Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A nice session from Stephane's obscure years
PH-50-NC | Southeast USA | 06/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This record was cut in Paris for Barclay Records (released by Atlantic in the U.S.A.) in the spring of 1962. It's a relaxed-sounding session (though Stephane is often playing crazy/witty lines using that elegant tone of his), nicely recorded with a touch of reverb. While the line up is two guitars, bass, drums, and Stephane, there is no attempt to do Hot Club-style swing here. The beat is straight-up mainstream swing (like you'd hear on a Teddy Wilson album, for instance), and the guitars are electric. The lead guitar player, a Swiss chap named Pierre Cavalli who worked as a session guitarist in Paris for many years, is quite a tasty player. He has a touch of country-jazz in his playing (though he's not a barn-burner like Jimmy Bryant-he's looser and jazzier). He doesn't roll back the treble like most American jazz guitar players of this era (Burrell, Hall, etc.), and gets an occasional twangy sound on his boppish lines.
Stephane himself is featured front and center thoughout, of course, and he is in fine form here. The arrangements, particularly those for 'Daphne' and 'Soft Winds', are creative and do not sound off-the-cuff. Daniel Humair on drums keeps things light but swinging, and the delicate sound of the violin is never obscured.
I suppose if there is a criticism to be made, it's that the album isn't daring and sounds like it was created to be played on the hi-fi as background music. But close listening is rewarded. While the dynamic levels are pretty consistent and the playing never gets in your face, the musicians are not on auto-pilot.
Ironically, two of the Django-related pieces ('Nuages' and 'Minor Swing') are good but ho-hum in comparison to the original QHCF versions (particularly 'Minor Swing', whose original recording has a lot going on in the arrangement that is missed here and elsewhere--to say nothing of the fire in the playing on the original). But as Stephane's career was in low gear at the time, I'm sure the Django tie-ins seemed like a good hook on which to sell the album."