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Jacques Loussier (1934-2019)

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I have very fond memories of discovering his Bach LPs.  They still hold up.  RIP.

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I think those "Play Bach" albums were very popular in the 60´s . I think they were quite usual where folks usually listened to classical music but felt the urge to "escape" a bit towards so called "jazz".......

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2 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

I think those "Play Bach" albums were very popular in the 60´s . I think they were quite usual where folks usually listened to classical music but felt the urge to "escape" a bit towards so called "jazz".......

Exactly. My mother was one of them (though, judging by what she had bought, the Swingle Singers and George Gruntz ranked ahead of Loussier, it seems). Like many in Europe at the time:  Third stream! Jazz needs to mate up with classics to become respectable! And please no "Jazzing up the classics"! Playing classical music very moderate jazz overtones is what it is to be instead.!
I never fully got into Loussier (though - for completeness sake - in more recent times I bought the other Play Bachs that my ma did not own - the Play Bachs still are very, very common in record clearout sale bins here) but he certainly did make a huge splash.

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R.I.P.

Yes he was very popular for a long period of time, but in the 80's all Play Bach LPs were out of print and it was a mild sensation when Zweitausendeins released a five LP box with these albums. I got me a copy but it didn't really fascinate me as I already was deeply involved in period instrument performances of Bach's music.

Now is there any album where he play just jazz, no Bach or other baroque music?

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7 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

- the Play Bachs still are very, very common in record clearout sale bins here) but he certainly did make a huge splash.

Not so in the USA. I’ve only seen a small handful over the years.

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jaqueslussier043.jpg?itok=uEcrAz52

R.I.P ...

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1 hour ago, Dmitry said:

Not so in the USA. I’ve only seen a small handful over the years.

Too bad shipping costs are rather prohibitive if you'd actually want any. I'd probably be able to find very cheap copies of most of the original 4 LPs from the 60s in about 4 weeks' time.

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Back in the late 90s--think it was the late 90s--European Universal issued all the original Play Bachs on a 7 cd box set (Play Bach, Nos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and Aux Champs Elysees on 2 cds). I was lucky enough to snag one at the time. I've always been fond of them. Not exactly earth-shattering music, but often lots of fun, as were his later efforts. RIP.

 

 

gregmo

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Posted (edited)

The ‘Play Bach’ LPs are ones I can almost guarantee coming across in charity shops (on Decca I think). Very popular over here.

RIP  - regularly seen on TV over here back in the day/60s and 70s.

Edited by sidewinder

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Posted (edited)

21 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

I think those "Play Bach" albums were very popular in the 60´s . I think they were quite usual where folks usually listened to classical music but felt the urge to "escape" a bit towards so called "jazz".......

 

18 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Exactly. My mother was one of them (though, judging by what she had bought, the Swingle Singers and George Gruntz ranked ahead of Loussier, it seems). Like many in Europe at the time:  Third stream! Jazz needs to mate up with classics to become respectable! And please no "Jazzing up the classics"! Playing classical music very moderate jazz overtones is what it is to be instead.!
I never fully got into Loussier (though - for completeness sake - in more recent times I bought the other Play Bachs that my ma did not own - the Play Bachs still are very, very common in record clearout sale bins here) but he certainly did make a huge splash.

 

It's funny, but being from the US, I think of those albums - along with the Swingles -  very differently.  They exemplify an idealized, moderne Europe, the one that I would see on late-night movies as a kid, the suave and urbane Europe that is equally at home with Mini Coopers, urinating cherub fountains, mod fashions, and Roman ruins.  I never would have gotten into jazz to begin with, had it not been for the fact that the French invented it.  

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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5 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

 

 

It's funny, but being from the US, I think of those albums - along with the Swingles -  very differently.  They exemplify an idealized, moderne Europe, the one that I would see on late-night movies as a kid, the suave and urbane Europe that is equally at home with Mini Coopers, urinating cherub fountains, mod fashions, and Roman ruins.  I never would have gotten into jazz to begin with, had it not been for the fact that the French invented it.  

Nice thoughts and I´m glad to read this impressions on Europe from an american. Well, that was nice those times , Mini Coopers, fancy old buildings, fashion, and for us jazz buffs those jazz cellar clubs in fancy old buidlings. Listening to jazz in fancy old appartments like those you might know from movies.

That´s how I grew up, with this mixture of love for the old Europe and passion for jazz. Long evenings with friends in old buildings, listening to the latest records, drinkin wine, smokin Gitanes and discussing the music of Miles, Trane, Ornette, Mingus, Max, Shepp, and our old heroes Bird, Fats, Diz, Bud.....

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7 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

It's funny, but being from the US, I think of those albums - along with the Swingles -  very differently.  They exemplify an idealized, moderne Europe, the one that I would see on late-night movies as a kid, the suave and urbane Europe that is equally at home with Mini Coopers, urinating cherub fountains, mod fashions, and Roman ruins.  I never would have gotten into jazz to begin with, had it not been for the fact that the French invented it.  

