Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
king ubu

Barney Wilen

222 posts in this topic

Re: Paris Moods?

Does the rhythm w/ Terrason play acoustic or electric bass in support?

edit: I think I found my answer. What Kevin said!

naturel.jpg

Edited by Man with the Golden Arm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very acoustic, very up front in the recording.

It's a good 'un.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our friends at AllMusic don't think highly of it, awarding it only two stars, but I rather like the 1959 Newport sessions (with Toshiko). Not ground-breaking stuff, but solid, in-the-era jazz.

I really like that one... my first Barney Wilen disc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This one has been mentioned here, but can anyone give a more detailed impression of that one, please?

5e_1.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inside Nitty Gritty is one of Barney Wilen's best from his latter years. Highly recommended. Emmanuel Bex is a very interesting organ player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Nitty+Gritty is a good one indeed! Took me a little while to warm up to it, but then it erupted into good listening flames.

Moshi is an odd duck. Sort of a bluesrock pseudoAfricanesque fusion. NOT a Wilen I grab all the time. Needs revisiting, interesting, not an essential part of his catalog, in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just picked up Moshi on ebay, very cheap.

But that organ trio makes me even more curious.

Anybody knows it's available somewhere?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just picked up Moshi on ebay, very cheap.

But that organ trio makes me even more curious.

Anybody knows it's available somewhere?

me: come one mike, guess!

mike: erm... Japan?

me: bingo!

24bit limited ed. paper sleeve blahblahblah... oh, and rather expensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About Moshi, not a fan of that one! Heard it a couple of times and never got into it. One Wilen I did not purchase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just for the record a web page i found had this:

BARNEY  WILEN: If You're Good At It, Do It

by  Mike Zwerin

4 June 1998

After a solo with Miles Davis' band in the  Club Saint Germain during the winter of 1958, 21-year-old Barney Wilen unhooked his saxophone, came to the bar, ordered a double and said: "You  know what Miles just said to me? He said: 'Why don't you stop playing  those terrible notes?'" Not having a low insecurity threshold,  Wilen immediately went back to the bandstand to play some more of  whatever you call them. It would take more than words to kill Barney.

His healthy ego can be traced in part to inheritance. His father, an American, was a dentist before becoming an inventor. He  collected big royalties on patents covering flippers, goggles and  other underwater gear just before the demand for them went way up.

Born  in Nice in 1937, Barney grew up "right in the middle of that F.  Scott Fitzgerald French Riviera scene. My father was Suzanne Langlen's  tennis manager for a while." The family left to escape the war  but "we were on the first boat back after it was over."

In  addition to his father's strong personality, Wilen can look back much  further on his French mother's side of the family for ancestral  inspiration. Talking about ancient relatives, he said: "Pierre  Josef de Tremblay was Richelieu's secretary. And the Michaux brothers  were counsellors to Czar Nicholas during the Napoleonic wars. These  were the guys who had the brilliant idea to burn down Moscow.

"Blaise  Cendrars, the poet, who was a friend of my mother's, was the one who  convinced me to be a musician," Wilen continued. "My mother  used to hold regular literary teas to bring people together. I  remember particularly various friends of Marcel Proust and Consuelo de  Saint-Exupery [widow of the writer/airman] and so on.

"My  father wanted me to be a lawyer or go into real estate and he you  might say ‘sequestered' the alto sax my uncle Jesse had given me  just before I was going to take part in a contest sponsored by the Hot  Club de France. I hustled like mad and eventually found a baritone  sax, which I had never played before.

"Everybody said I  sounded like Gerry Mulligan. Gerry was big that year, so I didn't  mind. Our band won the contest.

"'Do what you want,'  Cendrars told me. 'Don't think about what other people say. If you  like it and feel you can be good at it, do it.'"

In the  early 1950s, teenager Wilen opened a youth club featuring jazz. Family  connections combined with energy and talent coaxed help from the city  of Nice, and from his father's friend Jacques Medecin; then a  journalist. After that he was the mayor of Nice and since then he's  been in and out of exile in Uraguay.

