 


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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Svend Asmussen - Embraceable

Svend Asmussen
A week ago the world famous Danish jazz fiddler Svend Asmussen (b.28.Feb, 1916) celebrated his 99th anniversary. Part of the celebration included the release of a new CD with previously unissued recordings that have been sitting in Asmussen's private files. The Danish record company, Storyville Recordshas taken the initiative to release this material in co-operation with Asmussen himself at the new CD titled
Embraceable (Storyville, cd 1014296) containg a live-performance recorded in September 1985. The recording was made by French radio and the location was a small club in Paris, 'Le Petit Opportun', with an attentive audience of less than thirty individuals. The location proved to be an ideal setting for a successfull performance and Asmussen himself has estimated the recordings among his best ever according to the info at Sotryville's web: "I had never thought that this September Parisian night would be released and scrutinized, but honestly I think it is the best music I’ve ever recorded!” said Asmussen when he was interviewed about the new release." The circumstances of the performance, however, were rather unusual for Asmussen's standard, as "He played with three musicians he had never played with before and there was no rehearsal, only a few notes scribbled down. Just as they were about to play the radio man casually told them the concert would be broadcasted live on French radio and that Asmussen should present the set in French." Nevertheless, the intimate atmosphere of the location generated spontaneity and a great performance by Asmussen and his accompanying trio. Now a selection of this broadcasted live performance luckily has been released on the new CD to be enjoyed over again thirty years after this special Parisian night.
CD front: Storyville, CD 1014296
There are twelve tracks of music from the live performance preserved at the shown CD and the repertoire contains jazz standards like 'Sophisticated Lady' and 'Things Ain't What They Used To Be' from the Ellington book, modern themes like Sonny Rollins' 'Pent-Up House' and further updated jazz versions of popular compositions like 'Singin' In The Rain','Just A Gigolo' and 'There Will Never Be Another You'. There is also a magnificent version of Chopin's 'Prelude In C-minor' and a solo presentation by Asmussen of Gershwin's 'Embraceable You' that is the highlight of the set showing off an eminent mastery of his instrument without supporting accompaniment.
George Arvanitas (Photo, Esther Cidoncha)
Asmussen is accompanied by a very competent trio featuring Georges Arvanitas (p), Patrice Caratini (b) and Charles Saudrais (dr). Georges Arvanitas is a great piano player who gets the opportunity to show off in Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson influenced solo spots besides being an attentive support to Asmussen's lead voice. The rhythm section is taken good care of by double bass player Patrice Caratini and drummer man Charles Saudrais -  both men provide a solid background for the soloist's musical expression.
Patrice Caratini
Although the four musicians haven't played together before,  there is an excellent interplay between them and each of them contributes to a succesfull performance throughout.
Charles Saudrais
It is a pleasure to listen to this live recording from 1985, the CD release recreates the atmosphere of this special evening in Paris so that the listener has the experience of being present with the four musicians in the intimate setting of the performance. Great that Storyville Records has re-mastered the original tape-recordings and made the material available on disc for a contemporary public, audio quality is splendid. - The CD is available for purchase at the website of Storyville Records and mp3 versions of the tracks are available at Amazon, here 
Svend Asmussen - jazz fiddler supreme
To end this small review of a successfull live-performance by Svend Asmussen, I'll insert a fragment of a similar recording made at about the same time in Copenhagen. The location is club Montmartre and Asmussen is accompanied by  Kenny Drew (p), Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen (b) and Ed Thigpen (dr). The fragment has been uploaded by Storyville Records at YouTube and has a great performance of 'It Don't Mean A Thing ...' - enjoy!


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Friday, February 20, 2015

Joe Louis Stomp

Joe Louis, The Brown Bomber
Joe Louis (1914–1981), known as the Brown Bomber, was the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion from 1937 to 1949 holding the title longer than anyone else in boxing history. A career profile is available here

Bill Coleman (1904-1981)
Trumpeter Bill Coleman composed and recorded a swing tune as a homage to the rising boxing star in January 1936, Joe Louis Stomp. At that time Bill Coleman resided in Paris, France, where he had been engaged by Freddy Taylor late 1935 as a member of Taylor's orchestra, but already in 1933 Coleman had been in France as a member of Lucky Millinder's orchestra, and this time he would stay in Paris as his residence until 1940. During this period Bill Coleman also had his own orchestra in Paris that had regular performances at a venue called Villa d'Este, members were  Bill Coleman (tp, ldr), Eugène d' Ellemmes (b), Edgar "Spider" Courance (ts, cl), Oscar Alemán (g) and William Diemer (dm) as shown at the picture below (l to r)
Bill Coleman Et Son Orchestre De La Villa D'Este, c.1936
On January 31th, 1936 Bill Coleman and his Orchestra recorded 'Joe Louis Stomp' in Paris, it was issued on a 78 rpm disc at the French Gramophone label, a devsion of HMV, as the A-side (mx. OLA-851-1, Gramophone (HMV) K-7705), while the B-side had a recording of the tune 'Coquette' (mx. OLA-852-1, Gramophone (HMV) K-7705).
Gramophone (HMV) K-7705
The Coleman quintet is extended to a sextet in this recording, John (Jean) Ferrier is added as the piano player - remaining personnel as mentioned above. 'Joe Louis Stomp' is a great swing tune, both Coleman and Edgar Courance have great solo spots, but here we should also focus on Oscar Alemán's 16 bar guitar solo. This is in fact the first swing/jazz solo recorded by Alemán. It is documenting an already mature and personal style that distinguishes him from other guitarists at the time. Enjoy the tune as recorded on January 31th, 1936 in the inserted video below.

