Bill Le Sage
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A self-taught musician, after working with several small combos, he joined "Geraldo's Navy" and played on Cunard's transatlantic liner, the Queen Mary sailing to New York, where he worked with Lennie Tristano.
In 1950, Le Sage became the pianist in the Johnny Dankworth Seven, also becoming a member of Dankworth's big band in 1953. He left in 1954 to join the various small groups led by the drummer Tony Kinsey, another founder-member of the Dankworth Seven and with whom he would stay until 1961. He then joined baritone sax player Ronnie Ross, with whom he would co-lead various line-ups until 1966. During this period, Le Sage also played with Kenny Baker's Dozen. He began writing music for television and films.
During the Sixties Le Sage also played with Jack Parnell's orchestra, the Chris Barber Band and his own group, Directions in Jazz, which included four cellos. He also accompanied visiting American musicians such as Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie and Ben Webster, amongst others.
In 1969, he formed the Bebop Preservation Society quintet, featuring alto saxophone player Peter King and trumpeter Hank Shaw, and which he later re-formed to include trumpeter Steve Waterman and alto saxophonist Gilad Atzmon.
Other musicians and bands Le Sage played with include the Charlie Watts Big Band, Johnny Scott and Barbara Thompson's Jubiaba as well as with saxophonists Dick Morrissey, Spike Robinson, Jimmy Hastings, Art Themen and Andy Panayi.
- Presenting The Bill Le Sage - Ronnie Ross Quartet (April 1963) - Le Sage (piano, vibes); Ross (baritone sax); Spike Heatley (bass); Allan Ganley (drums)
- Cleopatra's Needle (1968) - Ronnie Ross (baritone sax); Spike Heatley (bass); Art Ellefson (tenor sax); Les Condon (trumpet); Bill Le Sage (vibes and piano); Tony Carr (drums).
- Live at the Bull - Tribute Vols. 1-2 (2007) Dick Morrissey, Spike Robinson, Bill Le Sage, Bill Eyden and Alec Dankworth. (Recorded live at The Bull's Head, Barnes, London in 1987 and 1988.)
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