Smiles is the second song from the compilation “Swing in Europa 1: 1939-1945” I'm featuring in the “Song of the Week” series.
Alto saxophonist Flavio Ambrosetti first started studying piano in his hometown Lugano in Switzerland, afterwards he took vibraphone lessons. After having seen tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins performing in Switzerland in the late 30s, he started to play saxophone.
Ambrosetti was one of the pioneers of the bebop style in Europe. In 1949 he played at the legendary Jazz Festival Paris in Hazy Osterwald‘s band and met his number one influence Charlie Parker. 1972 he founded with his son Franco, with Daniel Humair and George Gruntz The Band, which later evolved to the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band. Ambrosetti also was the organiser of the International Jazz Festival Lugano.
Smiles, recorded 1943 with his sextet, is a song I play quite often as a Swing DJ. Not too fast but with a great pumping rhythm section and a soulful Ambrosetti at the vibraphone.
Line-Up: Flavio Ambrosetti (vib, as), Michel Eberhard (ts, cl), Géo Voumard (p), Ray Hunter (g), Sunny Langenbacher (b), Memeta Ambrosetti (d).
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“Song of the Week” Series featured on Hey Mr. Jesse Podcast!
Song of the Week #19: “One O'clock Jump” by Ernst Höllerhagen Quartett
Song of the Week #34: “At Sundown” by George Van Eps
Song of the Week #33: “Chimes Blues” by King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band
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