Saturday, March 07, 2009

Andre Ekyan - Saxophone Player: the 1940s and 1950s

Andre Ekyan - Saxofonist: De Jaren Dertig (Nederlands) Andre Ekyan - Saxophone Player: The 1930s (English) Andre Ekyan - Saxofonist: De Jaren Veertig en Vijftig (Nederlands) Andre Ekyan - Saxophone Player: The 1940s and 1950s (English)

A rather extensive
ANDRE EKYAN DISCOGRAPHY (recordings under his own name) - Hans Koert
A rather extensive
ANDRE EKYAN DISCOGRAPHY with recordings as a side man - Hans Koert

1907-1972
André Ekyan – A French Saxophone Player
The 1940s and 1950s.
Georg Lankester

(translation: Hans Koert)

It is within French jazz that one finds some of the earliest evidence of European voices establishing themselves on the saxophone. The contributions which André Ekyan (1907-1972) and Alix Combelle (1912-1978) made to the musical genius Django Reinhardt in the late 1930s are clearly informed by their literate enthusiasm for such American masters as Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter and - above all - Coleman Hawkins. In their recordings one finds altoist Ekyan and tenorist Combelle preparing cultured pathways for the elegancy and bite of their American confreres. (Quote from: European Voices - Michael Tucker (in: Masters of Jazz Saxophone)). George Lankester, guitar player and expert in pre-war French jazz history has made an introduction the the 1930s career of Andre Ekyan in Andre Ekyan - A French Saxophone Player: The 1930s and today he'll point you to the post-war years in a contribution: Andre Ekyan - A French Saxophone Player: The 1940s and 1950s.


André Ekyan (right) with violin player Jean Bromet in the d’Enghien les Bains Casino
Veel gevraagd
During the first half of the 1940s, the years of the Second World War, Ekyan played with his ‘Swingtette’, and recorded for Odeon. He played often in the ‘Moulin Rouge’. Since the early 1940s he is also the leader of a small group, named the Kit Cat, settled in one of the clubs along the Champs Elyssées. In this period he recorded a great tune, Margie, with guitar players Django Reinhardt and Pierre Ferret and bass player Emmanuel Soudieux. Other great tunes from this period, released on the Swing label are “Rosetta”, “Sugar” and “A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody”; tunes that belong to the best André Ekyan made. In a Quintet du Hot Club de France recording you can enjoy his great sax playing, influenced by Coleman Hawkins and Benny Carter.
With the Quintette du Hot Club de Jazz ( in the middle:Django Reinhardt.)
In September 1941 he made two great recordings with his Hot Club Quintette, with Django Reinhardt on the guitar. One of the most swinging tunes is Hungaria, influenced by the music of Hawkins and Carter. Enjoy it:

Andre Ekyan et son Orchestre at theMaxim's.

Outside France
For some times he is part of the well known Ray Ventura Orchestra that performed in Switzerland. He founded and played in an orchestra in Baulieu before he left to Italy for a tour with ‘Quintette du Hot Club de France’. It was not the first time that the Quintette du Hot Club de France was performing in Italy. A previous tour in 1949 was not a success because Django and Stephane Grappelli, his violin player, had to cooperate with Italian musicians and that didn’t click very well with the French. So this second tour was organized in 1950 with André Ekyan instead of Stephane Grappelli. During this period André Ekyan recorded in Rome about 30 sides, on both alto saxophone as clarinet and these recordings were the last ones he made with Django Reinhardt.
Front cover of the French jazz magazine: Revue du Hot Club de France (1944)
During the 1950s André Ekyan was still active in bands at the ‘Maxim’, but the music didn't had that same quality as before. He started to tour again along European venues, most in Spain and where he died at a road accident in August 1972.
His Music:
André Ekyan could play a soft gentle tone on his clarinet, easily recognizable. When he improvised he used but few notes, which made him a perfect accompanist for Django Reinhardt. On the alto saxophone he was inspired by the Chicagoan-style of playing as used by Frankie Trumbauer and Benny Carter. His playing on the alto saxophone inspired dozens of European musicians.

