A guest post from Rudolf Flinterman, a rare authority on Jazz in Europe, the French Vogue label, and among other things, the House of Savoy (that’s the Dutchy of Savoy, not the record label) – LJC
Disques Vogue was a French record label, founded in 1947 by Léon Cabat and Charles Delaunay (cf.John Lewis’ “Delaunay’s Dilemma”), active in the field of jazz and popular music. The “Swing” label, producing jazz only, was founded by Delaunay and started operations as far back as October 1937. Delaunay put it under the Vogue umbrella in 1951. The combined Vogue/Swing label was based in Paris and later in Villetaneuse (Seine). In London there was a Vogue Records Ltd. operation. I don’t know whether they were independent or whether the U.K. operation was an affiliate of the French organization. I think the latter, since there were obvious links: the name, the label (logo), which was similar, although not 100% identical; albums recorded by French Vogue were also issued by Vogue Records Ltd and vice-versa. However each followed a distinct commercial policy, their catalogues were different. And Vogue U.K. was not present on the Continent. We can assume that all links were cut after U.K. Decca acquired Vogue U.K. in 1954.
French Vogue albums, of course, were marketed in France, but also in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Germany (later in the sixties Vogue Deutschland GmbH was created). I suppose Disques Vogue were also represented in Spain and even in Scandinavia.
Hereunder I will limit myself to Disques Vogue, the Continental operation. Also, I will not discuss Traditional Jazz, although the New Orleans artist Sidney Bechet was one of the label’s major assets. I will only discuss LP’s issued in the fifties and early sixties, not the later Mode and Jazz Legacy series and beyond.
The purpose of this paper is not to produce yet another label discography, but to place the label in its historical context: Paris-based, founded just before and after WWII, American musicians starting to visit Paris for concerts, or to become residents, the development of a local Paris modern jazz scene (Martial Solal, Henri Renaud, Barney Wilen, Bobby Jaspar, Bernard Pfeiffer) and of a European modern jazz scene (Lars Gullin, Hans Koller, Jimmy Deuchar) and a growing appetite of the West European public for jazz recorded in the US, direct imports of the originals being (almost) non-existent.
The fifties and early sixties saw five series issued by Disques Vogue, wholly or partly dedicated to jazz:
10”: 1950 – 1955/56
-Vogue general series Longue Durée LD 001 through LD 222 (pop music and jazz)
-Swing M. 33.301 through 33.357 (only jazz, French or US recorded)
-Jazz Sélection JSLP 50.001 through 50.042 (only US recorded jazz)
12”: 1955 – 1960’s
-Swing LDM 30.001 through 30.102 ( mainly jazz)
-Vogue general series LD 494-30 through 697-30 (popular music and some jazz).
The structure of this paper is as follows:
- the role played by the label in the spreading of American jazz to West European audiences;
- Highlighting Henri Renaud’s 1954 trip to New York for recording purposes.
- Disques Vogue’s stimulation of European talent by giving them ample opportunities to record.
- Closing of the circle: Vogue’s lease of their Paris recordings to independent US jazz labels.
THE SPREADING OF AMERICAN JAZZ TO WEST EUROPEAN AUDIENCES.
Vogue’s role in this respect was two-fold:
- By recording American artists, either (1) visiting the Continent, or (2) having taken up residence in Paris.
- By issuing US recorded jazz under licensing agreements with US record labels.
1 a. (1) American visitors to Paris:
A tangible result of Lionel Hampton’s touring of the Continent was a number of recording sessions in Paris for Vogue (and in Stockholm for Metronome), by the Hamp himself (Vogue LD 166, 167 and 168) and by his sidemen (despite Hamp’s ban on any recording by his sidemen). The sidemen: George Wallington Vogue LD 171; Gigi Gryce – LD 173, Gigi Gryce/Clifford Brown – LD 175 and Clifford Brown – LD 179).
