JJ 12/63: Jacques Loussier: Play Bach No. 3

Sixty years ago Benedict Edwards thought Loussier had produced music that would equally satisfy the jazz enthusiast and Bach devotee. First published in Jazz Journal December 1963


Another superb album by this trio. I have always felt that Bach, of all the classical composers, is the one most amenable to jazz treatment, and this trio do a most artistic and exciting job with their interpretations. Side one – the Concerto Italien in three movements – is altogether delightful, the first movement, Andante, having perhaps the most subt­lety.

Side two, which contains five parts selected from the Inventions A Deux Voix is quite scintillating, particularly inventions five and eight, although a preference for any of the inventions must of course be a matter of individual taste. The side concludes with the Fantasie Chromatique, which is brilliantly performed through­out, and in fact this is a record which one could play time after time, with the utmost enjoyment.

The recording throughout is absolutely first class, and the internal balance impeccable. Loussier’s piano is both immaculate and exciting and Pierre Michelot’s bass playing is also fantas­tically good, with a great beat and perfect intonation and with quite remarkable dexterity. While the drumming of Christian Garro is most tasteful, he produces a wonderful pulse without becoming in the least obtrusive.

Alto­gether a fine performance, which cannot fail to appeal to jazz lovers, and Bach lovers, for that matter, could find little with which to take exception. For the fortunate ones like myself, who are enamoured of both Bach and jazz, this album is a sheer delight.

Concerto Italien – Inventions A Deux Voix, Nos. 1, 2, 5, 8, 15; Fantasie Chromatique en ut Mineur
(London-Globe GLB 1007 32s. 2d.)