Finally this highly sought-after record comes back on record stores shelves in a remastered edition.
“It is my pleasure to present you the famous Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Ensemble who will play at our party in Rolandseck. Tonight’s music and profits are in benefit of Arts and Music, which is a non-profit enterprise that will transform this old station into a center for the arts. I hope we’ll all meet again here in Rolandseck”.
These are the words used by Marcel Marceau to introduce The Clarke-Boland at his party in Rolandseck.
“That night on the Rhine was like being in Cuba. The ten best pieces were captured on this record that also demonstrates the atmosphere of that evening: diplomats who had never heard jazz before clapped and shouted, as well as the fans who had come from afar to finally see the Ensemble already known from their successes”.
(From the original sleeve notes by Hans Hermann Koper)
* * *
The Kenny Clarke-Fancy Boland Ensemble has its headquarter and management in Cologne. Many international recordings and releases presents the lineup of the Clarke-Boland in trio, quartet, sextet and in bands with 13 and 21 musicians from all over Europe. This time, they were a sextet that traveled to Rolandseck, a German ensemble with no Germans.
Kenny “Klook” Clarke is one of the heads of the bebop movement. He was also one of the founders of the Modern Jazz Quartet and he is considered today with Max Roach and Art Blakey one of the most important jazz drummer. He is involved in most of the essential recordings of the Forties, Fifties and Sixties. This new album shows him under a new perspective, casting the great jazz drummer as the driving force of a sextet playing jazz with some latin influences.
Francy Boland, the small, shy, inconspicuous, efficient man from Namur, is responsible for piano and arrangements. As a composer and arranger, he worked with Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman and Kurt Edelhagen. Drive and passion are both forces of his piano playing style and arrangements.
Jimmy Woode, bass and vocals, is one of the excellent American jazz players in European exile. He worked for six years with Duke Ellington. Many great musicians have come from that school, amongst whom are wonderful bass players such as Jimmy Blanton and Oscar Pettiford. Today James Bryant Woode drives the Clarke-Boland “Swing-Machine”. His vocals display an astonishing jazz feeling, fresh and immaculate, without superfluous virtuosities.
Fats Sadi, means bongos. His steady rhythm blends with Clarke’s drumming and Woode’s bass playing in an unshakable unity.
Joe Harris, percussions, shows here his versatility: he plays congas on “Con Alma”, guiro in “Serenata”, vibraphone on “Sconsolato”, timbales in “Calypso”. He replaced Kenny Clarke in many occasions, playing with Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones and Lionel Hampton.
Sahib Shihab, flute, leads the melody with vibrating swing throughout all the tonalities. Shihab’s previous jazz experiences were with Fletcher Henderson, Roy Eldridge, Gillespie and Ellington.
Under Marcel Marceau’s patronage a band mixing black and white people, consisting of America and Europe, performed with this line up arousing musical influences from Latin America.
Recorded in occasion of Marcel Marceau’s Party at the old railway station of Rolandseck on September 25th, 1965.