Death of a great French jazzman

Death of a great French jazzman


norman lebrecht

December 30, 2020

Claude Bolling died today, aged 90.

An admirer of Duke Ellington, he stuck to trad when others went modern and was happy playing classical with Jean-Pierre Rampal. He composed music for more than 100 films.


  • Great artist he was famous in France for the superb soundtrack of Borsalino the big production with the giants Delon and Belmondo.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Claude was a master jazz pianist and composer. His suites are so endearing and will be played for many generations. His handwritten letters to me with approval to allow Steve Barta to add orchestrations to his original ‘Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano no. 1’ is a very dear and cherished possession., as are the follow-up notes with compliments on Steve’s beautiful and respectful additions. He was a humble man, a kind man and brilliant musician. His legacy will be enjoyed and his memory close to our hearts forever. Thanks to his forever assistant, Manuelle, who managed his work so professionally and with great respect.

  • Ceasar says:

    A true loss. Not only did he carry Ellington’s torch, he created marvelous pieces for the third stream genre.

  • Very Sad news -I grow up listening to the Suite for flute and piano jazz trio , I remember finally I meet Claude during the summer in 2011 we pass together rehearsing for concerts , was simple magical , a wonderful person , we did a wonderful concert in Paris at “Le petit Journal “ – a dream becomes true – we be missed – R.I.P

  • JP says:

    His first “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio” became a musical touchstone of my life when my mother learned and performed selections from it when I was a small boy just learning to play the piano. I have a blown-up and laminated poster of the timeless cover of the original LP recording. Resquiat in pace.

  • fflambeau says:

    He was a great one. I love his version of “Chelsea Bridge.”

  • Marg says:

    Ive loved his music for decades. Great musician.

  • Alan Overton says:

    His mother was English.

  • Jason Lewis says:

    Love playing his music. Beautifully crafted, joyous and distinctive.

  • BruceB says:

    RIP M. Bolling, and thank you for all the lovely music.

  • Greg says:

    Sad news. His music is so full of joy. I have played movements from Toot Suite for trumpet many times, and his recording of it with the great Maurice Andre is wonderful.

  • A Pianist says:

    His Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano is well known but I recommend also checking out the Suite for Flute and Jazz Cello — fun stuff and I think first movement in 5/4.