Claire Daly & George Garzone – VuVu for Frances (ENG review)

Street Date – July 14
Claire Daly & George Garzone - VuVu for Frances (FR review)

This album is primarily valuable for what it represents, namely a part of jazz history in the USA and the performers who offer us both their passion for this history and their passion for instrumental play.
But then you may ask, what is this history?
It all begins in the 1940s, when Frances Ballantyne discovered live jazz in Harlem and on 52nd Street, befriending and socializing with many composers. She became a lifelong jazz fan and still attends live concerts at the age of 98. “Music feeds my soul” has been her motto since her days spent with personalities like Willy “The Lion” Smith and Sidney Bechet, and their friends. She was in an interracial marriage in New York in the 1940s, at the forefront of the civil rights movement. Daly met her in the late 1990s, and their friendship has remained strong and comforting.
“Frances has been a powerful example to me of how to appreciate each day, live a meaningful and grateful life, and grow older with humor and insight. I know a lot of amazing people, and Frances is one of the coolest I’ve met. Anyone whose favorite song is Duke Ellington’s ‘Warm Valley’ is alright with me.” When Claire told her longtime friend and tenor saxophone legend George Garzone about the recording, he was interested, having met Frances. Claire said, “We’ll be playing standards,” and George replied, “Great, I’ll do the VuVu” (meaning an airy, melodic, mellow sound). With the exception of “The Lonely Goatherd” – a wild avant-garde romp – this is a swinging and straightforward tribute to Frances and the New York jazz scene. All the musicians here are veterans with well-developed voices and have been performing extensively for decades.
Therefore, let’s not seek any originality in the interpretation of these tracks, except to strive to recreate the sound of that era, which is already a remarkable achievement in itself, accomplished by remarkable artists:
Claire Daly – baritone sax,
George Garzone – tenor sax,
Jon Davis – piano,
Dave Hofstra – bass,
David F Gibson – drums,
all putting their art at the service of this page of history, which, for the editorial teams of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move, is more than enough to make it our favorite.

Thierry De Clemensat
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, June 29th 2023


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