Oscar Alemán recorded and released a version of 'Joe Louis Stomp' in Buenos Aires much later, but not during his contract with Odeon from 1941 to 1957. However, during the 1960s, when he had semi-retired from the scene as a performer and recording artist after dissolving his orchestra in 1959, he was from time to time a featured guest performer in radio and TV programs accompanied by a quintet named Cinco Caballeros consisting of cl or vln, p, rh g, b and dm.
Oscar Alemán & Cinco Caballeros, 1960s
With the Cinco Caballeros Alemán performed his own arrangement of 'Joe Louis Stomp' at several live appearances in radio programs during the 1960s as documented in unissued recordings saved by keen collectors. One of the hottest versions I have heard was performed in a program at Radio el Mundo on September 2nd, 1965, inserted in the audio-video below

Note that the speaker of the program mentions Duke Ellington as the composer of the tune, although it rightly should have been Bill Coleman. However, the studio audience probably would not have cared anyway, as Bill Coleman's name and output probably was rather unknown in Argentina at the time. On the other hand, Alemán's version of the tune gets a deserved enthusiastic applause and points to the fact that 'Joe Louis Stomp' had become a part of his standard repertoire at the time. 

As mentioned, he recorded the tune much later, now in a slower and more subdued version, but still with great guitar work showing off his excellence even in his late career. The tune was recorded in September 1974 on the last LP album for the Redondel label titled 'En Todos Los Ritmos' (L-809). Alemán is accompanied by Juan José Gonzalez (cl), Dario “Johnny” Quaglia (rh g), Norberto Villa (b) and Mario Raffaelli (dm). This version has been uploaded at YouTube and is inserted in the video below - a worthy contribution to mark the 106th anniversary of Oscar Alemán and a great swing jazz tune, enjoy!


Monday, January 26, 2015

15th Anniversary of QUATRE TICKETS DE SWING

November last year, the Dutch string swing quartet in the ‘Django Reinhardt’ Hot Club  tradition, Quartre Tickets de Swing, celebrated its 15th anniversary. Below follows a short review of the career of the ensemble.

Georg Lankester
It was at the end of the Nineties of last century that guitarist Georg Lankester took the initiative to form - with three other Dutch musicians - a swing quartet in the ‘Hot Club’ style and he called it Quatre Tickets a French song from the mid Forties. They were inspired by the European Jazz which, in 1934, was created by the “Hot Club de France ‘ Quintet with the legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt & violinist Stéphane Grappelli. It was the first string jazz quintet and only around 1940 this changed in such a way that the violin was replaced by a clarinet. Their unforgettable swing style was – next to several other European groups -  in Belgium adopted by the great WASO quartet which, however, broke up around 1985  

Quartre Tickets de Swing in the beginning
Quatre Tickets de Swing chose for the same line-up as WASO : a reed man, two guitarists and a double bass player. And the enthousiasm of the formation soon brought a lot of performances. Moreover their first cd recordings were made, which in  addition to the many Django compositions included several track from the American ‘Swing’ period.

Quartre Tickets de Swing in ‘Monte Porzio’ near Rome, 2005
In 2005 the quartet was invited to play at an Italian Django-festival nearby Rome. A few years afterwards followed by a visit to the Vosges in France for several concerts. Again a new cd was issued with a variety of swing and ballads in the French way.

Quartre Tickets de Swing with singer Ita van Dijk
Since 2009 lady singer Ita van Dijk came to join the band till end 2013. Starting from 2014 she was succeeded by Inge Alberts and the band repertoire now  includes new songs, many of them again in the French language.

Quartre Tickets de Swing today with singer Inge Alberts
Apart from performances in theatres and jazz clubs, Quatre Tickets took part in the unique Guitar Festival 2014 in Enkhuizen (Holland) and launched their cd  called ‘Swinging and Singing. These recordings can be ordered by e-mail

The CD 'Swinging & Singing' by Quartre Tickets de Swing (click to enlarge)
In November 2014 special swing sessions were organised in Deventer to celebrate the band’s 15th anniversary, whereby several guest musicians were invited. Among them the Lammy Bruyn Combo (Swing Musette), several guest soloists and singers.  It was a swinging performance for a full house.

Quartre Tickets de Swing at the jubilee performance, November 2014
Here are the members of Quartre Tickets de Swing: Peter Swart (clar/sax), Georg Lankester (solo g), Arthur Siero (g), Eric  van Buysen (b), Inge Alberts (voc.). Together a swinging ensemble, listen to Quartre Tickets de Swing in the inserted audio-videos below.

Quartre Tickets de Swing plays ‘Swing 42’, a composition by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, enjoy!

Finally, Quartre Tickets de Swing with vocalist Inge Alberts plays the standard ‘For Me Formidable’ with lyrics in French, enjoy!

Further  info on Quartre Tickets de Swing available here or here 


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