Hubert Rostaing

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Hubert Rostaing , (born September 17, 1918 in Lyon , † June 10, 1990 in Paris ) was a French clarinetist and alto saxophonist of swing . He played with Django Reinhardt in the 1940s in the Quintette du Hot Club de France .


The early years

Hubert Rostaing grew up in Algiers and attended the local conservatory. During this time he played the alto saxophone and decided to become a professional musician, toddled through pubs and accompanied revue and variety events as well as dance groups. His orchestra was not limited to Algiers, but went on several tours in North Africa from Morocco to Tunisia. Rostaing was barely eighteen at the time. At the end of 1939, his orchestra toured Corsica , then in 1938 it set foot on the continent, initially in Luxembourg . The group eventually came to Paris for an engagement at Club Baghdad . Rostaing left the group to take his chance here, initially in nightclubs on Rue de Pigalle . In 1939 he stayed briefly in Lille , returned to Algiers, only to reappear in Paris in 1940:

This is where his real career began: Rostaing has an engagement at Mimi-Pinson , where Django Reinhardt heard him and took him to Jimmy's Club . There he switched to his future main instrument, the clarinet.

The Quintette du Hot Club de France

Rostaing achieved his breakthrough through his membership in Reinhardt's group - in 1940 he replaced Stéphane Grappelli , who was stuck in England during the war, at the Quintette du Hot Club de France , where he soon became France's leading jazz clarinetist . The beginning of the war and the associated absence of American musicians gave the quintet an unexpected boost. Between October 1940 and March 1942 the classic recordings of the quintet were made, which were reformed when the violinist left: Rostaing's clarinet replaced Grappelli's violin, drums for one of the rhythm guitars - so the quintet came closer to a classic jazz combo than the string- only quintet Grappelli. The adaptable scarcity of drummer Pierre Fouad's playing together with the rhythm section formed “the ideal background for Django Reinhardt's radiant arabesques and Rostaing's finely tuned modulations”.

In the first session on October 1, 1940, the tracks Nuages , Rythme Futur (Rhythm Future), Begine the Beguine , Blues, Cou-Cou were recorded. The next recording session with Reinhardt in October for the Swing label was under the nominal direction of Hubert Rostaing, Aimé Barelli and their orchestra. Enlarged to a sextet by tenor and clarinetist Alix Combelle , the band played other classics in December 1940 such as Swing 41, Nuages, Fantaisie sur une Danse Norvegienne , the processing of a Norwegian dance by Edvard Grieg , Mabel, Les Yeux Noirs, Sweet Sue . The specific character of this session is reinforced by Rostaing's idiosyncratic intonation. In December Reinhardt and Rostaing play in various French swing formations such as the Trio de Saxophones Alix Combelle , Christian Wagner et son Orchester and Pierre Allier et son Orchester . The pieces Dinette, Crepuscule and Swing 42 were recorded with Rostaing in 1941 , and Première Idée d'Eddie, Belleville and Lentement, Mademoiselle in March 1942 , after which the clarinetist left the quintet.

In the fall of 1947, the quintet formation from 1941 was briefly revived for the Blue Star Sessions . In four recording sessions, in which Django Reinhardt played electric guitar on all the pieces and which are among the milestones in his discography: well-known pieces from his repertoire such as Minor Swing, Swing 39, Del Salle, Stockholm, Topsy and Mano were recorded again here. Rostaing accompanied Reinhardt on a tour through Belgium and Germany in autumn 1947, where they played in Mannheim , Heidelberg , Bad Nauheim and Frankfurt am Main : There the group appeared on the AFN soldier broadcaster .

The late years

After that Rostaing finally left the Quintette du Hot Club de France to form his own formations, with which he could not follow up on his successes with Django Reinhardt. In his quartet he revived the atmosphere of Benny Goodman's small formations . In the following years Rostaing recorded records with the French jazz pianists Bernard Peiffer and Henri Renaud . He also made recordings with Don Byas (1946/47), Kenny Clarke (1956), André Hodeir (1949) and Martial Solal (1956).

After 1962, Rostaing left the jazz scene and worked from then on as a composer, arranger or conductor of film music or classical music. He worked on 20 films, such as The Twins and the Murderer (1957), The Big Feast (1973), Vincent, François, Paul and the Others (1977), Barocco (1976).

Discography (selection)

  • Don Byas: 1946 ( Chronological Classics , 1998)
  • Kenny Clarke: Plays André Hodeir ( Philips Records , 1957)
  • Django Reinhardt: 1940, 1940–1941, 1944–1946, 1947, 1947, Vol. 2 (all Chronological Classics), Swing De Paris 1934–52 ( Proper Records , 2003 / CD box), Pêche à la Mouche 1947/53 ( Verve Records , 1991)
  • André Hodeir: The Vogue Sessions 1949–54 ( Bertelsmann Music Group - BMG , 1999)
  • Martial Solal: The Complete Vogue Recordings, Vol. 3 , 1956 (Bertelsmann Music Group - BMG, 1999)
  • Rex Stewart: 1947-1948 (Chronological Classics, 1999); with Django Reinhardt

Filmography (selection)

  • 1956: Parisian air (Cette sacrée gamine)
  • 1957: The Parisian Woman (Une parisienne)
  • 1957: Dangerous Eva (Le désir mène les hommes)
  • 1957: The twins and the murderer (Les trois font la paire)
  • 1958: Life for Two (La vie à deux)
  • 1960: Whoever shoots first has more from life (Tout feu, tout flamme)
  • 1960: Candide or optimism in the 20th century (Candide ou l'optimisme au XXe siècle)
  • 1960: blonde charm and weird shadows (Touchez pas aux blondes)
  • 1962: Girl with the Pious Eye (Les saintes nitouches)
  • 1965: Greetings to the Mafia (Je vous salue, Mafia!)
  • 1972: The five-leaf clover (Le Trèfle à cinq feuilles)
  • 1979: moments of tenderness (moments)
  • 1982: Cold Blood (Tir groupe)
  • 1984: The Sky Machine - Invitation of a Mad (Where is Parsifal?)
  • 1985: betrayed and sold (La Baston)
  • 1986: Freddy the Clueless (Prunelle Blues)
  • 1987: Poker
  • 1989: Malko - Eye of the Widow (Eye of the Widow)
  • 1991: Frédéric and the girl of delight (Les Mouettes)

Literature and Sources

Web links


  1. The cause was a coincidence - his saxophone was broken
  2. cit. according to Boris Vian, Around midnight , p. 23
  3. On October 21, with the titles: Indecision and Oui, C'est Ca
  4. cit. after Schmitz / Baier, p. 176
  5. December 18, 1940: Sur les Bords de L'Alamo
  6. December 18, 1940: Pour terminer
  7. December 18, 1940: Petite Lili / Ninouche
  8. September 11, 1941
  9. September 7, 15, 22 and October 4, 1947
  10. cit. after Schmitz / Maier, p. 196. They particularly emphasize the role of Rostaing's solo in Songe d'Automne
  11. cit. after Boris Vian, Stolz und Vorjteile, p. 63