Other Paris visitors:
Bob Brookmeyer: Vogue LD 216
Buck Clayton: Vogue LD 157, 182
Frank Foster: Vogue LD 209
Dizzy Gillespie: Vogue LD 077, 132, 134 and Swing 33.310, 33.324
Roy Haynes: Swing 33.337
The Herdsmen (Cy Touff, Bill Perkins): Vogue LD 204, 205
Johnny Hodges: Vogue LD 021 and 089
Jimmy Jones trio (with Roy Haynes): Swing 33.336
Lee Konitz: Vogue LD 169
Wade Legge: Vogue LD 133
Thelonious Monk solo: Swing 33.342
Jimmy Raney: Vogue LD 194, 197, 201
Max Roach: Vogue LD 014
Arnold Ross: Vogue LD 075
Zoot Sims: Vogue LD 170, 185
Mary Lou Williams: with Don Byas Quartet LD 186
Mary Lou Williams quartet: Swing M 33.339
-Les Kentonians: Escale à Paris: Carl Fontana, Curtis Counce, Mel Lewis with Martial Solal: Swing LDM 30.044
-Réunion à Paris: Billy Byers, Allen Eager with Martial Solal: Swing LDM 30.048
-Clifford Brown “Mémorial”: Swing LDM 30.068 and vol. 2 on Vogue LD 607-30. (The remainder of the Brown/Gryce sessions was issued later on 4 albums, Mode LP 9558 and 9560, and Jazz Legacy 17 and 52)
-Johnny Hodges LD 588-30 (from LD 021 and 089)
-Gerry Mulligan Quartet (Brookmeyer) Swing LDM 30.008 and Vogue LD.494-30
1 a. (2) Americans making Paris their home:
Sidney Bechet with Kenny Clarke/Al Levitt (Solal): Swing LDM 30.065
Jay Cameron: Swing 33.341
James Moody: Vogue LD 018 (red vinyl); LD 036
Bud Powell/Lucky Thompson: Vogue LD 523-30
Lucky Thompson: Swing LDM 30.030, 30.039
1 b Licensing agreements with US record companies.
The list of US labels with which Disques Vogue had contracted licensing agreements is impressive. Having access to the music of all these labels gave the label a key position in Western Europe. This does not imply however that Vogue issued all the records of a given label, they made a selection. Regarding Contemporary, for instance, they choose to issue none of the Art Pepper albums, whereas Vogue U.K. had them issued all. I will not bother the reader with all the licensed albums, but give a listing of the US labels of which albums have been issued by Disques Vogue, with the main artists featured.
10”: (on Vogue, Swing or Jazz Sélection)
-Apollo: Sir Charles Thompson, Illinois Jacquet
-Blue Note Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, J.J. Johnson, Elmo Hope, Gil Mellé, Horace Silver
-Contemporary: Lennie Niehaus, Shelly Manne, Howard Rumsey, Barney Kessel
-Debut: Paul Bley, Thad Jones, Quintet of the Year (Bird, Diz), Oscar Pettiford, Jazz Workshop (4 trombones)
-Discovery: Eddie Bert, Art Pepper, Dizzy, Paul Smith, George Shearing
-Esoteric: Charlie Christian, Monk (Minton’s Playhouse)
-Fantasy: Brubeck, Mulligan
-Gene Norman Presents: Clifford Brown/Max Roach, Mulligan, Lyle Murphy
-Mercer: Duke Ellington/Johnny Hodges
-Pacific Jazz: Clifford Brown, Chet Baker, Mulligan
-Roost: Stan Getz, Bud Powell
-Storyville: Lee Konitz
-United (Chess): Gene Ammons
Note: the Blue Notes came first in the general Vogue LD series (Miles vol. 1 – LD 122 = BLP 5013; vol. 2 – LD 172 = BLP 5022), Milt Jackson LD 138, Horace Silver trio LD 176. Later on Blue Note was issued in the Jazz Sélection series (Clifford Brown, Gil Mellé, Elmo Hope and J.J. Johnson).
Ditto for Discovery: first in the Vogue series, thereafter Jazz Sélection.
Fantasy: first in Vogue LD series, but later on in the Swing series.
Pacific Jazz only in the Swing series; Contemporary and GNP only in the Jazz Sélection series with yellow CR, resp. white/blue GNP labels, the regular Jazz Sélection labels being greenish.