The French inventing jazz? Or in which respect are you being tongue-in-cheek? Creoles in "French" New Orleans? ^_^

That aside, I guess everybody who is deeply fascinated by a past period with a specific image (whethere historically totally correct or not) has an idealizeed (or stereotyped) way of looking at this past period in a setting that one personally would like to relive (or beam back into). Just like we'd probably imagine bebop being played in some "typical" 40s "film noir (US variety) setting ...  (The WIlliam Gottlieb photo archives help in that respect, BTW ;))

STILL - you'd probably be shocked if you'd care to (or be able to?) read a lot of what was written in period (i.e. 50s and even early 60s) German (JAZZ PODIUM) and also French (JAZZ HOT) jazz monthlies about jazz and its "art" connotations and aspirations. You'd probably not find a lot about those high-brow attempts at liaising (by ALL means) jazz with classical (or "serious") music to make it really "respectable" in a Europan "art" sense that really fits your imagination, and in the long run you'd find a lot of THAT rather dry, dour, academic and stiff. André Hodeir was no coincidence either. And THAT type of jazz certainly was a million miles away from any "typical" St. German des Prés cellar club jazz concert setting - either actual (as witnessed by US tourists at the time) or imagined (in latter-day idealizations).
 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

Nice thoughts and I´m glad to read this impressions on Europe from an american. Well, that was nice those times , Mini Coopers, fancy old buildings, fashion, and for us jazz buffs those jazz cellar clubs in fancy old buidlings. Listening to jazz in fancy old appartments like those you might know from movies.

That´s how I grew up, with this mixture of love for the old Europe and passion for jazz. Long evenings with friends in old buildings, listening to the latest records, drinkin wine, smokin Gitanes and discussing the music of Miles, Trane, Ornette, Mingus, Max, Shepp, and our old heroes Bird, Fats, Diz, Bud.....

Beautiful.  Did all of this happen in black and white?  I have an older French friend who has lived in the US for many decades.  He saw Ella Fitzgerald when she came to Paris in the 1950s.   He said when he remembers his youth in Paris, he sees it in black and white!  

When I hear a walking bass, the first images that will pop into my mind are young, well-dressed, slightly disheveled Frenchmen, collars undone, smoking, listening to jazz in a cellar club.  In black and white, of course. 

Growing up, one of the jazz albums that my Dad owned was the Double Six album on Capitol.  This was the album that was released in Europe as Sing Quincy Jones or something similar.  This album made a huge impression on me as a kid and no doubt helped me form in my mind a deep connection between Europe and jazz.   The cover art for the Swingles with MJQ, the European version, visually encapsulates this connection.

The US is getting to be an ugly place these days, and I know that Europe is confronting many of the same issues. But when the racism and xenophobia start to get me down, there is nothing I like to do more than to uncork a nice bottle of wine and spin something on the Philips label, either classical, jazz, or a combination of the two. The best revenge, as they say, is living well.

 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Posted (edited)

:lol:  :lol:

Differences of "retro" perception again, I guess.
I can very well imagine seeing or remembering Europe of that time in all B&W, but OTOH I think most of those who picture themselves in 50s or early 60s USA today picture it all in glorious full color ("Colors by Deluxe", as it said in one musical "cult" movie back then^_^). All B&W would be more fitting for 40s USA ("film noir" again, and everything that goes with it, style-wise).
OK, will spin the Double Six meet Quincy Jones LP later today after the chores outside have been taken care of (I have it on French Columbia - the cover with the group members looking down at themselves, not up, as on US pressings ;)) Though, in THAT vein, the "Blue Stars of France" (EmArcy 1954) somehow sound more like a jazzy background soundtrack of the era to me. (Clichés, i know, but anyway ... ;))

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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4 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Beautiful.  Did all of this happen in black and white?  

 

 

 

Right, I remember much of the past in black and white. One joint you might have liked was a big old coffee house in Viena, called "Schwarzspanier", that was one of those fancy places, where a lot of good jazz was played and young people stayed up until the small hours and discussed the world. The owner I think was an Italo-American, and there was an old foto on the wall of him when he was young, playing bass in a band and the piano player was no one less than Lennie Tristano. But the guy was not very talkative, if you asked him about playing with Tristano, he wouldn´t say much.....

But as you say, it was that good old days and that strange mixture of old fancy places and young people fond of jazz......., you could meet them on the street, guys who played and you could check some gigs just meeting some guy on the street......, wonderful

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Posted (edited)

I remember when people used to ask it you dreamed in black and white or colour.  Maybe because I was studying with McLuhan at the time, I'd always point out that nobody asked that question before the invention of photography. 

Edited by medjuck

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12 hours ago, medjuck said:

I remember when people used to ask it you dreamed in black and white or colour.  Maybe because I was studying with McLuhan at the time, I'd always point out that nobody asked that question before the invention of photography. 

Do we know for sure? Are there many documented questions and answers on this aspect from that pre-1840s period? ;)

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