Barney Wilen

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Barney Wilen (March 4, 1937 – May 25, 1996) was a French tenor and soprano saxophonist and jazz composer.

Life[edit]

Wilen was born in Nice; his father was an American dentist turned inventor, and his mother was French. He began performing in clubs in Nice after being encouraged by Blaise Cendrars who was a friend of his mother. His career was boosted in 1957 when he worked with Miles Davis on the soundtrack Ascenseur pour l'Échafaud. In 1959, Wilen wrote his two soundtracks Un Témoin Dans la Ville and Jazz sur scène with Kenny Clarke. He wrote a soundtrack for Roger Vadim's film Les Liaisons Dangeureuse two years later, working with Thelonious Monk. Wilen returned to composing for French films in the 1980s and 1990s. In the mid-to-late 1960s he became interested in rock, and recorded an album dedicated to Timothy Leary. He also worked with punk rockers before returning to jazz in the 1990s. Wilen played with modern jazz musicians until his death in 1996. He died of cancer in Paris at the age 59.

In 1987, French comic book artist Jacques de Loustal and author Philippe Paringaux paid homage to Wilen in their "bande dessinée" Barney et la note bleue ("Barney and the blue note").

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • 1957 : Tilt - Vogue Swing
  • 1958 : Jazz sur Seine - Philips
  • 1959 : Barney - RCA
  • 1959 : Un témoin dans la ville - Fontana
  • 1962 : Jazz Soundtrack From Mental Cruelty - Decca
  • 1966 : Zodiac Suite - Vogue
  • 1968 : Dear Prof. Leary - MPS Records
  • 1968 : Auto Jazz: Tragic Destiny of Lorenzo Bandini - MPS
  • 1972 : Moshi - Saravah
  • 1975 : Free Jazz - Mouloudji
  • 1986 : Flashback - Paris Jazz Corner
  • 1987 : La note bleue - IDA
  • 1987 : French Ballads - IDA
  • 1989 : Wild Dogs of the Ruwenzori - IDA
  • 1990 : Paris Moods - Alfa Jazz
  • 1991 : Sanctuary - IDA
  • 1991 : Modern nostalgie (Starbust Forever) - Alfa Jazz
  • 1992 : Dream time - Deux
  • 1992 : Aigre-douce - Alfa global
  • 1993 : Essential Ballads - Alfa Jazz
  • 1993 : Talisman - IDA
  • 1993 : Inside nitty = Gritty - Venus
  • 1994 : Barney Wilen Quartet, New York Romance - Venus
  • 1994 : The Osaka concert - Trema
  • 1995 : Passione - Venus

As sideman[edit]

With Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers :

With Miles Davis :

With John Lewis :

  • 1956 : Afternoon in Paris - Atlantic

With Bud Powell :

  • 1959 : Cookin' at Saint-Germain 57-59 - Mythic Sound
  • 1961 : Pianology - Moon

With Martial Solal :

  • 1958 : Martial Solal et son Grand Orchestre - Swing

External links[edit]