What Bix Means to Me: Alain Bouchet

The wonderful French trumpeter, pictured above (with me, a long time ago!) recalls his first impressions of  “l’ami” Bix:

“When I was a young jazz musician, I – of course – listened to the records by King Oliver, Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven, but also the ones by Bix Beiderbecke. His music was different, very individual and recognisable; as was his style of phrasing. I’d go so far as to say that for the time, his music was “modern”, advanced.

“He was surrounded by marvellous musicians like Frankie Trumbauer and Hoagy Carmichael. I was lucky enough to appear in a French TV movie To Bix or Not To Bix, in which I played his friend, Emmett Hardy.

“He only lived a short time but 80 years after his death, Bix’s music is always with us. Two of his compositions sum up the musician: In a Mist (Bix was an excellent pianist) and the beautiful Davenport Blues.”

* For more information on Alain Bouchet, visit www.alainbouchet.com . Tomorrow: Bent Persson.

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