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Pierre Michelot, rip

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by olivier, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. Was he really a south-paw, or is it just the way AMG decided to print the pic?

    Commiserations anyway…

    - Wil
  2. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Good eye Wil. Last time I saw him play was about two years ago. No south-paw, AMG blew it on that one. (And I'm going to remove the English translation of that press release cause it sucks.)

    Pierre Michelot was THE reference when it came to jazz bazz in France, sort of our Ray Brown.
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    And on any number of great recordings. The story goes that when they were starting filming ROUND MIDNIGHT, the "Paris" band was going to be all-American and all African-American until Dex pointed out that it would be historically inaccurate, since Pierre Michelot had been on the stand with pretty much ANY American expatriate in Paris during that period. So they changed to a white, French player...
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Good point Ed, and thanks to Our Man in Paris, Dexter for staitening up chichés.

    I guess I should be the one telling stories here, but I must admit I'm kind of dry. I only saw Pierre Michelot perform once, about two or three years ago, at the Ile-Saint-Louis club named Le Franc Pinot. Alain Jean-Marie was on piano. Pierre was still playing pretty good, although his hay-days were obviously behind. He was playing resting back against the wall, actualy.
    Lots of studio dates were organized with the American cats in Paris, in the 50's and 60's. These are being re-issued in economic CD series such as the Gitane lebel. You can browse the list in the allmusic.com page on Pierre Michelot, under "credits". There's a three-page-long list of titles were he is on as sideman. Just dig-in according to your favorite frontman. Enjoy. If there's such a thing as The Big Celestrial Band, Pierre Michelot must be taking turns and rock with a lot of cats he used to back-up in Paris. Surenaf.
  5. Sad day !
    IMHO, the best record I have with Pierre Michelot is the live recording of Richard Galliano (accordion) "New Musette" CD.

    R. Galliano tried (and IMHO succeeded) to refresh the "musette" french folk music style the same way A. Piazzola did with tango.

    The musette became there a modern music with full of improvisations by talented musicians : P. Michelot, R. Galliano, Aldo Romano (drums) & the wonderful P. Catherine on guitar.

    A lot of swinging waltz (the core of "musette") with a touch of tango...

    P. Michelot took great solos on this recording as well as all the musicians & was with A. Romano the engine pushing the music to undiscovered spaces. He was a great.

    Sylvain Clement
  6. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Jul 9, 2001
    truly a great player, i've seen him twice, 1st time more than 10 years ago while i was touring in France, what a wonderful player..
    guess i'll watch " round midnight" again tonight.

  7. Is it Pierre who plays with Miles on "Elevator to the scaffold" soundtrack?

  8. Found this on the MSN homepage today....very surprised....usually they only post news related to J-Lo and Brad-Angela fluffy crap....

    Jazz bassist Pierre Michelot dies at age 77; recorded with Miles Davis
    04/07/2005 1:53:00 PM


    PARIS (AP) - Jazz bassist Pierre Michelot, who recorded with Miles Davis and arranged music for Chet Baker, has died, a fellow musician said Monday. He was 77.

    The bass player, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died in Paris on Sunday, said pianist Rene Urtreger, a member of Michelot's longtime jazz trio, HUM.
    Michelot played with Davis on one of the great soundtracks of the 1950s, for Louis Malle's classic thriller Ascenseur pour L'Echafaud (Elevator to the Gallows). He recorded with artists including Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke and Django Reinhardt, and he arranged music for Baker's 1955-56 Barclay sessions in Paris.

    Michelot was considered Europe's best jazz bassist in the second half of the 1950s, Urtreger said.

    "He had a magnificent natural sound, clear, deep and true," Urtreger said. "It was a dream to play with him."

    Originally trained in classical piano, Michelot learned bass as a teenager, then performed for American troops stationed in France after the end of the Second World War. He was highly sought-after for concerts by American musicians in Paris in the postwar years.

    Michelot had a role in French director Bertrand Tavernier's 1986 film Round Midnight, about a musician on the skids in 1950s Paris.
  9. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
  10. Pierre was truly one of our greats!


    Aug 26, 2005
    Francois Rabbath informed me of Pierre's passing when I visited with him in Washington DC on August 5th. I had not heard about it and was shocked. According to Maestro Rabbath, Pierre was on a gig some time back and went into some kind of episode-- he became confused and forgot how to play. That's when they knew it was Alzheimer's disease....
  12. Awww ****!
  13. teleharmonium


    Dec 2, 2003
    "Ascenseur" is one of my all time favorite jazz recordings. Great movie too.


    Aug 26, 2005
    I saw Pierre last at a gig in the south of France about 6-7 years ago...a performance for charity with the Claude Bolling Trio. It was held in a magnificent old Castle near Bordeaux and they didn't need any amplification whatsoever in that big old corridor....he was a very fine player, very valid...
  15. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'm sure that your divine approval would have made him feel more, well, 'actual'.
  16. :D


    Aug 26, 2005
    Gee....I suppose you're right, come to think of it....

    At least Pierre never ****ed around with toy bass...
  18. Not only valid, but he came real close to making Claude Bolling swing. :cool:


    Aug 26, 2005

    Well, I didn't want to come right out and say that, but that's my sentiment too....alot of those people over there do not know how to swing....

    And moreover, a lot of those bassists over there don't get a sound. They have wonderful technique, their grasp of harmony is exceptional, they understand music theory perfectly, their grasp of the jazz language and repertoire is superb, they can hum, strum and double stop until the cows come home, their speed is incredible--- but they are playing up on their fingertips most of the time and they ain't got the sound. I'd say Michelot was an exception....NHOP another exception...but too many players over there don't know how to put meat on the strings....well, not for my ears, anyhow.