Playing every night, he  got better fast. Wilen, which comes from Wilensky and is "either  Polish or Russian, I'm not sure," moved to Paris in 1957. He was  one of the few European born players that Americans were willing to  play with. He accompanied Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk on the soundtrack of Roger Vadim's film "Les Liaisons dangereuses," and was very strong being featured with Miles on the soundtrack of  Louis Malle's movie, "Lift to the Scaffold."

Inherited  money and a multi-talented free spirit occasionally took Wilen away  from jazz. After hearing some recorded pygmy music in the Musee de  l'Homme in Paris, ha arranged financing, put a team of filmmakers,  technicians, journalists and musicians in four Land Rovers and left in 1970 to "go to Africa and look for and record these people."

Moving back and forth several times with revolving personnel,  the project preoccupied him for a total of six years. Because of an  accumulation of problems like the war in Biafra, a plethora of land  mines, a period in prison, some bad planning and intense social  pressure, they never did record (or find) the pygmies. "All the  pygmies seem to have left by the time we got there," Wilen said.

He was the model for the central character in a six-part story  called "Barney," about a jazz musician, which ran in the  French adult comic magazine "A Suivre" (To Be Continued).  The story was collected into a hard- covered album.

The hero  is insecure, a "loser," a scowler, a womanizer, moody,  strung out on heroin, and usually needs a shave. It is neither  flattering nor, according to Wilen, accurate. When he asked: "Why  me?" the editors replied: "Because you're the rockiest jazz  musician we know."

Wilen described himself as a "putter  together." Although he worked regularly, and his name was well  known in French jazz circles, his reputation gradually faded as a new  generation of fine players came of age. His pale, emotionally drained face did not smile easily. Despite an impressive reserve of positive  energy, he tended to duck his fate.

He moved back to Nice.  He put together, managed and played with a punk rock band called Moko.  He also put together a "Jazzmobile" organization, which,  like its New york namesake, took music to people in outlying districts  on flatbed trucks.

Then he brought the same concept to  Paris, renamed "Zapmobile" because of trademark  restrictions. The debut concert, called "Me and My Friends,"  was played on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees. Followed by a month-long  series of concerts on a barge.

Wilen also put together a  musical comedy, a series of sketches about "looking for Charlie  Parker's saxophone." The project was not helped by the fact that  he'd been "dodging finance companies who were after me for  200,000 francs for three years as an aftermath of my last theatrical production.

"But I'm not worried," he said at the  time. "I've been existing more than living lately. I've got  nothing to lose - no houses, no automobiles, no major appliances. The  moment I do accumulate some belongings they seem somehow to go suddenly down the drain."

PS: Barney Wilen had  accumulated more and more critical success and musical knowledge and  by the mid 90s, he was stronger than ever and he had a wonderful band  with the Franco/Americano Laurent de Wilde on piano. So Barney had become so strong once more that when he died just shy of 60 it was a  shock. A loss.

Going suddenly down the drain one way or  another seemed to be his karma.

http://www.culturekiosque.com/jazz/miles/rhemile10.htm

Edited by Man with the Golden Arm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While searching through the web, came up on this

NN: Barney Wilen sur la sellette - "Sonny Rollins n'a peur de rien!", in: Jazz Magazine, #33 (Dec.1957), p. 30-31 (BT: Jimmy Giuffre: "That's the Way It Is"; Sonny Rollins: "Strode Rode"; Count Basie: "Broadway"; Lester Young: "Up'n Adam"; Hank Mobley & John Coltrane & Zoot Sims & Al Cohn: "Bob's Boys"; Clifford Jordan & John Gilmore: "Blue Lights"; Miles Davis: "Round About Midnight"; Donald Byrd: "Blues"; Woody Herman: "Early Autumn"; Bill Doggett: "Honky Tonk")

Title of the article translates:

Barney Wilen on the hot seat: 'Sonny Rollins is afraid of nothing!'

That was a Blindfold test I did upon a request from Jazz Magazine. It was published in the December 1957 issue. I don't have a copy of it unfortunately.

Barney was 20 at the time. I was 18. We both had a great time.

And may I pat myself on the back for the excellent selection of records.