12” (Swing incl. GNP, Contemporary and Jazz Sélection labels; all in the LDM 30.001 series)
-Aladdin: Lester Young
-Contemporary: Barney Kessell, Sonny Rollins, Howard Rumsey
-Dawn: Zoot Sims, Paul Quinichette
-Debut: Miles Davis, Quintet of the Year (Massey Hall), Jazz Workshop (4 trombones)
-GNP: Clifford Brown/Max Roach, Tenors West/Giuffre, Frank Morgan
-Pacific Jazz/Jazz West Coast Anthologies: Jack Montrose, Chet Baker, Art Blakey, Mulligan, Bob Brookmeyer, Chico Hamilton, the Mastersounds; JWC Anthologies, vol 1-3 (see P.S.)
-Storyville: Zoot Sims
-Transition: Donald Byrd with Blakey, Mobley.
Chapter 2. Henri Renaud on a shopping spree – New York 1954.
Vogue went one step further and sent one of their top artists, a French Al Haig oriented piano player, Henri Renaud, to New York to organize recording sessions with the New York school, with or without his own participation. He recorded his idols Al Haig and Duke Jordan each in their own settings. The trip was fruitful and produced seven LP’s:
Swing M 33.320: Henri Renaud All Stars: Bags and J.J. , Al Cohn, Percy Heath
Swing M 33.321: ditto, vol. 2
Swing M 33.322: Henri Renaud – Al Cohn quartet, Denzil Best, drums, Gene Ramey b.
Swing M 33.323 Duke Jordan trio
Swing M 33.325 Al Haig trio
Swing M 33.326 Oscar Pettiford sextet, Al Cohn, Kai Winding, Henri Renaud, Tal Farlow, Max Roach
Swing M 33.327 Henri Renaud Band: with Gigi Gryce, J.J., Al Cohn, Jerry Hurwitz, Curley Russell.
A few years later, a selection out of the above 7 LP’s appeared under Swing LDM 30.050 entitled “Wizard of the vibes” – Milt Jackson. A rather sorrow fate to this beautiful cross-Atlantic adventure. But these sessions will re-emerge in chapter 4!
Chapter 3. Recording local Paris and European talent.
Disques Vogue, with Metronome in Stockholm, Tempo and Esquire in London and Philips in Amsterdam, were giving a chance to local talent. This was a commercial risk, since many European collectors with a limited budget preferred the “real thing”, i.e. jazz by American artists. In general, the number of printed copies was low, that is why Eurojazz is so very expensive to collect.
To cover the European scene, Vogue started the “New sounds from……….-“ series:
New Sounds from England, Jimmy Deuchar, Vogue LD 130.
New Sounds from France: Henri Renaud, Vogue LD 131.
New Sounds from Sweden: Lars Gullin, Vogue LD 139.
New Sounds from Belgium: Bobby Jaspar, Vogue LD 143.
New Sounds from Germany, Hans Koller, Vogue LD 144.
The local Paris scene was very much alive and well represented on vinyl:
Henri Renaud with Bobby Jaspar play Gigi Gryce (a gem!) Vogue LD 174
Henri Renaud trio: Vogue LD 178
Bobby Jaspar’s « New Jazz » Swing M 33.333, M 33.338 and M 33.351
Martial Solal: Vogue LD 200 and Swing M 33.340;
Solal cont. Swing LDM 30.060 (solo); Swing LDM 30.099 (big band)
André Hodeir’s Jazz Group de Paris: Swing M 33.343 and Swing M 33.353
Henri Thomas (guitar): Vogue LD 210
Barney Wilen “TILT”: Swing LDM 30.058 (one of the most expensive records existing)
Fats Sadi Combo (vibes) : Vogue LD 212
Fats Sadi/Martial Solal quartet : Swing LDM 30.046.
Chapter 4. Return to the starting point. Lease of French Vogue material to US labels.
With this chapter the circle is round: France sends back French recorded jazz to the cradle of jazz, the USA. It is a puzzle to figure out how their policy has been, it is difficult to establish a logic pattern. So I will just take the licensees in alphabetical order.