Django Reinhardt, Andre Ekyan, Ralph Schecroun, Alf Masselier and Roger Paraboschi in Rome (1950)
Another example of his music; The tune Blue Smoke, recorded by Andre Ekyan et Orchestre in July 1945

Influences
André Ekyan has been one of the leading elements in the 1930s French jazz scene and Django Reinhardt wouldn’t have been so succesfull without his talents. He recognized, together with bass player, Louis Vola, the talents of Django in an early phase. He performed many times with Django, but also with American jazz musicians and that makes him a true representative of the European jazz. Both André Ekyan as Alix Combelle belong to the best saxophone players of France. I hope to tell more about the latter in a later blog
Georg Lankester: glankester@hetnet.nl or keepswinging@live.nl




A rather extensive discography of ANDRE EKYAN
with his own bands and as a side man:
Hans Koert

As a side man:
JACK HYLTON and his ORCHESTRA (feat. Jack Hylton and Andre Ekyan) London 5th of January 1931
Singing a Song To The Stars – Sing – I’m Yours (HMV)
……………………….and numerous more sides with Jack Hylton up to the 13th of april
Song of the Drum – Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (HMV)
THE FRENCH HOT BOYS ( feat. Andre Ekyan) Paris 1932
China Boy – Some of These Days (Salabert)
FRED ADDISON et ses COLLEGIENS DU MAXIM’S (feat Andre Ekyman) feb/March 1933
Katinka (Gramophone)
GREGOR et ses GREGORIENS (feat Alix Combelle, Michel Warlop, Stephane Grappelli) Paris, March 1933
Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet – Free As The Air – Parle-moi d’autre chose – J’ai laise mon coeur – Desormais - Whispering
……………………….and numerous more sides with GREGOR et ses GREGORIENSJUne 1933)
JEAN SABLON acc by ANDRE EKYAN et son ORCHESTRE (feat. Andre Ekyan, Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt) Paris, 15th of January 1934
Le jour ou je te vis – Prenez garde au mechant loup (Columbia)
GERMAINE SABLON acc. By MICHEL WARLOP et son ORCHESTRE (feat. Michel Warlop, Andre Ekyan Alix Combelle, Stepane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt. Paris 2nd of February 1934
Un Jour …. Sur la mer – Ici l’ on peche – Toboggan. ( HMV)
GERMAINE SABLON acc. By MICHEL WARLOP et son ORCHESTRE (feat. Michel Warlop, Andre Ekyan Alix Combelle, Stepane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt. Paris 26th of February 1934
Celle qui est perdue ( HMV)
GERMAINE SABLON acc. By MICHEL WARLOP et son ORCHESTRE (feat. Michel Warlop, Andre Ekyan Alix Combelle, Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt. Paris 5th of March 1934
Celle qui est perdue – La Berceuse du Marin – La mauvaise priere (HMV)
MICHEL WARLOP et son ORCHESTRE (feat Michel Warlop – Andre Ekyan, Alix Combelle, Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt ) Paris 16th of March 1934
Presentation Stomp ( HMV)
JEAN SABLON acc by trio (feat. Andre Ekyan – Django Reinhardt) Paris, 16th of April 1934
Je sais que vous etes jolie – Par Correspondance ( Columbia)
GERMAINE SABLON acc. By MICHEL WARLOP et son ORCHESTRE (feat. Michel Warlop, Andre Ekyan Alix Combelle, Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt. Paris 16h of March 1935
Je ne suis pas un ange – La Chanson du Large (HMV)
GERMAINE SABLON acc. By MICHEL WARLOP et son ORCHESTRE (feat. Michel Warlop, Andre Ekyan Alix Combelle, Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt. Paris 12h of May 1934
Tendresse Waltz – J’ai besoin de toi (HMV)
MICHEL WARLOP et son ORCHESTRE (feat Michel Warlop – Andre Ekyan, Alix Combelle, Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt ) Paris 16th of March 1934
Blue Interlude ( HMV)
PATRICK et son ORCHESTRE (feat. Andre Ekyan, Alix Combelle, Django Reinhardt) Paris November 1934
