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Very Rare Japanese Double Lp reissue ( manufactured by VICTOR Company of Japan Ltd , YOKOHAMA)



YUSEF LATEEF tenor sax & flute & oboe




recorded live at Comblain La Tour (belguim) August ,5,1962




P.BOUK (10:57) Yusef Lateef
GEMINI (12:41) Jimmy Heath


WORK SONG (8:24) Nat Adderley
TROUBLE IN MIND (10:44) Richard M.Jones
DIZZY'S BUSINESS (7:34) Ernie Wilkins
UNIT SEVEN Sam jones


A mud-spattered soldier from Brooklyn USA wandered, late in December 1944, into the little town of Comblain-La-Tour, Belgium. It was a village, really, with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants. The town was battered by buzz bombs and artillery, and only a handful of people had clung to it.

Joe Napoli, a Brooklyn boy, was at this stage just plain homesick; he was also wet, cold and generally miserable. He wanted to forget the Battle of the Bulge for a few hours. He wanted to talk to somebody who did not wear a uniform; somebody who did not have "kill or be killed" on the brain; somebody who would not keep reminding him that Von Rundstedt had to be stopped.

On that cold, foggy day in Comblain-La-Tour Joe got his wish. The first man he met simply said, "Would you like a hot drink? Or a chance to warm your feet?" It was the first real kindness Joe had encountered in a long time. All he could do was nod. The man led him into one of the few houses that had escaped the flying bombs. Right behind the house was a big kitchen where shining pots were hanging and a glowing stove was giving out a wonderful heat. Joe was introduced to half a dozen people who were talking about crops and what the priest had said at mass - all just as if the war had never existed! "They took me in," Joe said later in awe, "as though I was one of them. They fed me and gave me a place by the stove and suddenly I wasn't homesick anymore. Man, it was wonderful!"

After that Joe's love affair with the little Belgian town blossomed rapidly. He came back to visit his new friends as often as possible, and they always welcomed him like a long lost son.

Eventually, Joe Napoli, like millions of other G.I.'s, was shipped back to the States. Yet even then he never forgot Comblain-La-Tour, and he never stopped asking himself one question "How can I show my gratitude?"

The answer was a long time coming. Joe had to earn a living first of all. It took him almost 10 years to become established as a manager-producer of bands, and an as agent for singers. But in 1955 he was solid enough to make his first trip back to Europe, managing bands touring the continent. Before the tour was over, Joe found time to pay a quick visit to Comblain-La-Tour. Most of the homes had been rebuilt and the fields and mountains seemed more beautiful than when he'd seen them before. "But all I could do," he remembers now "was go around shaking hands and say how glad I was to be back." Then early in 1959 he got his big inspiration, "I heard," he says, "that the town needed money to rebuild it's church. That's when I knew I couldn't let the people down. My business was music and handling bands. I decided to get some bands together and stage a big festival to raise money for the church, and stage it right there in the village square!"

From any point of view, it was a crazy idea. Nobody outside Belgium had ever heard of Comblain-La-Tour. The town was too small to accommodate hordes of people - even if they did come. Joe had never staged a big festival in his life.

But his enthusiasm worked wonders. Paul Gabriel, chief of the newspaper La Meuse, got behind the project and became its sponsor. Two others who worked closely with Joe were Willy Henroteaux, ace publicity man, and Madame Raymonde Lismonde, a genius on plans and details.

Working together, the group decided that August 2nd,1959, would be the big day. Then they beat the publicity drums in a non-stop effort to let the whole of Europe know that the International Festival of Jazz would soon be coming up in Comblain-La-Tour.

The mayor, the priest, the postmistress and schoolmistress worked overtime to make the town pretty. Joe scouted around and lined up some pretty good talent: Romano Mussolini, the George Gruntz trio, Lilian Terry, and Rolf Kuhn.

Then, when everything was ready, it rained. "But," says Joe, "the Lord was with us. The rain slacked off a little in the afternoon. Before the programme was over, 8,000 people had showed up."

With the help of his friends, the ex-GI had made history, and it would have been hard to find a happier man. For, in the end, there was not only money to start rebuilding the new church, but also enough for a bell. And the best was yet to come.

