Bobby Jaspar

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Bobby Jaspar
Bobby Jaspar
Background information
Born(1926-02-20)20 February 1926
Liège, Belgium
Died28 February 1963(1963-02-28) (aged 37)
New York City, New York, United States
InstrumentsFlute, tenor saxophone
Years active1954–1963

Bobby Jaspar (20 February 1926 – 28 February 1963) was a Belgian cool jazz and hard bop saxophonist, flautist and composer.

Early life[edit]

Born in Liège, Belgium, Jaspar learned to play piano and clarinet at a young age. Later, he took up the tenor saxophone and flute.


With the "Bop Shots" band, he took his first steps in the jazz world. In 1950, Jaspar moved to Paris, playing and recording with the best musicians of the era. Here he met singer Blossom Dearie; the two were married in 1954 but separated in 1957.[1]

In 1956, Jaspar was persuaded to try his luck in the United States, where his reputation in jazz circles had preceded him. He played and recorded with the quintet of J. J. Johnson, with Kenny Burrell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Donald Byrd and many others.

In 1961/1962, Jaspar returned to Europe for a year for a series of concerts and a number of recordings. With his colleague, Belgian guitarist René Thomas, he formed a successful quintet. In some sessions, this was expanded to a powerful sextet with American trumpeter Chet Baker. One of those sessions was immortalised on the record Chet Is Back!, recorded in 1962.


Bobby Jaspar died from a heart attack in New York City on 28 February 1963 at age 37.


  • Flute Flight (Prestige, 1957) with Herbie Mann
  • Flute Soufflé (Prestige, 1957) with Herbie Mann
  • Bobby Jaspar Quartet at Ronnie Scott's (Mole, 1962)
  • In Paris (DRG, 1990
  • Phenil Isopropil Amine (Polygram, 1991
  • Bobby Jaspar & George Wallington aka Tenor Sax and Flute (Riverside 1957) [[Original Jazz Classics 1994) (with Idrees Sulieman)
  • Bobby Jaspar & His Modern Jazz (Vogue, 1999)
  • Bobby Jaspar & Henri Renaud (Vogue, 2000)
  • Jazz in Paris Modern Jazz Au Club St Germain aka In Memory of Dick (Gitanes, 2001)
  • Flute Flight (OJC, 2003) (co-led by Herbie Mann & Bobby Jaspar)
  • Bobby Jaspar With Friends (Fresh Sound, 2004) (with Mundell Lowe & René Thomas)
  • Clarinescapade (Fresh Sound, 2007)
  • Jeux De Cartes (Universal, 2008)
  • Complete Live at the Bohemia Recordings: J. J. Johnson Quintet feat. Bobby Jaspar (Fresh Sound, 2009)
  • Revisited (Traditions Alive, 2010)
  • Modern Jazz Au Club (Universal, 2010)

With Chet Baker

  • Chet Baker And His Quintet With Bobby Jaspar [also known as Alone Together] (Barclay, 1956)
  • Chet Is Back! (RCA 1962)

With Kenny Burrell

With Donald Byrd

  • Byrd In Paris (Brunswick, 1958)
  • Parisian Thoroughfare (Brunswick, 1958)

With Milt Jackson

With J. J. Johnson

With Hank Jones

With Wynton Kelly

With The Prestige All Stars

With John Rae

  • Opus de Jazz 2 (Savoy 1960)


External links[edit]