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12 January 1927, St. Gaudens, France, d. 10 June 1998, France. Lafitte took up the tenor saxophone in his early 20s, having earlier played clarinet with gypsy bands in the Toulouse area. He later led his own bands in Paris and worked extensively with visiting American jazz and blues artists, including Big Bill Broonzy, Mezz Mezzrow, Bill Coleman and Buck Clayton. This was in the early 50s and by the end of the decade he had also played with Lionel Hampton and Arnett Cobb, and appeared in the film Paris Blues (1961), in which Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington also featured. Although capable of powerful, earthy playing, Lafitte is at his best as a balladeer where the early influence of Coleman Hawkins gleams through his solos.