The Squid's Ear Magazine

Umlaut Big Band: Plays Don Redman: The King Of Bungle Bar (Umlaut Records)

Don Redman was an American big band leader popular in the 1930's, responsible for work on animations, sound tracks, and recordings of pre-swing hot jazz arrangements of popular tunes; here the French Umlaut Big Band under the direction of Pierre-Antoine Badaroux pays homage to his music in rich orchestration showing the melodic, inventive, and complexities of Redman's music.

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product information:

Label: Umlaut Records
Catalog ID: UMFR-CD29
Squidco Product Code: 27469

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Sweden / France / Germany
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels w/ booklet
Recorded live at Lavoir Moderne Parisien, in Paris, France, on April 19th-21st, 2018, by Augustin Muller.


Pierre-Antoine Badaroux-direction, alto saxophone

Antonin-Tri Hoang-alto saxophone, clarinet

Geoffroy Gesser-tenor sax, clarinet

Pierre Borel-tenor sax, clarinet

Benjamin Dousteyssier-alto saxophone, barytone saxophone, bass saxophone

Brice Pichard-trumpet

Louis Laurain-trumpet

Emil Strandberg-trumpet

Fidel Fourneyron-trombone

Michael Ballue-trombone

Romain Vuillemin-guitar, banjo

Bruno Ruder-piano

Sebastien Beliah-double bass

Antonin Gerbal-drums

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Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"There is history, creation and celebration in the live album of the Umlaut Big Band: a lively, subjective musical biography of Don Redman, the American multi-instrumentalist and grand master of orchestration for big bands from the 20s ... to the 60s! This unique repertoire is the result of a thorough work of transcriptions and rearrangements from recordings and scores, including some unpublished material found in New York. Under the direction of Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, the fourteen musicians from the French jazz new avantgarde, pursue their work of highlighting forgotten figures of the jazz history, with a generous and communicative enthusiasm. From the Harlem Public Library basement to the wooden floor of the Lavoir Moderne Parisie theatre, it is a special invitation to enjoy together here and now the sound of an ageless music."-Umlaut

"Donald Matthew Redman (July 29, 1900 November 30, 1964) was an American jazz musician, arranger, bandleader, and composer.

Redman was born in Piedmont, Mineral County, West Virginia. His father was a music teacher, his mother was a singer. Don began playing the trumpet at the age of three, joined his first band at the age of six and by the age of 12 was proficient on all wind instruments ranging from trumpet to oboe as well as piano. He studied at Storer College in Harper's Ferry and at the Boston Conservatory, then joined Billy Page's Broadway Syncopaters in New York City. (He was the uncle of saxophonist Dewey Redman, and thus great-uncle of saxophonist Joshua Redman and trumpeter Carlos Redman.)

Redman then formed his own band in 1931, which got a residency at the famous Manhattan jazz club Connie's Inn. Redman signed with Brunswick Records and also did a series of radio broadcasts. Redman and his Orchestra also provided music for the animated short I Heard, part of the Betty Boop series produced by Fleischer Studios and distributed by Paramount. Redman composed original music for the short, which was released on September 1, 1933. The Brunswick records Redman made between 19311934 were some of the most complex pre-swing hot jazz arrangements of popular tunes. Redman's band didn't rely on just a driving rhythm or great soloists, but it had an overall level of arranging sophistication that was seldom heard by other black bands of the period. The popular vocalist, Harlan Lattimore, provided about half of the vocals during this period.

In 1933, his band made a Vitaphone short film for Warner Bros. (which is available as of 2006 on the DVD of the Busby Berkeley feature film Dames). Redman recorded for Brunswick through 1934. He then did a number of sides for ARC in 1936 (issued on their Vocalion, Perfect, Melotone, etc.) and in 1937, he pioneered a series of swing re-arrangements of old classic pop tunes for the Variety label. His use of a swinging vocal group (called "The Swing Choir") was very modern and even today, quite usual, with Redman's sophisticated counterpoint melodies. He signed with Bluebird in 1938 and recorded with them until 1940, when he disbanded.

When Redman disbanded his orchestra, he concentrated on freelance work writing arrangements. Some of his arrangements became hits for Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie, and Harry James. He traveled to Europe in 1946 leading an all-star band that included Don Byas, Tyree Glenn, and Billy Taylor. He appeared on Uptown Jubilee on the CBS Television network for the 1949 season. In the 1950s he was music director for singer Pearl Bailey.

