2008 release of this '60s recording by the American Jazz drummer Kenny Clarke and Belgian pianist Francy Boland, leading one of the finest Jazz ensembles ever assembled outside of the U.S. Had it not been for the post-war migration of many top American Jazz musicians to Europe, it is quite likely that the legendary Clarke-Boland Big Band might never have come into existence. As it happened, when Gigi Campi set up the first Big Band record date in Cologne in 1961, he was able to call upon such distinguished self-exiled Jazz stars as Benny Bailey (originally from Cleveland, Ohio), Sahib Shihab (Savannah, Georgia), Jimmy Woode (Boston, Massachusetts) and, of course, Kenny Clarke (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
Reissue of the album recorded with Dusko Goykovich, et al. 24bit digitally remastered. Cardboard sleeve (mini LP). This is one of the rarest of all Blue Note albums, and one that is a must for record collectors. The Francy Boland/Kenny Clarke big band was one of the most exciting orchestras of the 1960s and ‘70s. Much less known but also brilliant was a unique octet co-led by Boland and Clarke just prior to the big band.
Francis Poulenc's songs are among the most beautiful and accomplished in the entire French repertoire. A friend of poets like Apollinaire, Eluard, Aragon and Louise de Vilmorin, he was constantly alert to their imaginative worlds and their mystery. The voluptuous or nostalgic nonchalance, the gentle melancholy or the impertinent flippancy of these works never appear to take themselves seriously, and invariably represent the highest art. On this recording, the renowned Belgian soprano Sophie Karthauser returns to harmonia mundi for her first recital program, performing a generous selection of Poulenc's Melodies.