Black Panther Stomp – I Saw Stars – Okay Toots – When My Ship Comes In – My Carolina Hideaway – From Now On ( Pathé)
COLEMAN HAWKINS acc. By MICHEL WARLOP’S ORCHESTRA ( feat. Arthur Briggs, Andre Ekyan, Alix Combelle, Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt) Paris 2nd of March, 1935
Blue Moon – What A different A Day Made – Avalon ( Gramophone)
PATRICK et son ORCHESTRE(feat. Andre Ekyan, Alix Combelle, Django Reinhardt) Paris 4th of March 1935
Hands Across The Table – We Were So Young – From You – Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup (Pathé)
PATRICK et son ORCHESTRE (feat. Andre Ekyan, Alix Combelle, Django Reinhardt – Stephane Grappelli – Michel Warlop) Paris 8th of Mach 1935
Miss Otis Regrets – Waltzing With A Dream (Pathé)
GERMAINE SABLON-JEAN SABLON acc by a quartet (feat. Andre Ekyan, Django Reinhardt, Louis Vola) Paris, 17th of May 1935
Un amour comme le notre – La petite ile ( HMV)
PATRICK et don ORCHESTRE (feat. Andre Ekyan, Django Reinhardt – Stephane Grappelli-Michel Warlop) Paris 17th of June 1935
You And The Night And The Music – I Get A Kick Out Of You – Seagulls – Anything Goes – Easter Parade – I’m Gonna Wash My Hands Of You (Pathé)
COLEMAN HAWKINS and his ALL STAR JAM BAND ( feat. Benny Carter, Andre Ekyan, Coleman Hawkins, alix Combelle, Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt) Paris 28th of April 1937
Crazy Rhythm – Honeysuckle Rose – Out of Nowhere – Sweet Georgia Brown( Swing)
FRANK « BIG BOY » GOODIE and his ORCHESTRA (feat. Andre Ekyan, Joe Turner) – 28th of May, 1939
You And I Babe – You In My Arms And Sweet Music – Heebie Jeebies – It’s a Sin To Tell A Lie – Who’s Sorry Now ( Swing)
DJANGO’S MUSIC (feat. Django Reinhardt, Philippe Brun, Alix Combelle, André Ekyan) Paris 22nd of March 1940
Limehouse Blues , - Daphne ( Swing)
PIERRE FOUAD and his ORCHESTRA ( feat. Andre Ekyan, Alix Combelle) Paris 8th of July 1942
Paralleles – Bizarre – Divertissement – Palm Beach ( Swing)
EDDY BARCLAY et son ORCHESTRE (feat. Athur Briggs – Andre Ekyan ) Paris 1 Febr. 1945
Goodnight Wherever You Are - A Lovely Day – I’ll Walk Alone – Paper Dolls – Smiles - Blues for Sales ( Blue Star)
EDDY BARCLAY et son ORCHESTRE (feat. Athur Briggs – Andre Ekyan ) Paris 19 Mar. 1945
You Belong To Me - Body and Soul – Rosetta – One O’Clock Jump – I Got Rhythm( Blue Star)
JACK CONNER and his ORCHESTRA (feat. André Ekyan) Paris10th of July 1945
After You’ve Gone – Stompin’ At The Savoy (Swing)
JAM SESSION (feat Andre Ekyan – Paris 24th of October 1946
Jammin’ The Blues – All Together (Swing)
DJANGO REINHARDT Quintet ( feat. Andre Ekyan – Django Reinhardt) Geneva (Switserland) 25th of October 1949
Nuages – Black Night – Norwegian Dance no. 2 – Micro – Dream of You – Place de Broukere – Mamoir de mes Reves – C Jam Blues (GNP Crescendo)
DJANGO REINHARDT et le QUINTETTE DU HOT CLUB DE FRANCE (feat Django Reinhardt- Andre Ekyan) Rome (Italy) April-May 1950
Anniversary Song – Stormy Weather – Russian Song Medley – Jersey Bounce - Dinette – Sophisticated Lady – Micro – Dream of You – Nuages – Darktown Strutters’ Ball – Improvisation on Grieg’s Norwegian Dance – A-tisket A-tasket – House of my Dreams – Place de Brouckere – September Song – Royal Garden Blues – St. Louis Blues – Sweet Georgia Brown – Mijor Swing – Double Whisky – Artillery Lourde – St. James Infirmary – C. Jam blues – Honeysuckle Rose – Improvisation on Debussy’s Reverie – Black night – Boogie Woogie (Pathé – VSM)
HENRI CROLLA ALL STARS (feat. Andre Ekyan – Stephane Grappelli – Ren;e Utreger – Henri Crolla) Paris 1958
Minor Swing – Swing 39 – Manoir de mes Reves - Swing from Paris – Artillery Lourde – Nuages – Djangology – Anouman – Swing 42 – Place de Brouckere ( Vega)

Hans Koert - keepswinging@live.nl


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