In the early 1960s he played piano for the Georgia Minstrels Concert and soprano sax with Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle's band.

He was named a member of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame on May 6, 2009."-Wikipedia

Artist Biographies

"Pierre-Antoine Badaroux is a Paris-based alto saxophone player, composer and producer. He is working as a freelance composer since 2006, focusing on relations between sound, notation and the role of the musician in an ensemble. In 2008 he became an active member of record label and collective Umlaut Records, producing his own albums from the deconstructed Bebop of Peeping Tom to the original Composition No. 6, to a historical project on arrangers of Swing music with Umlaut Big Band that he leads, to the improvised music of r.mutt."

-Umlaut (

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"Geoffroy Gesser, saxophone, clarinet

Geoffroy Gesser was born in 1986 in Montbéliard , eastern France . He discovered jazz at the Conservatoire de Montbéliard and fine-tuned his saxophone skills at the Conservatoire de Lyon, then at the Conservatoire N ational S upérieur de Paris, in the jazz and improvised music class.

Since 2007 he has taken part in several projects of Paris -based collectives of innovative music like Coax and Umlaut .

Geoffroy's style and writing oscillate between early 20th-century jazz, African-American free jazz of the 1960s, and the quest for ready-made, noise-based and original sounds. His way of playing is centered on a laid-back kind of energy, on listening and combining sounds with other musicians, on rhythmic editing of musical sequences and on the repetition of trance-inducing motifs.

Geoffroy can be heard in eclectic ensembles, ranging from traditional to experimental free jazz in BRIBES, BRIBES 4, Un Poco Loco, Umlaut Big Band and Flouxus.

Recipient of the Jazz Migration 2016 grant with Un Poco Loco, he has toured extensively thoughout France and Europe. In 2016, he participate d in the recording of Umlaut Big Band 's Euro Swing vol.2 , which was awarded the "prix Coup de cœur Jazz" by the prestigious Académie Charles Cros .

In 2015, Geoffroy was one of the driving forced behind the creation of BRIBES 4, a project which was augmented the following year by a light and scenograph y creation: BRIBES 4 "Licht". These projects are produced by " Le Ton Vertical ", an association based in Franche - Comté , eastern France."

-Geoffroy Gesser Website (

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"Pierre Borel is an improviser, composer and saxophonist born in Paris in 1987. He is working in field of improvised and experimental music. He lives in Berlin since 2006, and has performed in several european countries, Japan and USA. He attained a Masterdegree in Jazz Institut Berlin in 2008, and studies philosophy in Paris. Together with Florian Bergmann and Hannes Lingens, he is running the Umlaut Berlin Festival (1rst edition in 2009), and he is part of the european collectif Umlaut."

-Ausland (

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"Louis Laurain is a trumpet player, improviser and composer, based in Paris. Born in 1984, he taught himself to play the trumpet and then studied jazz and improvisation at the conservatories of Lyon (CNR) and Paris (CNSMDP). While developing his own personal and original language on his instrument, he researched, through different collaborations, an intuitive and spontaneous approach to sound. His interest is essentially in different forms of improvised sound for various formations,ranging from solo to orchestral.His work is focused principally on two topics. Firstly an acoustic approach to instruments through research on sounds and sound effects in relation to the space in which they are produced. Secondly work on the amplification of instruments ("close miking") with the aim of creating the illusion of an electric or electronic "machine instrument". He collaborated with Eliane Radigue, Stephen o'Malley (Sunn O ))), Pierre Huyghe, Axel Dorner, Nicolas Collins, Yves-Noel Génot, Jérome Noetinger, Zombie-Zombie, Pierce Warnecke, Polyversal souls, Tobias Delius, Arnaud Rivière, Xavier Charles, Ignaz Schick, Joel Grip, Frédéric Blondy."

-Spektrum Berlin (

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Trumpeter Emil Strandberg is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and is a member of Fire! Orchestra, Seval, and Pan-Scan.

-Squidco 5/31/2023

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"Fidel Fourneyron - Trombone

Born in southwestern France, Fidel Fourneyron moved to Paris in 2006 to complete his training in the class of jazz and improvised music at the Conservatoire. There, he met people and collectives that proved decisive for his aesthetic choices and future collaborations - including the COAX and UMLAUT collectives, les Vibrants Défricheurs and le Tricollectif, all of whom he still works with regularly.

