Musicians on Tati Films?

CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
edited February 2005 in History Posts: 271
I just got back from a screening of Jacques Tati's film Playtime and got to thinking about the music in it and his other films. Mr. Hulot's Holiday and Mon Oncle feature quite a bit of jazz and musette-type score. Were these scores played by anonymous session musicians, or were there contributions by some of the folks we discuss here in this forum? The tune "Quel Temps Fait-il a Paris" was featured prominently in Mr. Hulot's Holiday. Was it written for that film, or just adapted from an existing song? I've heard Gus Viseur play it.

- Rod


  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527

    The song "Quel temps fait-il à Paris ?" is a composition from Alain Romains from 1952. The film "Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot" is from 1951-1952. So I think the song has been composed for the film. Alain Romans made the music for "mon oncle", too. Unfortunately I don´t know the personnel of the recording session.

    The Song has been interpreted by Lucienne Delyle,too. The words are written by Henri Contet.

    Best wishes

  • andyandy New
    Posts: 80
    Hi there,

    There is a CD collection of music and dialogue from the films 'Jour de Fete', 'Mon Oncle', 'Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot', and 'Playtime' available on the 'Travelling' label. I have a copy, but there's no list of personnel. The music for 'Playtime' is by Francis Lemarque, and the jazz sequence from that film is on the disc.

    Amazon france has a copy: ... 85-7692101

  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 271
    I have that CD, and another one called "Extraits de Bandes Originales des Filmes de Jacques Tati," released on the Philips label, which has several score pieces from the same films, but without dialogue and sound effects. Unfortunately, it lists no personnel either.

    The Viseur version of "Quel Temps..." contains some nice electric guitar work, but the CD I have list the personnel as "unknown." Does anyone have any ideas who could have been playing on this session?

    Thanks for the help!

    - Rod
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 657
    I learned the theme from "Mon Oncle" a long time ago, it's a charming piece of music. The movie is really droll, too. My 7-year-old son loves it. I've never heard Viseur's version of "Quel Temps...". During the 60s he made many recordings with Rene Duchaussoir and various second guitars - Francis Lanageur, Ernest Alesi (usually on electric guitar), and Leo Petit. It could have been any of these guys. Rod, do you have a recording date or a bit more information? With that, maybe I can clear it up.
  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 271
    Viseur's version of "Quel temps fait-il a Paris" is on the CD "De Clichy a Broadway." The session is from Paris, May 3, 1955.

    For those interested, that CD also contains tunes from a later session (June 1962) featuring a very young Boulou Ferré on electric guitar.
  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 271
    François Ravez found some interesting information on Alain Romans, the composer of "Quel temps...":

    "Alain Romans was born in Czestochowa in 1905. In 1931-1932 he played with André Ekyan, Stéphane Grapelly, Django Reinhardt and Alix Combelle at 'La Croix du Sud'. He played at the Bricktop in 1934. In 1938 he played at the Cabaret 'Chez Michel' where he shared the keyboard with the Belgian Clément Doucet. He played also with Michel Warlop. Also at 'Princes's' where he could be heard with Django and violinist Bela Rex."

    Excellent detective work. Thank you very much, Mr. Ravez!
  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527
    Alain Romans even recorded with Django.

    Alain Romans and his orchestra made the accompaniment for Léon Monosson (vocal) on 9. Febr. 1935. The orchestra included (beneath others) Michel Warlop (v), Alain Romans (p) and Django Reinhardt (g).

    They recorded

    "Deux Cigarettes dans l´ Ombre" (Columbia CL 5220-1)


    "Tout le Jour, toute la Nuit" (Columbia CL 5221-1)

    (Fellows, I love this forum)

  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527
    Now I found an interesting line up of Alain Romans from probably the early 50´s:

    Alain Romans & His Rhythmics:

    Pathé Record (Green & Gold Label) 10" PG 332:

    Medley sur Des Ouvres de Cole Porter
    a) You´re on the top
    b) Roselle
    c) In the still of the night

    Medley sur Des Ouvres de Irving Berlin
    a) Let´s keep coming back like a song
    b) White christmas
    c) A pretty girl … melody
    d) Always

    Alain Romans (p),
    Jean Jeremie (b),
    Sarane Ferret (g) (!),
    Jerry Mengo (dr)

    Maybe this is the same lineup as in the Tati film? Who knows…?

    Best regards

  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Genovesi, Burns, Kremona Zornitsa & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    Posts: 959

    So, to revive an old thread, I too had been trying to find who played on Alain Romans' 'Quel Temps Faitl-il a Paris?'

