Thursday, March 07, 2019

Jacques Loussier ( 1934 - 2019 )

By Archyworldys
French composer and pianist Jacques Loussier, a great composer of jazz and classical music, died Tuesday night at the age of 84, his wife Elizabeth announced. Unclassifiable artist famous especially for his jazz adaptations of Johann Sebastian Bach, when he led the trio Play Bach, founded in 1959 with bassist Pierre Michelot (who died in 2005) and drummer Christian Garros (who died in 1988), he led an international career with 3,000 concerts and more than 7 million albums sold.
But this artist on the sidelines of the traditional jazz circuits has also distinguished himself as a member of music hall orchestras, and composer of more than a hundred pieces for film and television, including the famous credits of the cult series Thierry La Fronde.
"Jacques Loussier had the idea of ​​genius at the time to adapt Bach to jazz, and he was successful around the world. Johann Sebastian Bach's music swings a lot and maybe it's our first jazzman ", told AFP Pascal Anquetil, a journalist at Jazz Magazine.
In addition to the work of Johann Sebastian Bach, he had also adapted other great masters of classical music such as Vivaldi, Ravel, Satie, Debussy and Schumann. His last record, My personal favorites, was released in 2014 at Telarc, on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Jacques Loussier, born in October 1934 in Angers, had also created a recording studio in Miraval, in the south of France, where worked Pink Floyd and The Cure.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Ed Bickert ( 1932 - 2019 )

By FYIStaff
Renowned Canadian jazz guitarist Edward (Isaac) Bickert died Thursday, Feb. 28. He was 86.
During the early 1950s, he worked as a radio engineer in Toronto. Following that, he became a go-to studio musician, recording as a sideman for Ron Collier, Moe Koffman, Phil Nimmons, Rob McConnell and many others.
He was in a duo with Don Thompson and a trio with Thompson and Terry Clarke. He also worked with American musicians when they performed in Toronto, including Paul Desmond, and Frank Rosolino. After playing in Japan with Milt Jackson, he recorded with Oscar Peterson, then Buddy Tate. He went on tour during the 1980s with McConnell, Koffman, and Peter Appleyard. He signed with Concord and recorded with Ernestine Anderson, Benny Carter, Rosemary Clooney, Lorne Lofsky, Dave McKenna, Ken Peplowski, and Neil Swainson. Lofsky was a member of his quartet in the 1980s and '90s.
He made his first studio recording on Moe Koffman’s unlikely hit single “Swinging Shepherd Blues”, and then became a regular member of the Moe Koffman Quintet that performed regularly at celebrated Toronto jazz haunt, George’s Spaghetti House, booked by Koffman as an agent.
Bickert was also a charter member and featured soloist with Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass, and played with Phil Nimmons' bands for decades. In 1974, established American saxophonist Paul Desmond sought out Bickert to record, resulting in a series of albums that put him on the international map. Bickert never capitalized on his newfound fame as he was a reluctant traveller and felt a keen kinship with a coterie of notables in the city where he lived.
With McConnell he recorded 20 albums, plus more than 20 as a sideman with artists as varied as Shirley Eikhard, Humphrey Lyttelton, Benny Carter and Hagood Hardy. Other artists he recorded multiple albums with included Rosemary Clooney and Paul Desmond.
He was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1966 and, in 1980, earned his first and only Juno Award, with Don Thompson, for a collaborative live album entitled Sackville 4005.