Friday, November 06, 2009


Born François Boland, 6 November 1929, Namur, Belgium. A classically trained musician, Boland's first exposure to jazz came through concerts and records that he heard during World War II.

His first contributions to the music were arrangements written for the bands of Bobby Jaspar, Henri Renaud and others. In the early 50s he spent much time in Paris, arranging and playing piano, and worked with visiting Americans such as Chet Baker and Nat Peck. In the late 50s he was writing for Kurt Edelhagen's German-based, multinational big band. In 1958 he visited New York, writing charts for Count Basie. At the same time, Boland met drummer Kenny Clarke and with the financial backing of entrepreneur Gigi Campi they formed the Clarke-Boland Big Band.

This, too, was a multinational band and featured players such as Peck, Derek Humble, Benny Bailey, Jimmy Deuchar, Aake Persson, Sahib Shihab, Ronnie Scott and Johnny Griffin. Boland played piano in the band and also composed for it, but his principal contribution was his arranging, which magnificently combined the band's members into a powerful collective whole without ever subduing their potential for inventive soloing.

The band was on the brink of folding in the early 70s, but stayed together thanks to the desire of the musicians to continue playing even when the financial burden was almost intolerable. Since 1976 Boland has lived and worked in Europe (mostly based in Switzerland). In his time, he wrote and arranged for artists such as Sarah Vaughan.

The great sound of Francy Boland' s band.
Reference - Music Artist Band

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