    My old Dad took me to see M. Hulot's Holiday (as it was titled for English cinema) way back in the '60s and the tune has stuck with me ever since. The main film theme, with the guitar referred to above is available on iTunes and the solo piano version - without guitar - is also available now on CD, along with a cheesy cover of Hank Williams' Jambalaya and others, titled Piano Bar No.1 from the Vintage Music label. No further info on the sleeve of that one. Not much on Wikipedia but online sources may have been updated since this post started in 2005, so:

    and an interesting bio on imdb;

    and a curious link to a biography published in 1959;

    Wynne, Barry. The Empty Coffin: The Story of Alain Romans. London: Souvenir Press, 1959.

    Other sources reveal:

    He was born Roman Abram Szlezynger - January 13, 1905, Częstochowa, Poland, died in Paris on December 19, 1988.

    He recorded Tout Le Jour, Toute La Nuit with Django Reinhardt as the Alain Romans Orchestre with vocals by Léon Monosson. Recorded 9th February 1935 this was a version of Cole Porter's Night and Day with French lyrics by Louis Palex who also wrote the French version of Lew Pollack's Two Cigarettes In The Dark which was recorded at the same session (with Arthur Briggs, trumpet, Michel Warlop, violin and Lucien Simoens on bass).

    He continued recording many sides as Alain Romans Et Ses Rythmes from the late 1940s until 1960 but personnel are not always identified. Of the following of his recordings from that period here are some where the guitarist is known:

    Alain Romans Et Ses Rythmes with Sarane Ferret on guitar:

    Pathé – PG275 – Manana, Powder Your Face With Sunshine & Sunflower

    Pathé - PG332 - Medley sur Des Ouvres de Cole Porter & Medley sur Des Ouvres de Irving Berlin

    Pathé - PG333 - Les Feuilles Mortes - 1950

    Pathé - PG390 – I Would Have So Much & Dadomm Dadimm

    Pathé - PG464 – Play A Simple Melody & Thérése

    With Henri Salvador on guitar:

    Pathé PA 2439 - For Sentimental Reasons-When China Boy Meets China Girl / Mélancolie

     - 1947 and Pathé PA 2445 - Ma Blanche Hacienda / Les Yeux Fermés - 1950

    Then also:

    On Pathé PA 2457 Mam'selle / C'est Le Printemps (It Might As Well Be Spring) - year unknown.

    Pathé PA 2532 Les Anneaux D'or / Pot Pourri Des Succès de Paul Misraki from 1948

    Pathé PA2542 (aka PG267) Nature Boy / Ay Mi Vida -1949 

    Pathé PA2576 The Woody Woodpecker Song -1950 

    he was accompanied by Julien Mastro on guitar. Mastro is probably best known in France for his tutorial book ‘Methode Guitare Classique et Jazz Electrique’.


    Pathé PA 2395 I Know Why – If I'm Lucky / Doin' What Comes Natur'lly has Romans accompanied by Tullio Vicentini on guitar.

    Romans also recorded with Michel Warlop in the 1930s with Jean Maille on guitar and he turned up again on Pathé – PG190 Loin des sambas (South America Take It Away) in 1947 and on Pathé PA2416 Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall / Moi Aussi, The Stars Will Remember.

    BUT !

    There is another story out there that Alain Romans recorded the music as a solo piano score and Tati replaced the original piano score with a jazz combo in re-editing the film a decade later. As I said, when my Dad took me to see it (in England) that would have been around early to mid-sixties and although already over ten years old the suggestion that Tati had re-edited it would have explained why it was on the cinema circuit at that time. I still have a VHS tape I bought a long time agao (but no machine to play it on now) and a DVD and it is possible that the theme often repeated on piano is from the original soundtrack but the more swinging jazzy version, and certainly the tone of the electric guitar do sound more from the 1960s.

    If that is the case, does it discount all of the above guitarists?

    Of those we know did record with Romans, Sarane Ferret was still playing around Paris. Henri Salvador we know was still very active and by this time a big star in France. Jean Maille was still playing, particularly around the Paris clubs certainly, there are recordings of him with Jacques Montagne from this period.  Julien Mastro, less is known and bio information is scarce but his best-selling tutorial book was published in 1962 so he was still around too. Tullio Vicentini recorded a lot with singer Yvonne Blanc in the 1940s but not much is known since.

    By the early sixties of course even the young Boulou Ferret was starting out, Matelot was still active, as were Marcel Bianchi and André Dedjean. Elek Bacsik was still in Paris and of course by this time Sacha Distel had made a name for himself.

    So, does anyone agree it sounds more 1963 than 1953 and if so does anyone recognise the sound or the style?  

  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    Posts: 768
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