Blue Note: they contracted the Clifford Brown – Gigi Gryce material and issued in 10”:
-5047- (ex Vogue LD 179)
-5048- (ex Vogue LD 175)
-5049- (ex Vogue LD 173)
-5050- (issued in the U.K. in 10” format – Vogue LDE 113; in France on 12”)
-5051- (in France on 12”, no U.K. equivalent),
Furthermore Blue Note issued, also in 10” format:
-5005- James Moody (= Vogue LD 018)
-5010- Max Roach/Kenny Dorham (from Vogue LD 014)
-5017- Dizzy Gillespie (from Vogue LD 077)
-5031- Wade Legge (= Vogue LD 133)
-5046- Lionel Hampton “Jazztime Paris” (from Vogue albums LD 166-168)
-5061 – Fats Sadi (= Vogue LD 212)
C2502 – Henri Renaud All Stars, Modern Sounds: France (= Vogue LD 131)
C2504 – Dizzy Gillespie (= Swing M 33.324)
C2507 – Mary Lou Williams ex Vogue U.K. LDE 022, also issued by Disques Vogue
C2512 – Martial Solal, Modern Sounds: France (= Vogue LD 200).
(C2519 (Martial Solal, vol.2 = Swing M 33.340) although printed in Contemporary’s Spring Catalogue 1955, apparently has remained unissued)
C3502 12”- Lionel Hampton Swings in Paris (a selection from Vogue albums LD 166-168).
DLP 1113 – Lucky Thompson (= Swing LDM 30.030)
DLP 1120 – Jimmy Raney visits Paris (= Vogue LD 194 + 197)
Discovery: DL 3015 (ex Vogue LD 185 – Zoot Sims Gerry Wiggins Klook Pierre Michelot)
Fantasy: 3-201 – the Herdsmen play Paris (= Vogue LD 204 + 205)
Mercer: LP 1006 (ex LD 021/089 – Johnny Hodges)
Period: The Birdlanders # SLP 1211, 1212, 1213 (a selection from Henri Renaud’s NY sessions)
PJ 1210 – Gerry Mulligan “Paris Concert” (= Swing LDM 30.008)
PJ 1236 – Sidney Bechet – Martial Solal quartet with Kenny Clarke (= Swing LDM 30.065)
Various sources give Pacific Jazz (10”) LP 18 as the US equivalent of Swing M 33.325 – Al Haig trio. I have never seen evidence of the existence of PJ LP 18.
Pacific Jazz EP 4-17 is a curiosity: it says “A Vogue P.I.P Production, Paris, France” and was recorded in Stockholm, 1954. The title: Bengt Hallberg ensemble, featuring Lars Gullin. This EP album was neither issued in France, nor in Sweden!
LP 414/LP 2214 – Dizzy Gillespie Paris Concert ex Swing M 33.310/Vogue LD 574-30
LP416 – Lee Konitz Jazztime Paris (= Vogue LD 169)
Transition : TRLP 21 Lucky Thompson (= Swing LDM 30.039)
Disques Vogue: Conclusion
Disques Vogue have enabled a generation of Europeans to get acquainted with the best of modern jazz, American and European. The writer of these notes has particularly fond memories of the label: his first long play albums of Miles Davis, Clifford Brown and Chet Baker were respectively on Vogue LD 122 [BLP 5012], Swing 33.348 [PJ 19] and Swing 33.350 [PJ 9]. These and other albums opened a complete new panorama to the average European modern jazz fan in the first half of the 1950’s when direct imports from the USA were quasi non-existent.
But it was not a one-way traffic: Disques Vogue has equally enriched the catalogues of American labels.
Compiled by Rudolf A. Flinterman
Regarding Jazz West Coast, An Anthology of California Music, vol. 2, JWC-501. The French equivalent on Swing LDM 30.078 is not identical to its American counterpart. I wondered why. My guess is that contractual reasons forced them to change one track. On the US JWC-501 album, track 2 on side 1 is a Chet Baker Quartet version of “Summertime”, recorded in Paris by Barclay Records. Apparently, since Vogue p.i.p. could not release a Barclay track in France, an interesting solution was found: Vogue issued instead Chet Baker playing “Sweet Lorraine”, taken from a 26/7/1956 Pacific Jazz session, featuring Chet Baker with Art Pepper and Richie Kamuca, with Pete Jolly, Leroy Vinnegar and Stan Levey. This track was completely unknown at the time and there was no trace of it in Jepsen or in Bruyninckx. The track only showed up much later, in 1989, on the Pacific Jazz CD “the Route”, produced by Michael Cuscuna, who wrote in the liner “Finally, in 1989, with the discovery (sic!) of “Sweet Lorraine”, all eleven tunes are finally under one roof”. The session was scattered on various US LP compilations (Playboy, JWC).