John Lewis / Sacha Distel – Afternoon in Paris – Versailles – 1957


John Lewis / Sacha Distel – Afternoon in Paris – Versailles – 1957


Recorded in Paris, December 4 & 7, 1956.
Original LP issue: Versailles MEDX 12005.

It was in Paris that John Lewis co-led this 1956 date with Sacha Distel, a French guitarist who never became well known in the U.S. but commanded a lot of respect in French jazz circles. The same can be said about the other French players employed on ‘Afternoon in Paris’ — neither tenor saxophonist Barney Wilen nor bassist Pierre Michelot were huge names in the U.S., although both were well known in European jazz circles. With Lewis on piano, Distel on guitar, Wilen on tenor, Michelot or Percy Heath on bass, and Kenny Clarke or Connie Kay on drums, the part-American, part-French group of improvisers provides an above-average bop album that ranges from “Willow Weep for Me,” “All The Things You Are,” and “I Cover the Waterfront” to Milt Jackson’s “Bags’ Groove” and Lewis’ title song. The big-toned Wilen was only 19 when ‘Afternoon in Paris’ was recorded, but as his lyrical yet hard-swinging solos demonstrate, he matured quickly as a sax man. A mythic LP and one of the best recorded in France!!!


Afternoon In Paris:


Willow Weep For Me:



John Lewis (Piano)
Sacha Distel (Guitar)
Barney Wilen (Tenor Saxophone)
Pierre Michelot (Bass) Tracks A1, A2 & A3 / Percy Heath (Bass) Tracks B1, B2 & B3.
Connie Kay (Drums) Tracks A1, A2 & A3 / Kenny Clarke (Drums) Tracks B1, B2 & B3.


Side A

  • I Cover The Waterfront (Johnny Green) 6’45
  • Dear Old Stockholm (Trad) 6’01
  • Afternoon in Paris (John Lewis) 9’21

Side B

  • All The Things You Are (Jerome kern – Oscar Hammerstein) 5’12
  • Bags’ Groove (Milt Jackson) 6’08
  • Willow Weep For Me (Ann Ronnell) 9’33


  • Re-mastered from a copy of the mono master tapes.
  • Cut by Ray Staff at Air Mastering Studio in London.
  • 180 gr vinyl pressed in Marciac, France by Garcia & Co using the Metal Mothers from Pallas.
  • Facsimile reissue with flipback sleeve using the original photo by JC Bernath.
  • Double insert using an original photo by JC Bernath from 1956.
  • Each record has been visually checked to prevent defects.


Additional information

Weight 350 g
Dimensions 30 × 30 × 2 cm


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