Drawn to improvisation (as part of the National Orchestra for Creation, Experimentation and Musical Improvisation) as much as to contemporary music (he worked with the Ensemble Hodos), Fidel is also fond of great swing orchestras and is a soloist in the Umlaut Big Band, which specializes in 1920-30s dance music.

Spotted by the biggest names in contemporary jazz - among whom Marc Ducret who asked him to be part of his Real Thing #3 sextet - Fidel joined Olivier Benoit's Orchestre National de Jazz in 2014.

Together with Roy Nathanson (Lounge Lizards), he was a guest musician for French quintet Papanosh's thunderous tribute to Charles Mingus, called "Oh Yeah Ho!"

His recognizable touch can also be found in Radiation 10, Jukebox, Eve Risser's White Desert Orchestra, Marc Ducret's Tower Bridge and Tricollectif's Tribute to Lucienne Boyer.

Fidel is often invited to perform as a soloist (European Youth Jazz Orchestra, MGH Orkestar) and asked for masterclasses (Conservatories of Poitiers, Tarbes, Blois, Angoulême, or for Dijon's Tribu Festival, etc.). Since September 2014, he has been conducting the Fanfare du Carreau du Temple - an amateur orchestra composed of some 40 musicians and for which he wrote an original repertoire.

"Un Poco Loco," the trio he is part of, revisits 1950s standards with both elegance and humor. The band released their eponymous debut album in November 2014, on the Umlaut Records label; it was included in the program for Jazz Migration's 2015-2016 tour.

Fidel also performs as a solo musician. His work is recorded on High Fidelity, a record coming out in the fall of 2015."

-Fidel Fourneyron Website (

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"Sébastien Beliah is a Paris-based double bass player and composer. His work is mainly focused on improvisation and oral composition (R.mutt), relationship between composed music and improvisation (Ensemble Hodos), and jazz (Umlaut big band, The Coquettes, Un poco loco). As a double bass player, Sébastien Beliah has performed solo pieces from Hans-Joachim Hespos, James Tenney or Kenneth Gaburo among others. He is also doing improvised solo performance. As a composer, his pieces has been performed by musicians like Félicie Bazelaire, Pierre Borel, Hannes Lingens or the large ensemble ONCEIM. Sébastien Beliah is also deeply involved in the field of education, and teach double bass, jazz and improvisation at the Conservatoire de Reims."

-Umlaut (

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"Since the release of File under: Bebop - Peeping Tom in 2009, Antonin Gerbal has developed his own approach of the drums - reinterpreting history of jazz drumming through the prism of european musical improvisation. Improviser, composer, teacher and performer, Antonin Gerbal is associated with the vitality of the Parisian music scene, notably through Umlaut Records. He has performed in Europe, U.S., Russia and Japan, with many original projects such as Nakasanye, Zoor, ISM or Peeping Tom. Involved in large ensembles such as ONCEIM (playing pieces Eliane Radigue or Stephen O'Malley) and Umlaut Big Band (swing dancing band), Antonin Gerbal works regularly with English, German, Swiss and Japanese artists. At the begining of 2016, he releases his solo works called Sound of Drums."

-Antonin Gerbal Website (

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Track Listing:

1. Have it Ready - 1st fragment 0:37

2. Feeling the Way I Do 2:55

3. Sugar Font Stomp 2:42

4. Have it Ready (2nd fragment) 0:33

5. T.N.T. 3:05

6. Hot Mustard 2:33

7. Have it Ready (3rd fragnent) 0:45

8. Rocky Mountain Blues 2:43

9. Whiteman Stomp 2:38

10. Have it Ready (4th fragment) 0:30

11. Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble 2:21

12. Chant Of The Weed 4:22

13. Redman Rhythm 2:22

14. Sophisticated Lady 3:19

15. Auld Lang Syne (Trad.) 2:30

16. Milenberg Joys 3:15

17. Cupid's Nightmare 5:52

18. Flight of the Jitterbug 2:44

19. Just an Old Manuscript 3:05

20. Frantic Atlantic 5:13

21. Mickey Finn 2:38

22. More Dirt 3:18

23. Kashmiri Song 2:25

24. Dance Of The Taxicabs - from Etudes-Caprices 1:02

25. Washington, D.C. - from Etudes-Caprices 1:23

26. A Young Man's Fancy - from Etudes-Caprices 1:23

27. Penthouse Alley 2:37

28. What's the Trouble 6:19

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Large Ensembles

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