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Jazz Forum No.1 June 1946 0010

Jazz Forum No.1 June 1946 0010

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John Ouwerx on piano, Josse Aerts on drums, etc., recorded for Olympia, and made some records with Django when he came to Brussels. He liked this orchestra a lot, and the interpretations of Nuages, Djangology, etc., have some beautiful solos by Reinhardt.

The famous guitarist composed a piece called Place de Brouckere in honour of the jazz-fans of Brussels. He also made a few records with Fud Candrix, and soloed with the pianist Yvon Debie, a Belgian disciple of Billy Kyle’s. Rostaing, for his part, made some discs with some of Candrix’ musicians.

Rudy Bruder, who is considered our “ No. 1 on the 88,” got together a septette, with the tenor Jean Robert, now in Germany, Louis de Gaes on trumpet, Josse Aerts, etc., and put out some good side for Decca like Sans Amour, Decca Blues, and It Don't Mean A Thing.

The drummer Jeff de Boeck, who was for long, one of the stars with Candrix and an unsurpassable showman, formed the Metro All Star Band with Morales on trumpet, Bobby Naret, clarinet, and Vic Ingeveldt, tenor. This group recorded but few discs, of which Metro Stomp and Bugle Call Rag should be remembered.

The discovery of these last years is undoubtedly Vic Ingeveldt, who for a long time before the war played with Coleman Hawkins at the “ Boeuf sur le Toit.” He has a terrific swing, a style very close to that of the “ Bean ” and Choo Berry, and a fertile imagination. He is also a brilliant clarinetist.

Another discovery is the trumpeter Louis de Haes, whose style and tone are magnificent. He made his first records with an excellent group assembled by Jack Kluger (under Jay Clever’s name) including among others Omer de Cock on tenor and Rudy Bruder at the piano, as well as our Canary No. 1, Martha Love, who was making her debut. Doctor Jazz, Blue Lou and Back in Your Arms are some of the best ones.

Among the pianists some stars were revealed, including Vicky Thunis, with a powerful right hand and a “ Kyle-Basie ” style, and Henry Seghers, who is considered one of the best in Belgium.

If in general Belgian recordings have not always been as good as one might have hoped, the work of the musicians must nevertheless not be judged by pressings they made during the occupation.

In fact, as dancing was speedily almost completely forbidden by the Germans, musicians were obliged to perform on “ Show ” programmes, far removed from real jazz, which was not exactly to be recommended for keeping them in good form.

However, the work achieved by the new specialised record label “ Hot ” in the recording of non-commercial groups, especially intended for sincere hot-fans, must be emphasised.

It was for “ Hot ” that the pianist, leader and composer from Antwerp, Gus Clark, made his first records. At a period when the continental

output seemed to have sunk into exhibitionism and bad taste, Gus Clark created an atmosphere of sincerity deserving of every commendation. Assisted by such excellent soloists as Harry Turf, alto, Vic Ingeveldt, Jack Glaser, drums, Van Wetter, guitar ; Jean Delahaut, bass, Peiffer, trumpet and others, he recorded first of all in Dixieland formation, making some very good discs such as Rythme Indien, Tom Tom Rag, Blue Session, Park Avenue and Dry Gin, etc., and then with a large orchestra augmented by such stars as Bobby Naret, alto ; Brinkhuysen, trombone ; Clays and Morales, trumpets ; Parade Negre and Appel de la Jungle, a very Ellingtonian arrangement which may be considered as one of the best things done in Belgium.

The clarinetist Henry van Bemst also cut some waxes for “ Hot ” with a small combo playing in collective improvisation, including among others Herman Sandy.

A few interesting orchestras were formed in the provinces, but they did not last long. Undoubtedly the best ones were Albert de Cock’s large orchestra at St. Nicholas, and the Liege jam band, “ One Hour Session ” composed solely of jazz-fans.

It should be said in conclusion that although jazz was not completely “ verboten,” everything possible was done to condemn, control, and misrepresent it. Thus was our friend Mr. F.

• Faecq, manager-editor and secretary of the Jazz Club of Belgium, imprisoned by the Germans, who accused him of fostering American jazz music ; likewise certain musicians, such as Roger Rose and René Goldstein (at present deported into Germany). The “ Polizei ” had got their hands on some musical scores belonging to them which bore the title of Gestapo Blues, Hitler Stomp and so on. These gentlemen did not appreciate the joke!

Two young amateur musicians, Freddy Gilbert and Tony Destree (who made a record for “ Hot ”) played an admirable role in the Belgian resistance, were designated as “ terrorists and dangerous criminals,” hunted out and had a price put on their heads of 500.000frs. each! They fortunately eluded all pursuers.

Fifty-two months of occupation, vexations, and prohibitions of all kinds have not killed the passion for real jazz in Belgium. The pretended “ critics ” who in order to flatter the Nazis endeavoured to create the absurd myth of a “ European Jazz,” have only succeeded in covering themselves with ridicule ; all the attacks against Negro-American jazz have but served to increase the love felt by enthusiastic young people, who hope soon to receive new records, new magazines, and new music.

With the Liberation, a fresh era opens before us; a period of discoveries, expectations, and studies.

And I know the “ sacred fire ” bums more brightly than ever within every Belgian jazz-lover and musician since our Anglo-American friends have given us that indeed most precious thing in the world : Liberty.

Translated by Nicandra McCarthy.


The Army will make a man of you

Come let us harness the underground horses

Let us Play our harmonicas

We shall climb through the rafters

There is not too much shadow

The skyscrapers have fallen

The cities have fallen away from reality

The corners are rotting the posters are hanging

The years rot fallen in the mirror of our eyes.


A Negro Dances

Dark fingers cast on an ivory plain, fists full of sound squeezed from the mud of the delta. A flat-bottomed riverboat rides placidly on the dead water coaxed upstream by the driving rhythm of a honky-tonk piano.

Upon the vibrant lid stands a bottle of gin ;

Marihuana smoke shrouds the sin I’m in ... .

Coloured caverns of sweet moaning Gathered in vocal pockets, being the monody of a race. A sorrow of unrequited love fused in the eloquence of Calliope.

Soughed from mellow-tainted throat to lip; from lip to high-born thing :

And so the enfranchised serf condones the puppet-string Then clowns a saltant urge to buck-and-wing.


Request for Requiems

Play the St. Louis Blues For me when I die ... .

Cause I want some good music Up there in the sky.

Sing the St. James Infirmary When you let me down ....

Cause there ain’t no good man Like me left around.