Joe and his associates were so jubilant they decided to try it again. For 196O they picked some name attractions - Britain's Petula Clark, France's Charles Aznavour, America's Bill Coleman and Kenny Clarke, among others. They gave the festival a two-day run, and when the final count was made, they discovered that 22,000 spectators had joined in the fun More encouraging-more than 100 journalists had been on hand to Write it up, and a dozen radio and TV stations had spread the message throughout Europe.

It kept on getting better. In 1961, just over 30,000 were in attendance - and the one-day record (16,000) held previously by the Newport, R.l., festival in the U.S.A. was broken.

By 1962 Comblain-La-Tour was the place. On Aug. 4-5, visitors came from all over Europe, with a few even from the U.S.A. America's Cannonball Adderley and Frankie Avalon were the top stars - but there were also bands and singers from France, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, and Yugoslavia.

Attendance in 1962 set a new record: 42,000 in two days. And right now Joe's adopted town is the most envied and talked-about little place in Europe. It isn't hard to figure out why. In four years, Joe Napoli's efforts have attracted 102,000 visitors to Comblain-LaTour.

Joe is the first American to be made an honorary citizen of Comblain-La-Tour. Because of him, the town' s main square has a new name, Times Square, plus a genuine Times Square-sign sent over from New York in 1961.

There had to be something in this story of the war that brought Joe and Comblain-LaTour together, but mostly it is about how sudden fame came to a little-known village because a man with a debt of kindness just had to pay it off.


more about comblain and Cannonball

Comblain is still as much a "fête" as ever-a sort of Belgian equivalent to the French 24 hour Le Mans road race attracting a large percentage of its visitors solely by the fairground atmosphere. However, the festival has steadily grown in stature and the year 1952 saw its coming of age as a jazz festival.

That the 1962 Festival was such a success was nothing short of a miracle achieved in the face of what was probably the worst ever festival weather imaginable. This was the festival during which "the rains came." The rains came, and so then did the mud. Mud of the variety which made the Belgian World War I battlegrounds so infamous. Cars were stuck in it, spectators were stuck in it, and musicians were stuck in it. That the festival did not get stuck in the mud was due to the almost unbelievably efficient organization by Joe Napoli - the calmest festival promoter in the business. A continuous and varied supply of jazz for two days fortified the damp shivering masses against the elements.

The inevitable backstage panics disappeared smoothly and silently. The appearance of the Adderley band was undoubtedly the biggest single factor in establishing Comblain solidly on the jazz map. The band was flown to Europe from New York especially for the Festival and their appearance on stage at 10.30 P.M. on the second day marked the climax of the entire proceedings. The band had actually arrived in Belgium two days earlier and had been holed up there after at a small family type hotel in the middle of nowhere just watching the rain and eating.

The release from the tension and dynamism of New York plus inactivity for three days made the band understandably somewhat nervous before they went on stage to face the 40,000, plus an amazing battery of Eurovision TV cameras, radio and recording mikes and literally masses of amateur photographers.

Any inhibitions were quickly dispelled as Cannon got to grips with the biggest jazz audience he had ever seen with some of his by now customary happy and hip articulations. And so to the music:

Yusef Lateef's intriguing P. BOUK (Personal Bag) gives all the front line a chance to produce what's in their personal bag. Fine ensemble and solo playing by Cannon, Nat and Yusef with the incredible work out by Nat not the least noteworthy feature.

Jimmy Heath's jazz waltz GEMINI has appeared before on one of the Sextet's previous albums (Riverside 404). The interpretation given here at Comblain makes an interesting comparison and enables one to ponder on the influence that Yusef Lateef has had on the band. Nat in particular makes a bow in Yusef's direction before ending his solo with a delicious quote from "My favorite things." Yusef himself gets off a gutty meaty tenor solo in between his flute work on the opening and closing themes.

WORK SONG: by now an established jazz standard produced some of the best solo playing of the concert. Cannonball's work is both earthy and humorous and he too exhibits an Eastern influence in his solo. Nat is thoroughly at home on his own tune and displays his incredible capacity for playing "hot" by building his contribution to a searing climax.

The old classic blues TROUBLE IN MIND is largely a feature for the extremely personal, sound of Yusef's oboe and Joe Zawinul's thoughtful piano. The proceedings being - climaxed by Yusef with a dramatically intense sustained note.

So, Cannonball moves on Stockholm, San Remo, Japan, San Francisco we hope he'll be back before too long; in the meantime we are glad he came to warm up Comblain on a very cold and very wet weekend.