|Tags:||jazz saxophone french cool jazz|
|Decades:||1980s 1990s 2000s|
Bernard Jean Wilen, 4 March 1937, Nice, France, d. 25 May 1996, Paris, France. Born of an American father and French mother, Wilen spent his first 10 years in Arizona, USA, before returning to the Côte dAzur and serious saxophone study. Initially a follower of Lester Young, by the mid-50s Wilen had his own voice and was fast becoming one of the most respected European musicians. From 1955-60 he played with Bud Powell and John Lewis, joined the Miles Davis band and Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers. Lewis classed Wilen as one of his four favourite saxophonists, with Lester Young, Stan Getz and Lucky Thompson. During the early 60s Wilen experimented with jazz rock, and from 1968-73 he lived in Africa, an experience that influenced his work during the late 70s and early 80s. Wilen returned to Nice and back to the hard bop style of playing that made him famous in the 50s. He recorded his final album in 1995 in the company of Kenny Barron, Ira Coleman and...