Claude Bolling Biography

10 April 1930, Cannes, France. After showing prodigious talent as a child pianist, Bolling began playing professionally while still in his early teens. Strongly influenced by ragtime and early jazz pianists and by other figures as diverse as Duke Ellington and Art Tatum, Bolling swiftly became recognized in France as a major pianist. He played at concerts, festivals and on record with many visiting jazzmen including Paul Gonsalves, Lionel Hampton and Rex Stewart. He also led his own small groups from the late 40s onwards, forming bigger bands in the 50s including the Show Biz Band, which remained in intermittent existence for the next three decades. In addition to playing jazz, Bolling has also written for films. He has composed and recorded music that mixes jazz and the classical form, although he has done so in a manner that remains closer to the mainstream than the so-called third stream. Bolling makes infrequent appearances outside his homeland but has played in the UK, leading his powerful big band from the piano.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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