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Passage Au "Caméléon" , Paris : March 26 , 1969


By JEAN-LUC GAUTIER (10/07/00)

I came from Rennes by train specially to listen to Rene (I had never seen him playing live before) who was caming back in Paris , almost 3 years after his last parisian concert. As far as I remember , it was wednesday 26th of July. Rene arrived at 10 pm , someone carried his "Burns" amplifier , which loud speaker protection looked like it had been kicked. All night long , Rene wore tinted glasses. He stood on the left of the stage , next to the tiny bar , while J.R Monterose was on the right before the bass. Every time the bairmaid passed , Rene turned around to keep his guitar neck from knocking the tray ! At the first break , I went to him as he was on the pavement in front of the club , and he gave me the chords of the bars 9-12 from his "I Remember Sonny" 16 bars F minor blues , then he talked with a black man he obviously knew.
The club was crowded. There were particularly the trumpetist Bernard Vitet , the well known critic Maurice Cullaz (Pierre & Alby Cullaz' father) and as well , very discreetly seated on the bench in the right side of the stage , Lambert Thomas , Rene's son , who , as long as I remember , wore a blue blazer. At the second break , J.R Monterose took the Gibson 150 named "Bebelle" which was lying on the piano , while Rene looked at him , amused and a bit concerned. In the last set , Eddy Louiss (piano) and Michel Roques (tenor sax) joined the band and they notably played On green Dolphin Street , a standard which was pretty rarely in Rene's setlists.
This concert was just 13 days after "A Lucky Songbook In Europe" recording in Koln. During this month , Rene took part to the TV variety show "Tous En Scene" which was broadcasted a saturday night in May (or June) 1969.
There was a little article in Jazz Magazine N°166 (by Alain Gerber) about these concerts at the "Cameleon".

PERSONNEL : Rene Thomas (guitar) , J.R. Monterose (tenor sax) , Jean-Louis Viale (drums) , Alby Cullaz (bass)

GUEST : Eddy Louiss (piano) , Michel Roques (tenor sax)


1. On Green Doplhin Street (Kasper-Washington)




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