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gmonahan

Harold Nicholas and his orchestra 1959--personnel?

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So I'm listening to this delightful session in which the great dancer sings very well. It was recorded in Paris for Fontana (882101) sometime in 1959 and reissued by Verve Gitanes in its wonderful Jazz in Paris series along with sessions by June Richmond and Andy Bey. Alas, there is no personnel for the "orchestra" that accompanies Nicholas (and Lord, which shows the session, simply labels the personnel as "unkn"). Anybody have any notion who was on this session? There's very good flute--maybe Barney Wilen??--as well as some fine trombone, trumpet, and piano. Here is the cover of the reissue:

 

nicholas.jpg

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Was the entire session on Fontana and is the catalog no. you indicate the original one? (It reads like that of a somewhat later Fontana release) Also indicate the discographical details from the booklet (so those who do not have that CD - such as me - know what sessions this is all about - neither Jepsen nor Bruyninckx list it at all).
Who knows ... the recordings may have received a review (with personnel listings) in Jazz Hot, Jazz Magazine or the Bulletin du Hot Club de France. I will be prepared to check my copies when I get around to it. 

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The Lord Disco has no personnel. I'm afraid there was none listed on the original cover, although I can't find a pic of that issue.

It could be it was a compilation of tracks issued on singles and EPs, like this one:

R-1024989-1586250668-2310.jpeg.jpg

Two of these tracks were on a 45 with Jimmy Walter's Orchestra: https://www.discogs.com/Harold-Nicholas-Accompanied-By-Jimmy-Walter-Et-Son-Orchestre-St-Louis-Blues-That-Old-Black-Magic/release/15407452

 

 

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The Fontana number I listed was the only one I could find, and as Mike says, there's no personnel in Lord. Likewise, the only recording date listed was "1959," which is pretty unhelpful! The players behind Nicholas *sound* to these ears like they are the same throughout, but, of course, I guess it could be some kind of compilation. I wondered if the flute player could be Bobby Jaspar, but he appears to have been on this side of the water from late 1958 through early 1960. It's a fun set, and Nicholas sings with gusto.

 

 

 

gregmo

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15 hours ago, mikeweil said:

The Lord Disco has no personnel. I'm afraid there was none listed on the original cover, although I can't find a pic of that issue.

It could be it was a compilation of tracks issued on singles and EPs, like this one:

R-1024989-1586250668-2310.jpeg.jpg

Two of these tracks were on a 45 with Jimmy Walter's Orchestra: https://www.discogs.com/Harold-Nicholas-Accompanied-By-Jimmy-Walter-Et-Son-Orchestre-St-Louis-Blues-That-Old-Black-Magic/release/15407452

 

 

See, Mike, that's what i was getting at. That 400.000 number is much more like that of other late 50s/early 60s Fontana releases in France (UK Fontanas had a different numbering system and these are the ones that figure in early 60s German jazz record guides too).
@gmonahan: Where did you find that 800000 catalog number? Normally the booklets to the Jazz in Paris series do give the original release number, and if the orignal release was on EPs then the EP numbers are given. It would be atypical if they'd indicate a different (later) pressing number. Upon checking Discogs to (at last) find out which tracks we are talking about here I see that only 3 of the 4 tracks from the above Fontana EP are on that CD - which can only be explained by the 8 Nicholas tracks on that CD making up an LP with the 800000 catalog no. (8 tracks indicate a 10-inch LP which continued to be popular in France LONG into the 60s - but Discogs has no trace of that LP by Harold Nicholas). "Blue Moon" from the EP seems to have been omitted. Odd anyway because the Jazz in Paris series usually reissues entire sets - except sometimes if EPs are added as fillers (and space for more by Nicholas would have been available here). So it would be interesting to find out about the actual relationship between the release number you indicated and the above EP. 

I've started a brief research in my magazines yesterday but have not found anything yet - possibly those recordings were considered too "pop" for reviews in jazz magazines.

P.S: Jimmy Walter was a pianist (and apparently songwriter too) on the French pop/cabaret/variety scene of the 50s and early 60s and was one of many bandleaders to provide the studio backing bands (under various band names - see Discogs) for various artists and styles, right into the twist era. He is mentioned in a groundbreaking book on early (very early) French rock'n'roll but no indication is made of whether that name was a pseudonym (I have a hunch it was one). I happen to own the Harold Nicolas EP (on Barclay) where he does the Madison - backing provided by "Jimmy Walter et ses madisonnistes" - a typical studio band producing the required style (competent but without much individuality), but it is anybody's guess if the lineup (uncredited, of course) has anything to do with the Jimmy Walter orchestra on the above 1959 Fontana tracks.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Steve, the 882 101 number is indeed from the Jazz in Paris booklet which reads, in toto: "Reissue of the Fontana 10" LP 882 101." Lord lists the title of the session as "Chanteurs/Chanteuses" which title that site also credits to an Emarcy cd with the same catalog number as the Jazz in Paris disc. Odder yet, that is *not* the title of the Jazz in Paris disc! And I too was surprised to see "Blue Moon" as a track on an EP because, as you said, the Jazz in Paris series was usually pretty thorough. I looked up the tune on Lord, and while it was recorded many times during that period, I couldn't find any recordings on Fontana!

I appreciate your interest in this! I couldn't find any more info on-line.

 

 

 

gregmo

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