Pianist Jacques Loussier has spent much of his career performing Bach melodies with his jazz group. Loussier's Play Bach Trio was quite popular during 1959-1978. After a few years off, he formed a new trio along similar lines in 1985, the group heard on this CD. Although jazz and classical music have been combined together in many different ways through the years, no combo has worked harder at swinging Bach than Loussier's units. The pianist pays respect to Bach's melodies before swinging them and his improvisations are a natural outgrowth of the themes. This CD gives listeners an excellent example of his concept and is a constant delight.
Live concert in celebration of Loussier's 70th birthday. In performance in Bach's 'own' church, St Thomas's in Leipzig. A rare example of a commercially successful jazz artist. In fifteen years, the Jacquees Loussier trio sold over six million albums. Bonus feature: Jacques Loussier in Conversation…
The CD is a return to the Trio’s roots in Bach via a new jazz interpretation of the entire six Brandenburg Concertos, in order. But this time a rather new approach is in the works. As described by Loussier himself: “Whereas my older recordings were about adding to Bach, this record is about reducing his music to its essence, taking the main themes and working with them as any jazz musician might in playing a theme, an improvisation, and a return to the theme.”
Released in 2003, Allegretto from Symphony No. 7, Theme and Variations features pianist Loussier in a trifecta alongside bassist Ben Dunoyer de Segonzac and drummer André Arpino interpreting ten variations on the Allegretto portion of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. For those unfamiliar, the term Allegretto (translated as "rather fast") refers to the composition's tempo, encompassing a speed of less than 120 but exceeding 108 measures per minute. As he had done in prior outings that incorporated the respective works of Bach, Debussy, and Handel, among others, Loussier approaches the composition with an ear toward the third stream, blending classical pieces to a decidedly jazz orientation.