Barney Wilen

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Barney Jean Wilen (4 March 1937 – 25 May 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. Wilen toured in Japan for the first time in 1990.[1] 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)
  • 1958 Jazz in Camera with Donald Byrd (Sonorama)
  • 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)
  • 1968 Auto Jazz: Tragic Destiny of Lorenzo Bandini (MPS)
  • 1972 Moshi (Saravah)
  • 1986 Flashback (Paris Jazz Corner)
  • 1987 La note bleue (Ida)
  • 1987 French Ballads (Ida)
  • 1989 Wild Dogs of the Ruwenzori (Ida)
  • 1989 Movie Themes from France (Timeless)
  • 1990 Paris Moods (Alfa)
  • 1991 Sanctuary (Ida)
  • 1991 Modern nostalgie (Starbust Forever) (Alfa)
  • 1992 Dream time (Deux)
  • 1992 Aigre-douce (Alfa)
  • 1993 Essential Ballads (Alfa)
  • 1993 Talisman (Ida)
  • 1993 Inside Nitty Gritty (Venus)
  • 1994 Barney Wilen Quartet, New York Romance (Venus)
  • 1994 Le Ca: New York Romance Sunnyside)
  • 1994 The Osaka Concert (Tréma)
  • 1995 Passione (Venus)
  • 2001 Jazz et Cinema, Vol. 1 (Universal/Polygram)
  • 2001 Jazz in Paris: Jazz Sur Seine (Sunnyside)
  • 2003 Modern Nostalgie (M&I)
  • 2003 Paris Moods (M&I)
  • 2004 French Story (Pony Canyon)
  • 2006 Double Action (Elabeth)
  • 2011 Never Let Me Go (Allegro/Audio & Video Labs/Igloo)
  • 2014 Le Nouveau Jazz (Finders Keepers)
  • 2016 Un Témoin dans la Ville (Doxy)

As sideman[edit]

With Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers

With Miles Davis

With John Lewis

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)

With François Tusques

  • 1965 Le Nouveau Jazz (Mouloudji)

With Irène Schweizer, Manfred Schoof et al.

  • 1967 Jazz Meets India (SABA)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harrell, Bryan (27 March 1990) "Tenor Sax Great Makes Japan Debut". The Japan Times. p. 16.

External links[edit]