The choice still looks pretty good nearly half a century later.

The records came from my limited collection. It has grown mightily since!

The item comes from a Barney Wilen bibliography from the Darmstadt Jazz-Institute:

http://home.att.net/~warren.robert/Jazzindex.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While searching through the web, came up on this

NN: Barney Wilen sur la sellette - "Sonny Rollins n'a peur de rien!", in: Jazz Magazine, #33 (Dec.1957), p. 30-31 (BT: Jimmy Giuffre: "That's the Way It Is"; Sonny Rollins: "Strode Rode"; Count Basie: "Broadway"; Lester Young: "Up'n Adam"; Hank Mobley & John Coltrane & Zoot Sims & Al Cohn: "Bob's Boys"; Clifford Jordan & John Gilmore: "Blue Lights"; Miles Davis: "Round About Midnight"; Donald Byrd: "Blues"; Woody Herman: "Early Autumn"; Bill Doggett: "Honky Tonk")

Title of the article translates:

Barney Wilen on the hot seat: 'Sonny Rollins is afraid of nothing!'

That was a Blindfold test I did upon a request from Jazz Magazine. It was published in the December 1957 issue. I don't have a copy of it unfortunately.

Barney was 20 at the time. I was 18. We both had a great time.

And may I pat myself on the back for the excellent selection of records.

The choice still looks pretty good nearly half a century later.

The records came from my limited collection. It has grown mightily since!

The item comes from a Barney Wilen bibliography from the Darmstadt Jazz-Institute:

http://home.att.net/~warren.robert/Jazzindex.htm

:tup

Would love to read it, brownie!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this thread reminds me of a similar thread on either aaj or jazz corner a little while ago where the discussion was that ronnie scott is an acknowledged master of the saxophone.

sure are a lot of masters out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the way I use the term there really were/are.

I think of a master as someone who has really mastered the instrument, to the extent that he can play very well and can be very expressive. Doesn't necessarily mean that he will be an innovator or even a great improvisor, but it does mean that he CAN PLAY as Monk would say.

Wilen certainly qualifies. He played the tenor immensely well, and he played soprano, alto and baritone as well as many who concentrated on those instruments. (His soprano tone may be the best there was/is to my ears!) That's quite a feat, to have such mastery over four horns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sure are a lot of masters out there.

yes, there are. isn't it grand!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lon,

I'm also an enthusiastic fan of Wilen and I remember that you already published, years ago, an article on Wilen in a short living publication called Doo Bop or something like that. I remember it because a few days after reading it I was able to score 3 Wilen cd's in a used shop here in Montréal (Sanctuary, B. W. Quintet and Wild dogs of the Ruwenzori , all superb ) :D

It was a very interesting article on Wilen with a few suggestions. Would you post it for the benefit of Wilen fans ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, okay, since you asked. . .

Here's from the draft I submitted.

Unsung Master: Barney Wilen

The past year I have been reveling in the artistry of the late Barney Wilen, a

master saxophonist who is not as well known as I believe he should be.

Barney Wilen was born to an American father and a French mother, and spent his

early years in Arizona, before moving to France as a pre-teen. He developed a

deep interest in the saxophone, and was inspired by Lester Young and Sonny

Rollins. He began playing as a teenager in France with French jazzmen, and with

visiting American stars. Soon he was recording on his own for Vogue and Philips

and RCA, and was one of the stars of the European jazz scene. In these early

recordings he featured his tenor saxophone playing, but also began to perform

and record on the soprano saxophone, an instrument on which he found a beautiful

tone.

At the end of the sixties, Wilen spent years in Africa, filming Africa and

Africans, and playing and learning music. On his return to Europe he began a

second musical career as a jazz leader, and began to feature European melodies

and also to explore Indian music. More and more his attention turned to

ballads, and to the interpretation of romantic compositions. He also recorded

with frequency on the alto and baritone saxophones, showing a growing mastery of

all these horns.

Lamentably few of Wilen's recordings are readily available on compact disc in

America. Below I would like to point out seven recordings which are fairly easy

to obtain, or available with a bit of effort and well worth the search.

