Bean Soup is a quintet comprised of tenor-saxophonist Michel Bescont, trumpeter Michel Bonnet, pianist Jacques Schneck, bassist Leigh Barker, and drummer Stephane Roger. On Odidrep (named after an original by Bescont), they mostly perform songs that Coleman Hawkins played in the 1940s.
The group is to an extent based on the Hawkins Sextet of 1945 which included trumpeter Howard McGhee and pianist Sir Charles Thompson, a forward-looking swing band that hinted at the emerging bebop music. Bescont comes close at times to sounding like Hawkins, Bonnet’s trumpet solos sometimes recall Roy Eldridge and Charlie Shavers rather than McGhee, and Schneck leads the Count Basie-oriented trio.
Among the 15 songs are such Hawkins originals as “Hanid,” ‘”Mop Mop,” “Bean Soup,” “Rifftide,” “Stuffy,” “Bean And The Boys,” “Spotlite” and “Disorder At The Border.” Most of those “originals” utilize the chord changes of well-known standards including “Hanid” and Bescont’s “Odidrep,” both of which should be spelled backwards.
In addition, the group plays other tunes from Hawkins’ repertoire of the era in concise versions that are similar to but not copies of Hawkins’ recordings. It is enjoyable hearing revivals of all of these riff-oriented period pieces by musicians who fit very well into the style.