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Jean-Claude Petit

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(For the French-Canadian accordionist, see L’Orchestre Petit.)

Jean-Claude Petit (born 1943) is a French composer and arranger, born in Vaires-sur-Marne. After accompanying jazzmen in his childhood, Petit went to the Conservatoire de Paris, where he studied harmony and counterpoint. He did the string arrangements for Mink DeVille’s Le Chat Bleu album, as well as orchestrating the backing parts to some French pop singles in the mid- to late 1960s, including those of Erick Saint-Laurent and yé-yé girls Christine Pilzer and Monique Thubert.

1979 saw his first major film soudtrack commission (Alexandro Jodorowsky’s Tusk), but he had been releasing solo records at least a decade earlier, including at least four for the Chappell Music Library, as well as his album Chez Jean-Claude Petit, released in the early 1970s. In addition, he was a frequent collaborator with French film music composer Jack Arel: the pair’s most well-known production, “Psychedelic Portrait”, was featured in an episode of the cult TV series The Prisoner. His highly acclaimed score for Cyrano de Bergerac remains perhaps his best known work internationally.

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