Miles Davis: "Lift to the Scaffold" soundtrack. (Fontana) Wilen was recruited

to participate in this soundtrack recording, and contributes an interesting

feature for the tenor sax. A beautiful recording of a top shelf ensemble.

Barney Wilen: "Une Temoin Dans La Ville / Jazz Sur La Seine." (Philips). Two

Barney Wilen albums on one CD! On the first includes Kenny Dorham, Duke Jordan

and Kenny Clarke and is a real gem. Here Wilen is recorded on the soprano

saxophone for the first time, and plays beautifully. The second session has

Milt Jackson on piano, and as the only horn Wilen solos often and well, in a

Sonny Rollins mode.

John Lewis / Sacha Distel: "Afternoon in Paris" (Atlantic/Koch Jazz) This

recording has Wilen along as a sideman with leaders Lewis and Distel. A very

interesting recording, to which Wilen makes important contributions.

Barney Wilen: "Moshi" (Mantra) Fresh from his years in Africa, Wilen recorded

this session in Paris with African and French musicians, and includes recordings

of speaking and chanting from his African travels. The music shifts from

electric blues to African influenced music, and Wilen adds saxophone commentary

to these non-jazz compositions. A very different offering, but enjoyable.

Barney Wilen: "Sanctuary" (IDA) A jump to the '80s, and a pristine recording

of Wilen in a trio setting with guitarist Philipe Catherine and bassist Palle

Danielsson. A swinging and lyrical session, with some selections evoking the

spirit of Django Rheinhardt, and masterful playing by all present. This is one

of the recordings that shows Wilen's growing interest in romantic material and

his interpretation of the Lester Young approach to ballad playing.

Barney Wilen: "New York Romance" (Venus/Sunnyside) Recorded by the legendary

engineer Rudy Van Gelder in his Englewood Cliffs studio, this is a session that

features Wilen on tenor, baritone and soprano saxophone, accompanied by Kenny

Barron, Ira Coleman and Lewis Nash. Both swinging numbers and lyrical ballads

are performed with emotion and expertise.

Barney Wilen: "The Osaka Concert" (RTE) Featuring the piano of Laurent De

Wilde, this is a well recorded concert that has the added highlight of

incorporating spoken introductions in French by Wilen of the selections and

players. The performances are spirited and chronicled is a stunning baritone

solo within the rendition of "Sous le Ciel de Paris," and an exciting

performance of an interesting arrangement of "Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn

Leaves)"

Sadly, Barney Wilen died on May 25, 1996. He has left an enduring legacy to his

musical artistry and spirit. His work has grabbed my attention, and enriched my

life. If you wish to add the work of another jazz master to your musical world,

seek out one of the recordings of Barney Wilen. Like me, you may become an

enthusiastic fan!

Edited by jazzbo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing, Lon!

ubu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice tribute, Lon.

Just to edit: it's SOUS LE CIEL DE PARIS (literally Under the Paris Sky) not Sur Les Ciels de Paris!

And a personal aside. Surprised you did not mention the Barney Wilen At Club Saint-Germain albums (with Kenny Dorham)! My personal Wilen favorites....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice tribute, Lon.

Just to edit: it's SOUS LE CIEL DE PARIS (literally Under the Paris Sky) not Sur Les Ciels de Paris!

And a personal aside. Surprised you did not mention the Barney Wilen At Club Saint-Germain albums (with Kenny Dorham)! My personal Wilen favorites....

Maybe because they aren't easy to find? Love them, too!

Just in case someone looks for this one:

B000008A1E.08.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

It can still be found on Amazon France.

This was my very first Wilen disc, after I'd heard him on the "Ascenseur pour l'echafaud" soundtrack, and I still like it a lot!

ubu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Brownie, my French was bad that morning and I didn't have the cd with me at the time. I think I may or may not have corrected that in the article itself.

My criterial for the article was to mention cds that at that time I could log in and order, and each of these fit that criteria. .. then. .. not now! The St. Germain dates I had but didn't find them available for sale online.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey, I still have those DooBop PDFs on my hard disk somewhere!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me too. . .

who woulda thunk! :g

are they still online?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.