Pianist, composer, arranger and conductor, Claude Bolling is without doubt one of the most famous French musicians in the world, in the field of jazz, film music and variety.

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Born in Cannes on April 10, 1930 (his father was the manager of the Méditerranée hotel - today Sofitel-Méditerranée), Claude Bolling has always lived in Paris, except during the occupation, because his mother had decided to settle in Nice from the declaration of war in September 1939.

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This is where young Claude will get to know music.

He wanted to learn the trumpet ... his mom decides it will be the piano.

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The way to school will be an opportunity to make detours and pass in front of the hotels on the Promenade des Anglais where many artists performed, including the brothers André and Henri Salvador. Claude will have only one desire: to replay this music, to the great despair of his piano teacher.

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He will discover Django Reinhardt, Charlie Kunz and Fats Waller.

To progress, he will follow the teaching of Marie-Louise "Bob" Colin, pianist, trumpeter and drummer in one of the many popular female orchestras in the interwar period. It was she who discovered his gift for improvisation and pushed him to go to Paris. We are in 1944

His father enrolled him in the Amateur Hot Club de France tournament, organized by Jazz Hot, which then took place at Salle Pleyel: great success from the public and encouragement from the jury. The following year, in 1945, he won the HCF amateur tournament and passed his entrance exam to SACEM.

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At 16, he created his first formation and at 18, he recorded his first disc.

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To enter the professional world, he will take lessons with Germaine Moulier (classical piano), Léo Chauliac (jazz piano), Maurice Duruflé (harmony) and André Hodeir (counterpoint, orchestration, jazz writing).

Even military service will be musical! At the Dupleix barracks in Paris.

Thanks to Benny Vasseur's older brother who gave him some notions of trombone, Claude will play percussion and trombone in the "Musique du Premier Train des Equipages", where Michel Magne and Pierre Gossez also serve. Claude will be entitled to numerous permissions to go and play in the evening in the cellars of Saint-Germain-des-Pré, the Vieux Colombier and the Caveau de la Huchette

Once "freed from military obligations", the great American soloists passing through France do not fail to call on Claude. He participated in recording sessions and concerts by Rex Stewart, Buck Clayton, Lionel Hampton, Albert Nicholas, Roy Eldridge ... becoming one of the most prominent figures in the world of jazz in Paris.

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In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

The meetings will be numerous and "Bollington", nickname given by Boris Vian, will finally be able to meet his master, the Duke.

In 1956, Frank Ténot, then an atomic engineer and musical director of a record company, suggested that Claude create a Big Band to play Ellington's music.

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This is how an exceptional Big Band was born by the will of its conductor, the quality of its members, its repertoire, its international success and its longevity

(60 years old in 2016)

Then, Boris Vian asks him to write the arrangements for his Chansons Possibles et Impossibles.

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Success will lead Claude towards variety, writing for Sacha Distel, Jacqueline François, Juliette Gréco, Henri Salvador, Brigitte Bardot and creating the vocal group Les Parisiennes ( Money does not make Happiness, It is too good to work. .. )

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He works regularly for Dario Moréno which will earn him the arrangements for the film "Oh que Mambo" (music by Guy Magenta) in which Dario Moreno is the star. This is how Claude took his first steps in music for images.

René Clément then hired him to write the score for Le Jour et l'Heure .

Claude then began a real career as a composer of film scores . He wrote over a hundred of them, some of which were immensely successful: Borsalino,

Cop Story, The Magnificent, Lucky Luke, The Awakening, The Atlantic Wall ...

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He also composes for television: the theme of the Tiger Brigades - The Strange Monsieur Duvalier - La Garçonne ... and the credits for Rendez-Vous du Dimanche , Michel Drucker's first Sunday show in the 1970s.

For a television program, Age Tendre and Tête de Bois ,

the production asks Claude to imagine a piece for two pianos with the classical pianist Jean-Bernard Pommier

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This is how the idea of ​​combining classical music with a jazz trio was born.

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The Sonata for Two Pianists will be the first of nine works by Rossover Music

including the famous Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio written for Jean-Pierre Rampal, which will remain 530 weeks in the American Billboard charts.

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These works of Crossover Music are at the origin of the international notoriety of Claude. They will perform them in the USA, South Korea, Japan ...

with Jean-Pierre Rampal or Benoit Fromanger, Shigenori Kudo, Hubert Laws, Pamela Sklar (flute) Alexandre Lagoya or Eric Franceries (guitar) François-René Duchâble (piano).

In 2001, Claude Bolling signed with Frémeaux & Associés for the gradual release of all his productions,

starting with a Rolling with Bolling box set that includes five Big Band 33 rpm albums.

Will follow all the "crossover" compositions (some of which were unavailable in Europe), all the Big Band albums,

a Collector who brings together 78 rpm recordings from 1948 and the first Big Band vinyls from 1956,

Bolling Story an anthology of film music and the album produced for the 60 years of the Big Band.

To date, Frémeaux & Associés distributes nearly 60 records and films by Claude Bolling.

In 2008, in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Daubresse,

Claude writes his autobiography Bolling Story,

published by Editions Alphée

Claude Bolling ceased his musical activities in June 2014.

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The Claude Bolling Big Band , now directed by Vincent Cordelette (Claude Bolling's regular drummer since 1985) continues its journey to perpetuate the work of its chief-founder.

Claude Tissendier, member of the Big Band since 1978, created Swingin 'Bolling to play as a quintet of compositions by Claude Bolling

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Across the world, many young musicians are discovering, appreciating and interpreting the scores of Claude Bolling, in jazz, as well as in film music or in Crossover Music .

This notoriety gives him the role of ambassador of 20th century French music in the world.

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Claude Bolling leaves us on December 29, 2020 and rests in Garches (92).

Bruxelles, 16 Nov. 1973, Duke Ellington lui prête son piano pour "Take the A Train"