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Jef Gilson

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Biography

French pianist Jef Gilson (real name Jean-François Quiévreux) came up in the ’60s and played in a straight-ahead hard bop style. Notably, he featured the young violinist Jean-Luc Ponty on some early recordings.

Gilson was not only a pioneer in independent production, but also an adventurous pianist and composer with a unique approach. He introduced unusual instruments onto his productions such as the balaphone and the farfisa microrgan, but also combined both electric and acoustic basses in order to create a fresh and new sound.

Lloyd Miller, who both played the balaphone and the microrgan, teamed up with Jef Gilson which, in 1962, resulted in a 10” record released on Jef Gilson’s own recordlabel Spirit Jazz.

A couple of years later Hal Singer, a Texas tenor sax jazz giant, moved over to Paris where he met Jef Gilson’s band in which he found a perfect musical blend for his afro centric musical tendencies. The result of the collaboration between Jef Gilson and Hal Singer was ‘Soul of Africa’, a monumental record, one of the catalysts for Afro-Parisian scene that fascinated so many musicians and music fans in the 70s and 80s.

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