Barney Wilen's Jazz Sur Seine: an example of the great saxophonist's excellence

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Barney Wilens Jazz Sur Seine: an example of the great saxophonists excellence

Wow! That was my reaction after listening to this 1958 recording, on my turntable for the very first time today, having received my copy by mail yesterday. Straight from Fred Thomas of Sam Records, a small vinyl record reissue company in Paris, France. 


Saxophonist Barney Wilen (1937-1996) is not as well-known as the other great masters of the Golden Age of Jazz. Whereas he is probably best known for his work with Miles Davis on the soundtrack of Ascenseur pour l'échafaud ('Lift to the Scaffold'), Wilen recorded excellent albums as leader.Jazz Sur Seine is an example of this musician's excellence.


Barney is brilliant on tenor saxophone throughout the date, supported by some of the finest musicians of the day. Milt Jackson, one of the best vibraphonists of the last century, plays piano (!) with a touch that makes one “hear a vibraphone”. I have read somewhere that he was playing the piano with only one finger of each hand. Amazing, for he sounds like Bud Powell in full flight. 


The great Kenny Clarke on drums and Percy Heath on bass are in very fine form indeed. Beautifully recorded in mono, the sound is top notch, with great clarity and warmth. Very highly recommended. 


Listen to Barney Wilen & Co playing Swing 39


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