Title - 'Live in Tokyo '91' [2CD]
Artist - Barney Wilen Quartet
For those not in the know, born in Nice, Barney Wilen (1937-1996) saw his career boosted in 1957 when he worked with Miles Davis on the soundtrack of Louis Malle's film Ascenseur pour l'échafaud.
In 1959 he wrote his two soundtracks, Un temoin dans la ville and Jazz sur scène with Kenny Clarke and he also wrote a soundtrack for Roger Vadim's film Les liaisons dangereuses two years later; working with Thelonious Monk.
Wilen toured Japan for the first time in 1990 and returned the following year, when this concert was taped. He died of cancer in Paris at the age of 59.
Thankfully for all us fans, Elemental Music has just released this past October 11th, 2019 a complete previously-unissued quartet performance in pristine sound quality by this great French saxophonist, Barney Wilen.
Entitled Live in Tokyo '91 this glorious concert finds him playing at the Keystone Korner in Tokyo, Japan, on February 11th, 1991 and the quartet is completed by Olivier Hutman at the piano, Gilles Naturel on bass, and Peter Gritz on drums.
2. 'Beautiful Love'
3. 'L'Âmes Des Poêtes'
4. 'Mon Blouson (C'est Ma Maison)'
5. 'Que Reste-t-il De Nos Amours?'
6. 'Bêsame Mucho'
1. 'How Deep Is The Ocean?'
2. 'Little Lu'
3. 'Old Folks'
4. 'Latin Alley'
5. 'Bass Blues'
6. 'No Problem' (from Lisasons Dangereuses)
8. 'Doxy' (Encore)
With an amazing two hours of music spread over the two CDs, unpublished music, at that, Live in Tokyo '91 (recorded live at Keystone Korner in Tokyo) is a quite brilliant musical endeavor and a truly breathtaking musical unearthing.
It was actually Wilen’s second trip to Japan and alongside his amazing aforementioned trio of bandsmen the saxophonist sure makes his tenor and soprano sax come to life whilst drifting through a wide variety of genres.
Genres such as French traditional (Charles Trenet) and American standards by Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and Duke Jordan.
Listening in, eavesdropping, if you will, on this intimate live show from some 28 years ago, Wilen's take on these tracks are notably fresh, spontaneous at times, and at all times delivered lovingly wrapped within the platitudes of an energetic swing.
Every track is played to its fullest, all genre musicalities observed, ther origjnal warmth and breadth not only acknowledged, but recreated with seemingly effortless bravado.
Simply put, what that live audience witnessed that night is what we are thankfully able to also hear now, and that is the fundamental virtues of jazz embodied in a master musician.
"This fine concert was recorded directly from the console to my father’s SONY DAT," Patrick Wilen, Barney's son and also Associate Producer on this project, reveals. "Thanks to his farsightedness and passion for technology we are now able to enjoy what went down almost 30 years ago."
This quite wondrous 2CD edition also contains a 20-page booklet with rare and previously unpublished photographs from the tour courtesy of Oliver Hutman, and special annotations by Hutman, Gilles Naturel, the aforementioned Patrick Wilen, and jazz journalist Bruno Pfeiffer (the booklet contains the full texts both in English and French).
Amazon CD Purchase Link