Jazz with Jacques Loussier

Jazz with Jacques Loussier

“When Guher and Suher Pekinel came to Paris and asked me to write some arrangements for them, little did I imagine that “Play Bach” might ever exist for three pianos without me! Admittedly, their fierce determination and talent was something I had disregarded for. In common with other pianists, I have to admit I was sceptical and rather curious by this transition from classical piano to jazz. However, they kept their side of the bargain and thanks to their stringent demands in the concert hall as well as the recording studio, they were able to implement new musical forms in exemplary realisation and adapt successfully to swing. They also managed to integrate the improvisations in a very natural way and our concerts for three pianos – highly spectacular – were all great successes. The shift from trio to quintet with three pianos was an experience which my musicians Andre Arpino, drums, and Benoit Dunoyer de Segonzac, bass, enjoyed enormously.”  

Jacques Loussier

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Through the popularization of art in the world, classical music found a new connection to other types of music, with Jazz for instance. You also made use of Jazz in your Bach-Interpretation. Did such experiences cause a change in the course of the Classic-Listeners? Was it possible to win more listeners?

GP – It is not so easy to accommodate classical music with jazz. There must exist a harmony between the two music cultures and ways of expression. There are very few artists who reach this. Jacques Loussier is one of them. Classic reaches freedom and enrichment through Jazz and Jazz finds a different depth in the classical tradition. The curiosity grows and that’s what counts. The distance between classic and jazz listeners shrinks and both types of music are melting without reducing their quality. Actually this is a process that we want to continue.

The “Take Bach”- CD  you recorded together with the Jacques-Loussier-Trio includes Bach-Concertos for two and three pianos, interpreted in Jazz-Style. Can you say that Bach’s music is more suitable for variations, improvisations and the adaptation to other forms of music?

SP – We are very familiar with Bach since our childhood. He created timeless structures. He is a composer who can be transformed easily due to his mathematic transparency of his works. This is why he always has been so popular for Jazz musicians. The “Swing of his works is the reason why his music fits so good with jazz. The re-arrangement of the architecture of Bach’s works allows to capture the “Swing in Jazz. This doesn’t estrange Bach’s Music in anyway. Quite to the contrary, the music gains a very new dimension and transparency and at the same time opens new ways of improvisation for the musician.