Charlie Rouse, the saxophonist risen

Photo: Eleonore Bakhtadze Agence France-Presse
Charlie Rouse, tenor saxophonist of the orchestra, Thelonious Monk, plays on the stage of the salle Pleyel in Paris in the month of December 1969.

Charlie Rouse was a musician of immense, immense, immense. Alas ! By one of those vices of which history holds the secret, it remains the most under-appreciated saxophonists of the golden age of jazz. It remains in the shadow of Coltrane, Gordon and Rollins, because for ten years, he camped in the shadow of Monk. He began his art is dignity and joy in the service of the more turbulent, more unpredictable genius of the jazz that was Thelonious Sphere Monk.


Today, a series of events consequential to the changes in technology have given birth to a strangeness : the work of Rouse is resurrected. This is what we can call a very big news. In fact, many of the albums lost in the bush at all technology re-emerged. Here, it is necessary to open a parenthesis.


Among the facts mentioned, we used, as an example, the following : during the financial year 2013, the leaders of Amazon, who found that the targets set in the areas of profits in 1995, is at its foundation, would not be met, they have decided two things : the opening of new stores and the negotiation of contracts of association with a host of distributors around the world. To this day, beyond 145 distribution agreements have been signed. QED : the marketing of albums made by Rouse in North America and in Europe is more easy. Let’s move on.


Apart from his collaboration with Monk, who was also a successful year for the one than for the other, Rouse has signed a surprising number of large disks, not to say masterpieces. The only problem is that it was inhabited by a shyness so sickly that he was hiding behind the group names. Of the Jazz Modes, the Upper Manhattan Jazz Society and of the majestic Sphere, it was him, the founder.


Albums that have made their reappearance in recent times, we advise the following : Yeah ! on Epic/Legacy, which was released just a score of years under the title of Unsung Hero on CBS/Sony ; The Complete Jazz Modes Sessions on Solar Records which includes eight albums, Moment’s Notice on Storyville, The Upper Manhattan Jazz Society with the pianist Albert Dailey on the German label Enja, Social Call with trumpeter Red Rodney and the gorgeous Soul Mates with the saxophonist baritone Sahib Shihab, both published by the label Uptown Records, which was founded by dr. montrealer Robert Sunenblick, and finally, two discs recorded under the name of Sphere in the early 1980s : Four-in-One and Flight Path on Elektra Records.


Of this list, if we had not to remember that two-CD set, then the latter would be recommended. With Sphere, Rouse was at the controls of the quartet, who can boast of having been, with the Modern Jazz Quartet, the translation of the elegance in the jazz. In the company of Kenny Barron on piano, Buster Williams on contrebrasse and Ben Riley on drums, Rouse turned out to be the saxophonist of the delicacy, the sculptor, full and loose in the history of jazz. Grazie mille !


The singer Kevin Mahogany has died of a long illness in his home town : Kansas City. He was 59 years old. It was unusual in that it was admired by vocalisations of various backgrounds. James Taylor, as well as Kurt Elling, Van Morrison, Mark Murphy. Of his recordings, you listen to Double Rainbow with Kenny Barron on piano, Ray Drummond on bass, and Ralph Moore on sax and Lewis Nash on drums.


Betty Lavette, the singer in the grand registry, just finished recording an album only compositions signed by Bob Dylan. Keith Richards is on guitar on several songs, Larry Campbell, ex-guitarist of Bob Dylan and Levon Helm, is also present, Steve Jordan on drums and production, Trombone Shorty is also of the party. The production will be released by Verve on march 30, under the title Things Have Changed.


For the evening of the New Year, the Upstairs has guest Dawn Tyler Watson.