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Poumy Arnaud & Christian Azzi Sextet : Sidney Bechet memory (2005) : Tribute to Sidney Bechet

   Poumy Arnaud



Sidney Bechet drawing by Buz

Christian Azzi

Alf "Totol" Masselier with Poumy Arnaud


Poumy"Arnaud (d), Christian Azzi (p) and "Totol" Masselier (b) played with Sidney Bechet Orchestra in the 50's.



With Olivier Franc (ss), Daniel Barda (tb) and Alain Marquet (cl), Who else could bring back memories of the author of Petite Fleur, in the Streets of Antibes (dans les rues d'Antibes) and other well-known numbers, the greatest hits of Jazz music.



Alain Marquet and Olivier Franc



Poumy Arnaud (d)

Christian Azzi (p)

Daniel Barda (tb)

Olivier Franc (ss)

Alain Marquet (cl)

Alf "Totol" Masselier (b)


Album : Sidney Bechet Memory


Sidney Bechet Memory

POUMY ARNAUD  drums, founder of the Jazz Clan 

During the after war years, Poumy discovers jazz through the 78 vinyl records of Mezzrow-Bechet. He srarts performing with musicians such as Armand Gordon, the pianist and band leader. After that he accompanies a large number of American artists such as A. Nicholas, Mezz Mezzrow and meets Claude Luter who recruits him for an important tour of South America (1957), which resulted in a highly successful recording. In 1958, Sidney Bechet prefers him to his current drummer and Poumy will stay with him till the end. Afterwards he plays with the greats such as Bill Coleman, Al Grey and many others. From 1987 he has been the artistic director of the Megève Jazz Festival and of the Megève Jazz Contest which he founded. “HONORARY CITIZEN OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS”.

 CHRISTIAN AZZI  piano co-leader 

His musical career started with the historical Club Lorientais. The arrival of Sidney Bechet in France, in 1949, changed his life when he became his pianist. He recorded more than 100 numbers with him and performed in hundreds of concerts across Europe and Africa. He is a “strider” with a strong left-hand touch which was much appreciated by Sidney Bechet. He played with numerous French, Swiss and German orchestras and American musicians such as Don Byas with whom he produced a record. He belongs to the generation of jazz performers who really lived the great “Saint-Germain-des-Prés” epoch, in Paris as well as in Juan-les-Pins at the Vieux-Colombier. He is undoubtedly the musician who performed the most with Sidney Bechet! “SIDNEY BECHET AWARD OF THE JAZZ ACADEMY”. “HONORARY CITIZEN OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS”. 

DANIEL BARDA trombone 

After completing a thorough musical training, Daniel Barda starts his career with the Haricots Rouges. He is the founder and leader of the Paris Washboard, an international jazz orchestra which has regularly performed around the globe, in particular once a year in the United States. He is regarded as one of France’s best trombonists endowed with great melodic inventiveness. He has a gift of rousing the audience by his masterful control of the instrument and an unsurpassed dynamism. His presence is an important plus in any orchestra. “SIDNEY BECHET AWARD OF THE JAZZ ACADEMY”.

OLIVIER FRANC soprano saxophone 

As an exceptional soprano player with great vitality, Olivier Franc has perfectly assimilated the style of Sidney Bechet even without  having known him. To listen to him is to live - or relive – the fifties in Saint Germain des Prés. In the opinion of music critics he is the one who most emulates Sidney Bechet. He performs all over Europe (Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, etc.). With Poumy Arnaud and Christian Azzi he even performed in Siberia. His friends in the musical world particularly admire his feeling, his tone, his stage presence and his vast musical culture. “SIDNEY BECHET AWARD OF THE JAZZ ACADEMY”. BEST FRENCH MUSICIAN AWARD OF THE HOT CLUB DE FRANCE.


His strong personality added to an exceptional virtuosity allow him to give free rein to his lyricism. His melodic inventiveness is endless and his improvisations unsurpassed. The tone of his clarinet has the vividness of Sidney Bechet’s in addition to some hints of Johnny Dodds. Since the sixties he has been in great demand everywhere and plays regularly with orchestras in France and abroad. The “Dictionnaire du Jazz” describes him as “an excellent soloist, a brilliant improviser”. He participated in an impressive number of recordings, with European as well as American orchestras. “SIDNEY BECHET AWARD OF THE JAZZ ACADEMY”.

 ALF “TOTOL” MASSELIER double bass 

Although he studied classical music, he is considered a “jazz man”. He really lived the historic Saint Germain des Prés epoch: Boris Vian recruited him in 1948 at the Club Saint Germain and he performed there with great American jazz musicians such as Charlie Parker, Kenny Clark, Coleman Hawkins, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., or Lester Young. He was, and is, in great demand, whether by Charles Trenet or Django Reinhardt with the Quintet of the Hot Club de France, or by Jacques Brel for “L’Homme de la Mancha”. He was the first bass player to accompany Sidney Bechet at his arrival in France. When “Totol” plays in an orchestra, his efficiency and extraordinary sound prevail.To the delight of the audience, he loves to sing and improvise at the same time on the double bass and bow.

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